New Terps QB commitment talks Maryland
Growing up in Prince George’s County and graduating from Gwynn Park High School, Harold Bass held a longstanding affinity for all things Maryland.
So when his son, Stockbridge, Ga. quarterback Tyler Bass had the opportunity to take an official visit to College Park last weekend, the elder Bass was happy to tag along.
“He loved it,” Tyler Bass said of his father. “He’s from PG County … so he enjoyed going home and was excited going to Maryland. It was the school he wanted to go to, but he went to Tuskegee [University in Alabama]. But he lived in PG County his whole life, so he was happy [when I told him] I was going to Maryland.”
Bass committed to the Terps on Saturday night during dinner at Maryland’s student union. Maryland started heavily recruiting Bass during the late fall.
Bass also seriously considered Louisville, Western Kentucky and Memphis. The latter two actually wanted Bass to start as a true freshman, according to Stockbridge head coach Steve Collins.
But Bass was less concerned with how soon he could get on the field, and more focused on the academics of each school. With a 3.3 grade point average and an 830 on his SAT, Bass was fully qualified per NCAA requirements. But that wasn’t enough for the Terps’ staff, according to Bass.
“It was the only school that asked me to do better on my SAT score,” Bass said. “Everyone else said I was qualified. That showed Maryland was looking at me more as a man than a football player.”
So Bass retook the SAT and gave the ACT a shot. When the scores came back, Bass saw a 110-point improvement in the SAT in addition to notching a 20 on the ACT.
“I called [offensive line] coach [Tom] Brattan and I actually told him I got a 20 on the ACT and he was like, ‘that’s real good.’ He was really happy I did better.”
Brattan, Bass’ recruiter, was instrumental in wooing the 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback from Georgia to College Park.
“Coach Brattan recruited me,” Bass said. “He’s a cool guy. He’s a real good guy. He’s just down to earth, a really good guy. Just laid back, chill, that’s coach Brattan all the way.”
As for Bass’ game, Collins said his starting quarterback for the past two seasons possesses talents that could be molded to fit just about any offensive system.
“He’s a dual-threat type quarterback,” Collins said. “He ran for a lot of yards and threw for a lot of yards. He’s very strong. ... But he can adapt to probably a [number of different systems]. He’s a multifaceted guy who can do a lot of things.”
Bass started two years at quarterback for the Stockbridge varsity, going 99-of-181 for 1,203 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions, while rushing for 606 yards and 11 touchdowns on 81 carries during his senior season.
Bass has been backed by a rather vocal, passionate cheering section of family and supporters during his high school football years, so there might be a bit of an adjustment period being so far away from home.
But if that first start at quarterback comes at Maryland, Bass can expect a similarly fervent fan base.
“It’s been said and planned that for my first start, my mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, sister and friends are going to get an RV to come see me,” Bass said. “I’m sure my mom, she’ll come to just about every game. Other ACC games are not that far of a drive [from home].”
Still, the distance doesn’t bother Bass at all. He has an aunt in Reisterstown, a father familiar with the area and excitement for the school and program that overrides any such concerns.
“I can bring some southern hospitality. Maryland is diverse, so I’m sure I’m not the only southern guy there. ... [But] I feel welcome there and I feel at home.”