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Gators' Bloom keeps his word to New Mexico


Jason Bloom wanted to go to Maryland and thought he had a scholarship to Virginia Tech, but the University of New Mexico is where he'll do his kicking.

A two-time All-Metro from Perry Hall l who last season kicked a state record 57-yard field goal, Bloom last week signed a letter of intent to play for the Lobos of the Western Athletic Conference. He'll go to Albuquerque disenchanted with the recruiting process.

"I wanted to stay in the East, but it doesn't matter now," Bloom said. "I had an interest in Maryland, but they waited too long."

Bloom didn't visit the New Mexico campus until two weeks ago. After he made an oral commitment to play for the Lobos, Maryland had second thoughts and then offered him a scholarship on April 3, but Bloom instead opted to honor that commitment.

Maryland originally wanted Bloom to walk on as a punter, with the possibility of earning a scholarship in 1996. The Terps' two scholarship kickers Joe O'Donnell and Brad Rhodes have two and four years of eligibility remaining, respectively, and Maryland wasn't recruiting at that position.

According to Bloom and his father, Robert, Virginia Tech offered him a scholarship to punt. When they visited there in late January, however, they were told the Hokies weren't going to give any scholarships to punters.

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