When it came to Maryland, Brock Dean knew he had found the complete package – a coaching staff he could trust, one of the top business schools in the country, and an opportunity to play early and often.
Maryland received their third commitment in as many days Friday, when Dean, a linebacker from the 2012 class from Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) pledged his services to the Terrapins.
“I announced it today,” Dean said in a phone interview Friday. “I had made [the decision] a while back though, I just set the date for my release and everything like that.”
Dean, one of the top 2012 linebackers in the state of Pennsylvania, chose Maryland over offers from Pittsburgh and Temple. Last season, he recorded 93 tackles, eighteen for a loss, five sacks, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles, and an interception returned for a touchdown en route to being selected to the all-state team and being named a first team Keystone Division All-Star.
Dean, who is listed at 6’1″ and 217 pounds and runs a 4.6 40 yard dash, says one of his strengths comes in the mental aspect of the game.
“I really pride myself on understanding the game, which is really the most important thing,” he said. “Understanding schemes, watching film, stuff like that. Overall, there’s a lot that you have to be able to do, you have to be able to move, and when the window opens, close it, and that’s what I pride myself on doing, finding holes, shedding blocks, and just making tackles and making plays.”
More after the jump.
The linebacker said there were three coaches heading his recruitment – Greg Gattuso, who is Maryland’s lead recruiter in the area, Keith Dudzinski, who will be Dean’s position coach in College Park, and head coach Randy Edsall.
“I knew coach Gattuso real well when he was at Pitt and I knew coach Edsall at UConn as well,” Dean said. “So it was funny that it ended up like that because I liked both of them, they’re both great guys. The coaching staff means a lot to me because those are the guys you’re going to spend most of your time with.”
Another factor in Dean’s decision was the academic strength of College Park. Maryland has one of the top ten business schools in the country, which is the educational path the rising senior intends to take.
“I’ve been (to College Park) three times now,” he said. “I love the campus, I love the atmosphere. I said back when I went there that I got this feeling in my chest that this is where I need to be. Academically, it’s great, so really, it’s just a great fit.”
Dean, who played all three linebacker positions in high school but spent most of his time last year at Will, said the Terps are planning to move him inside to the Mike position. Luckily for Dean, by the time he gets on campus there will only be five other pure linebackers on scholarship at College Park (not counting other possible 2012 recruits or players at the STAR position), so he will have an early opportunity to play, something that coach Edsall stressed in Dean’s recruitment.
“With me coming in there, there’s a chance for me to make a sudden impact for my team and possibly play, so that means a lot to me,” he said. “Coach Edsall said to me that he would like me to be a four-year starter for them, and you know it’s all about performance, so as long as I come in and perform and do my thing, which I think I will, there’s a possibility I could play right away, which would be like a dream come true for me.”
Dean said that he’s relieved to be done with the recruiting process, and also confirmed that he will not be attending any more camps.
“I’m really happy about it, and it takes some of the pressure off,” he said. “Not the pressure of training and stuff like that, because I’m always training and trying to get better, but as far as the recruiting process goes, it’s just a relief to get it under my belt going into my senior year.”
Another interesting angle brought up in the recruitment of Dean is that of his five-star teammate and good friend, defensive end Noah Spence. Spence is considering Maryland (among many, many other schools), but Dean says he won’t pressure his friend to make the same decision he did.
“He’s going to make the decision that’s best for him, and I made the decision that’s best for me,” he said. “So that’s kind of where we’ll leave that, as far as talking about it, because that’s him and that’s his decision.”
Spence aside, Maryland has gained the commitment of a great linebacking prospect and a great student who can contribute on and off the field to this program for some time.