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Locals set to impact Maryland-West Virginia

COLLEGE PARK — They won't be on the field at the same time, but Maryland middle linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. knows there will be a familiar face on the far sideline when the Terps take on West Virginia at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday.

Mountaineers safety DaeJuan Funderburk was a year behind Carter at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington — part of a loaded defense that also featured current Maryland defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Cavon Walker and Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor. And though Funderburk, a redshirt freshman who is a former three-star recruit and held an offer from Maryland, has yet to appear in a game for West Virginia, he highlights some of the local talent that has crossed the border to play for West Virginia.

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"He was our free safety," Carter said. "He's a freak athlete, but we're on different sides now. It's a little love lost."

West Virginia has six Marylanders on its roster, plus Funderburk, a Washington native, and three players from Northern Virginia. The Mountaineers and Terps have long battled for recruits in the fertile Washington area, so the significance of Saturday's matchup isn't lost on all parties involved.

"We're bordering states," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday. "It's significant also from there's implications in terms of recruiting."

"[Maryland is in] pretty fertile recruiting grounds that we try to dabble in a little as well," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen told reporters Tuesday. "That's important to us."

One of the most high-profile recruits to bolt the state for West Virginia was Dunbar's Tavon Austin, tormented the Terps with 31 catches for 407 yards and five touchdowns in three games. Mountaineers backup quarterback William Crest Jr. and linebacker Marvin Gross Jr. also hail from Dunbar, and Crest had an offer from Maryland.

Other Maryland natives include cornerback Jordan Adams from Franklin, safety Jarrod Harper from Mountain Ridge, offensive lineman Jonathan Haynes from Annapolis Area Christian School and quarterback David Sills from Eastern Christian Academy.

None of the local connections matter to Carter, though.

"Personally, when I'm on the field, I don't pay any mind because whoever lines up across, it don't matter where you're from, they're your enemy for that week," Carter said. "Just got to go out there and perform no matter who it is, whether you're from the area, whether you're from West Virginia. That's it."

Maryland beat out West Virginia for a number of recruits, including wide receivers Taivon Jacobs and D.J. Moore. And while some Terps said the recruiting battles don't carry over to the games, they're still aware of the implications.

"Since I've been here, West Virginia has always been a hard-fighting game," Jacobs said. "They always come out just wanting to take our heads off. We battle them with recruitment, so it's always going to be a tough game. It's always going to be a hard-fought game."

Saturday, the former Friendship Collegiate teammates will be on opposite sidelines in the same game. Both are members of teams trying to prove themselves as relative newcomers in new conferences. But Carter and Funderburk will have to wait until after the game to exchange pleasantries.

"We talk every once in a while like when he comes home or just hit each other up on Twitter or Instagram," Carter said. "But yeah, DaeJuan's a freak athlete, but we're on opposite teams so we're not friends right now."

Big Ten Network to come to College Park

When Maryland hosts Michigan in primetime on Oct. 3 in both teams' Big Ten Conference opener, the game will be headlining a day of games on the Big Ten Network. And the Terps will be the focal point for more than just the action on the field, too.

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The Big Ten Network is bringing its morning and evening editions of "BTN Football Pregame" to College Park. Studio host Dave Revsine and analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith will broadcast from behind Cole Field House near Terp Town, and Maryland coach Randy Edsall, former Terps star Shawn Merriman, men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon and former Michigan defensive back Marcus Ray are slated to make guest appearances.

"BTN Football Pregame" is similar to ESPN's "College GameDay," which visits the site of a marquee matchup that week and is known for the signs that fans make and hold up behind the hosts and analysts. And attendees for "BTN Football Pregame" can do something similar. There will be a sign-making station, while the first 500 fans will receive a foam finger and the first 1,500 fans will receive a rally towel.

The Big Ten network will be broadcasting live from College Park from 10:30 a.m. until noon, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Kickoff for the Maryland-Michigan game is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. The first 800 fans to arrive for the 3 p.m. live segment will receive free pizza.

Maryland plays at West Virginia on Saturday in its final nonconference game of the season.

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