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June 23, 2008

Goree discusses UM commitment

Some people told L.A. Goree to take his time with recruiting and make several visits before reaching a decision.

Others wanted him to end the process early by staying close to home and playing for Maryland.

Goree carefully considered both options, but chose the latter scenario Friday, committing to the Terps over offers from Illinois, West Virginia, Michigan State, Syracuse and several others.

“I had known I already wanted to come to Maryland,” Goree said. “Other colleges like West Virginia and Illinois were two great schools, but I love Maryland and that’s where I wanted to go. I took a visit up there and it’s just getting better and better. Local guys keep coming to the team and we want to win a national championship.”

Goree, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound outside linebacker from C.H. Flowers High School in Prince George's County, grew up a Terps fan, hoping for a scholarship offer ever since he realized he could play Division I football earlier in his high school career.

“Everybody kept saying ‘you shouldn’t count on Maryland giving you an offer, because they only take the best’” Goree said. “But I knew I had a good chance because I had a pretty good junior season.”

According to The Gazette, Goree recorded “157 tackles (103 solo), nine sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception” during his junior season.

Syracuse and Illinois were the first schools to offer Goree, while Maryland followed suit in early May. West Virginia came through with an offer earlier this month, and Goree even took a visit to Morgantown, W.Va. He considered taking a trip to Champaign, Ill., as well, but was already sold on playing for the school located just 15 minutes away from his home.

“[You] can win in front of your friends and family and have a good time doing it,” Goree said. “It means a lot to be the hometown guy playing there. When you play for Maryland you get to represent your city and state.”

Goree, who’s slated to play the strongside outside linebacker position for the Terps, hopes to contribute on special teams as a freshman. Goree said it’s a relief to be done with recruiting, and he can’t wait to suit up for UM.

“It’s like a relief off your shoulders ... because you know where you’re going -- you don’t have to worry about all that,” Goree said. “As a Maryland Terrapin, [it’s difficult] to think of myself as a high school senior. I’m going to think of myself as a Maryland Terrapin now.”

Click on the YouTube player for Goree’s highlight reel.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:56 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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