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February 24, 2009

Va. cornerback discusses commitment to UM

It didn't take much convincing for Jeremiah Wilson to commit to Maryland.

The Winchester, Va., running back/defensive back spent the first eight years of his life in Woodlawn, idolizing Juan Dixon and the Maryland basketball team. He later moved to Virginia and became a fan of the Terps football program. When Maryland offered him a scholarship about two weeks ago, it didn’t take long for the 6-foot, 180-pounder to accept.

“Before they offered me, I kept wondering every day if I was going to get offered by anybody,” Wilson said. “As soon as I got the offer, it took a lot of stress and weight off my shoulders. ... I knew if Maryland offered me I was going to take it because I wanted to go there since I was a little kid. Their academics are very good and it just seemed like a good fit for me.”

Wilson pledged to UM on Saturday. He also received interest from Duke, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He said there was no temptation to wait around and see which other schools might eventually offer.

“I talked to my dad and my head coach about waiting a little bit, but I just knew that if anyone else offered me they wouldn’t show me as much interest as Maryland has been showing the past couple of weeks,” Wilson said. “They seemed very interested and well organized in what they want. So there was no need for me to wait.”

Wilson made his debut on the Handley High School varsity team as a freshman, playing running back and cornerback. He’ll likely start out at cornerback for UM. Handley coach Tony Rayburn thinks that’s a good spot for Wilson.

“He’s got good speed, he’s got good instincts, he turns and runs well, he’s a physical kid and he’s been in the weight room since the eighth grade,” Rayburn said. “He can do all of the things [you want in a cornerback]. He can come up and support the run and cover someone deep.”

Wilson said he recorded approximately 80 tackles and four interceptions as a junior, while rushing for about 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns. Handley went 10-2 this season, falling in the regional final to Monticello. Rayburn said Wilson’s breakout junior year wasn’t surprising.

“He’s not concerned with his statistics, he’s just concerned with winning,” Rayburn said. “His first two years we had a pretty good quarterback. We [ran a lot of our offense] from the gun, and he was pretty much a blocking back at 160 pounds. He just did what we asked him to do. He knew his time would come. So you couldn’t ask for a better kid.”

With Winchester less than two hours away from College Park, and several relatives in Randallstown, Wilson expects many visitors when it comes time for him to suit up for the Terps. Until then, he’s just excited to have realized his dream.

“It was like a dream come true,” Wilson said. “Just to grow up watching my favorite team play and having them be my first offer, it was very exciting.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:40 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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