Among the first questions asked about Maryland’s move to the Big Ten Conference: how will it affect recruiting, especially among local prospects? We caught up with a bunch of them following Monday’s announcement, and here’s what they had to say.
Romelo Trimble, 2014 basketball prospect: “I was a little bit disappointed. The ACC is the best conference in the NCAA but the Big 10 is also a good conference, with Ohio State, Michigan State and some other good schools. There’s tradition everywhere. I still like Maryland, so it doesn’t really bother me. At the end of the day, you can get to the NBA wherever you go in college as long as it’s D-I. Look at Damian Lillard. I’d never even heard of Weber State before him. So it doesn’t really affect my interest.”
Melvin Keihn, 2014 football prospect: “I was surprised. I think it’s good for them. I think they’re going to struggle a little bit at first and then surprise some people. It doesn’t affect me because I was already looking at some schools like Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State. If a school has good academics, it’s all about academics. It doesn’t matter what conference they play in. Maryland’s still one of the schools I’m open to. It doesn’t affect me at all.”
Phil Booth Sr., father of 2014 basketball prospect Phil Booth: "From a tradition standpoint, it’s probably disappointing for someone like me because I go back to the old-school ACC, when guys like Len Bias and John Lucas were playing. But the ACC has changed some over the years … We talked about it on his way home from school. I don’t think it affects his interest either way. We really don’t look at what conference Maryland would play in. It’s about a good fit.”
DeAndre Lane, 2013 football commit: "It’s a surprise. I’m kind of excited because it’s more competition and it’s a bigger conference, so it will help us get our name out and be more recognized nationally. I haven’t played in college yet so I haven’t felt the history of the ACC.”
Malik Jones, 2013 football commit: “I literally just got off the phone with one of the coaches. He gave me a little better understanding of why the move was made and what it means to the school. It’s a little bit of both [excitement and disappointment]. I was looking forward to playing some of the ACC schools, like Florida State, but it might be a good thing also. It’s better competition. You’ve got Nebraska, Ohio State and all of the schools. It doesn’t change my mind at all.”
Will Ulmer, 2014 football prospect: “It’s more attractive. More competition and a better look for the NFL.”
Andrew Ford, 2014 football prospect: "I'm very excited about their move. They have a lot to offer to the Big 10 Conference. I think it's a great fit not only for athletics, but also academics. A lot of the schools in the Big 10 are located closer to home than some of the ACC, so traveling to road games won't necessarily be as hard for my family, which is a huge positive."