Forestville's Arnett on his commitment to Maryland
Earlier this week, Forestville defensive end DeOnte Arnett ran into a couple of old friends in College Park.
Arnett was visiting Maryland’s campus when he happened upon Terps freshmen tight end Devonte Campbell and wide receiver Kevin Dorsey. The trio starred on Forestville’s 2005 team, when Campbell was a senior, Dorsey a junior and Arnett a sophomore.
“I hope you commit. When you going to commit? When you going to commit?” Arnett recalled Campbell and Dorsey asking at the time.
Arnett answered those queries “two or three days ago” by verbally committing to Maryland, picking the Terps over offers from Cincinnati, Georgia, Ohio State and Tennessee. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder made his commitment public yesterday.
“It feels very good,” Arnett said. “[It] feels like there’s a lot of pressure lifted off my shoulders as far as a lot of expectations from a lot of coaches. Now I can just focus on where I want to be.”
Arnett, a four-star player and the No. 11 strongside defensive end in the country according to Rivals.com, didn’t always imagine College Park as the place he wanted to be. In fact, he initially considered leaving the state for college.
“Actually I didn’t want to stay close to home surprisingly,” Arnett said. “At the beginning I didn’t want to really be near home. But when I just looked at everything, Maryland just ended up being the place for me.”
Over time, Maryland’s positives began adding up in Arnett’s mind. He wanted to study either engineering or architecture, and Maryland had strong programs in both. Arnett felt increasingly comfortable at UM with each visit. And it didn’t hurt having Campbell and Dorsey already on campus, plus two younger siblings that wanted to see their older brother play.
Plus, Maryland was in the picture from the very beginning.
“They offered me January 15, 2008,” Arnett said. “That was my first offer, that’s why I remember the day. I was just happy because then I knew for sure that I wouldn’t have to pay for college at all and [I’d get to] play football, which a lot of people dream of but they don’t get that chance too often.”
Forestville head coach Charles Harley said Arnett, who recorded 72 tackles and 15 sacks as a junior, has talent worthy of the hype.
“His upside is huge right now,” Harley said. “He’s 6’4, 250 – he could be an interior player or a rush defensive end. ... At [the high school] level he’s relentless -- a motor that don’t stop. He’s got those long arms and a wingspan of someone 7 feet tall. He can keep people off his body, bat down passes and deflect passes, too.”
Arnett said he enjoyed recruiting initially, but tired of the process over time. He’s now taking summer classes, working out and readying for his senior year with the knowledge that he’s headed to the best place for him.
“I just ended up falling in love with Maryland.”