Even though he grew up an hour away from College Park, Richy Anderson wasn't always destined to play football at Maryland.
Anderson, the son of former New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys fullback Richie Anderson, considered offers from Boston College, East Carolina, Rutgers, Temple and Wake Forest. And although Maryland was the first school to offer Anderson, the Demon Deacons were in prime position for much of the three-star prospect's recruitment -- until the Terps went on an in-state recruiting binge and sold Anderson on the value of a Maryland degree.
"I looked at Maryland and watched Coach [Randy] Edsall and all these guys from Maryland and D.C.," commit to the Terps, Anderson said. "It was just an attraction to go along with the school and the degree."
Late last week, Anderson became Maryland's eighth commitment in the 2013 class from Maryland or D.C. In the six days that have passed since his pledge, the rising senior from Thomas Johnson High in Frederick hasn't doubted his decision a bit.
"I feel like I made the right decision for my life," Anderson said. "After a few days, I thought my mind would second-guess it. But I think with all the support around me, that everybody supports Maryland, and all the Terps fans [have been] making me feel comfortable in what I decided to do, I'm glad I did it. I feel like I made the right decision."
A 6-foot, 182-pound running back and wide receiver, Anderson is rated the No. 22 player in Maryland and the No. 20 all-purpose back nationally according to Rivals.com. A Washington Post All-Met honorable mention selection as a junior, Anderson accumulated almost 1,500 yards of total offense and 12 touchdowns. With the Terps, he'll have a chance to play slot receiver and get the occasionally carry.
"For them, I'll be more of the Percy Harvin role," Anderson said. "I'll be a receiver, come out of the backfield, fly sweeps and run zones, stuff like that. I can play anything on the offensive side of the ball. It's a good opportunity. … I'm thankful that I played receiver for two years. It gives me different options at the next level to move around. I think I have a lot of value for a lot of teams, especially in the ACC with their style of play."
Anderson landed his Maryland offer as a sophomore after the coaching staff saw him play in a 7-on-7 tournament. At the time, Anderson said he "kind of thought, 'This is where I'm going.'" But over the next several months, he observed his older teammates' recruitments and took notes on what mattered most to them. While Maryland didn't remain on top for the duration of his recruitment, the Terps stood out in the end to Anderson because of what he said was the perfect balance of athletics and academics.
"I want the opportunity to go to the NFL and go somewhere I can develop and play," he said. "Maryland, with [offensive coordinator Mike] Locksley and the system he's running, I feel that's the place that will get me the most ready to play in the NFL.
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"Another aspect is I want to major in criminal justice and criminology. [Maryland has] one of the top programs in the world for that. I think that having ... the opportunity to go the NFL and develop as a player, and the opportunity to be a criminology major and come out and be right near D.C. and have a great job, I couldn't go wrong with the decision."