Randy Edsall just beat all the big boys for a big-time local recruit.
Good Counsel (Md.) lineman Jesse Aniebonam has committed to Maryland, choosing the Terps over offers from a litany of big-name programs including Alabama, Ohio State and Florida, among dozens of others.
Aniebonam, whose commitment announcement was aired moments ago during the nationally broadcast Good Counsel-Gilman game, spoke with InsideMDSports about his decision earlier this week.
"It's been a hard process, but what what really sold me was, I had the opportunity to build a strong relationship with the coaches down there. I have a real high comfortability level with them," said Aniebonam, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior rated the No. 102 overall prospect and sixth-best weak-side defensive end in the Class of 2014.
Maryland's had success recruiting at local power Good Counsel in recent years, largely thanks to offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, Aniebonam's primary recruiter at Maryland.
"I have a great relationship with coach Locksley. I look at it as, he's been a real big mentor to me. He's been a father figure to me throughout my recruiting process. He's really had my back," Aniebonam said.
The powerfully built, speedy pass-rusher could play early at Maryland.
"They pretty much see me at their outside linebacker hybrid position, having me rush the passer and also drop back in coverage," he said.
Aniebonam, the second-ranked player in Maryland behind Bishop McNamara five-star lineman Damian Prince – another top Terps target – has visited Maryland on several occasions. Led by Locksley the Maryland football staff made him one of its top priorities, offering a scholarship before the start of his junior year -- and before he was a household name in recruiting circles.
His commitment also breaks a mini-drought for Randy Edsall’s program at Good Counsel; the Terps signed three of Aniebonam’s former teammates, Mike Madaras, Stefon Diggs and Zach Dancel, in the 2012 class, but didn’t sign any of the Falcons’ players last year. And their other prized 2014 lineman, Sam Mustipher, committed to Notre Dame this spring.
Aniebonam said Maryland's impending move to the Big 10 also played into his decision.
"It was a real big factor. It makes room for more competition and more improvement," he said.