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McDonogh’s Trader commits to Maryland for lacrosse and football

McDonogh’s Dante Trader plays midfield on the lacrosse team in addition to playing wide receiver and defensive back on the football field. He will be taking his talents to Maryland to play both sports.

Trader, a junior, made his commitment to the lacrosse program well before he received an offer to play football. He is rated as a five-star midfielder, according to Inside Lacrosse and loves what Maryland brings to him.

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“I just look forward to making bonds with Coach [John] Tillman, who’s the lacrosse coach there,” Trader said. “I love what the lacrosse team stands for and the brotherhood there. That’s the main reason why I committed. I’m looking forward to going there and to develop myself as a lacrosse player.”

Meanwhile on the football side, Trader leads the team in receiving yardage (466) and receiving touchdowns (6). Despite his talent on the offensive side of the football, Trader has been recruited as a defensive back for Mike Locksley’s Terps.

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Much of Maryland’s homegrown high school football players have advocated for other stars to stay in-state. Trader is no different, as the two-sport athlete has looked at Maryland as his dream school since childhood despite originally being from Delaware. He made his commitment last Saturday.

“It’s fun being part of the culture that [Locksley] wants to build there and staying home is a big thing for me and for them,” Trader said. “It’s something that should be done and it’s going to help Maryland become the best team around.”

Trader shares a bond with his McDonogh football coach Hakeem Sule, who played linebacker for the Terps from 2006-09. The Terps boast five players on their football team that are from McDonogh.

“It’s really exciting,” Sule said. “Obviously at University of Maryland, I had a great four years there as my alma mater. So, it’s always great to see McDonogh kids go there and excel in the classroom and on the field.

“For Dante, his recruiting — he was committed for lacrosse before, but because of his ability on the field and what he’s been able to achieve this year, he’s put himself in a position to get a scholarship for football as well. Other schools have been taking interest in him for football as well, but Dante knew in his heart that Maryland was the school for him since he was a little kid.”

After transferring from Delmar after his sophomore season, Trader has made his mark felt immediately, being part of an 11-0 team that will face Mount Saint Joseph (9-2) in the MIAA A Conference championship on Saturday at Archbishop Spalding.

“He has been a tremendous leader,” Sule said. “Right now when you look at our stats for the season, he leads the team in interceptions (6) and he’s one of our top receivers – I think he’s second in the team in receptions for the season.

“For Dante, he’s kind of the coordinator of the secondary. He’s the guy that gets everyone lined up and he’s the guy that sets the tone in terms of our big playmaking defense.”

Being a two-sport athlete has gone pretty smoothly for Trader. However, as the time commitment to athletics increases in college, so does his workload on the academic side. He thinks his ability to play both sports and succeed in the classroom will carry over to college.

“I just look forward to having an impact on both teams, creating bonds with them and grinding all of my four years of college,” Trader said. “It’s going to be tough, but I’ve been doing this for so long.

“As soon as I go to college, all of that’s going to be ramped up because you have harder classes, you have to have more dedication and have to buy in more. So, it’s going to be a little more amped up for me, but I should be fine for the four years I’m there.”

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