Before Shane Cockerille found his seat at Byrd Stadium for Maryland's Red-White spring game on Saturday, the Gilman quarterback felt the need to pay Terps coach Randy Edsall a quick visit.
"I was ready to [commit] when I walked in," Cockerille said. "I told Coach [Edsall that I was committing] and it put a big smile on his face. He said he was more excited than I was. It feels great. It feels like a relief."
Cockerille picked Maryland over offers from Michigan, Navy, Temple and Virginia. All but the Wolverines recruited the 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior as a quarterback.
A Towson native, Cockerille said he "always wanted" to play football for Maryland. He got the chance to earn his Terps offer last season after transferring from DeMatha and earning the starting quarterback job at Gilman. For the Greyhounds, Cockerille proved to be an accurate pro-style passer and a dynamic running threat.
"[The Maryland coaches] just like me as a tough kid that's mobile, can run the ball and throw," said Cockerille, who threw for approximately 1,110 yards, rushed for nearly 1,300 yards and had 26 total touchdowns as a junior. "[Maryland offensive coordinator Mike] Locksley said he'll adapt the offense to what I can do."
Under Cockerille's direction, the No. 1 Greyhounds finished the 2011 season with a 10-1 record and a win over Calvert Hall for the MIAA A Conference championship. Kenneth Goins, a Maryland-bound fullback who protected Cockerille on Gilman's title team, was ecstatic to learn that they would team up again in College Park.
"When he first heard, he just said congratulations and gave me a high-five," Cockerille said. "Then he said, 'Welcome to the family. Now let's try to get some more guys from our school up there.'"
Maryland's success with in-state players in the 2012 class "played a big role" in Cockerille's decision. With Goins at fullback and Good Counsel's Stefon Diggs and Wes Brown at wide receiver and running back, respectively, Cockerille said he'll have no shortage of weapons to work with under center.
"Guys like that want to be there, and I know I'll always want to be there," he said. "When you compete against guys you played against in high school and played with on your team, it's just an awesome feeling getting back together."
Now that he's committed, Cockerille said the Terps coaches have asked him to "do a little hometown recruiting" and keep Maryland's positive in-state momentum going. For a lifelong Maryland fan like Cockerille, selling the Terps to other prospects is something that he's happy to do.
"Growing up all I wanted to do was be a Terp," Cockerille said. "So it's a dream come true."