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July 23, 2009

Former Terps recruit finds a home

Eteyen Edet's long post-high school journey to college football is finally coming to an end.

The former Maryland linebacker commitment signed with North Carolina A&T earlier this month. The Football Championship Subdivision school, which is located in Greensboro, N.C., competes in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

“I feel great,” Edet said. “I feel like I have a roof over my head. I’m not a lost child in the streets no more. I know where I’m going. Everything is there for me -- a great school, a great program and a great coaching staff. Everything is there for me to succeed. I just have to exercise that opportunity.”

Edet, a Staten Island, N.Y., native, committed to Maryland in Jan. 2008 after a standout senior season at Friendly High in Fort Washington. He signed with the Terps one month later, but came up short of NCAA qualifying standards and was placed at Milford Academy in New York for a year of prep school. Edet’s Milford stint was short-lived thanks to a disagreement with an assistant coach. Maryland cut ties with Edet shortly after he left Milford.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder ended up at North Carolina Tech in Charlotte and had a successful post-grad year on the field. But Edet still came up short on achieving a qualifying SAT score. He returned home to New York after the semester. As Signing Day 2009 came and went, Edet remained in limbo.

“[After that] I went back to Maryland and studied for the SAT,” Edet said. “I bounced back and forth to Maryland (where his aunt lives). A lot of the coaches from my senior year [at Friendly] helped out a lot. New York is my family, but down there is where I take care of a lot of my business.”

After months of preparation, Edet finally received some long-awaited good news. In late April, he received a qualifying SAT score.

“I was at a loss for words,” Edet said. “I didn’t know what to say. I was joyful. I thanked God and moved on to the next step. And that was finding a home.”

Edet said several Division I schools -- including Ohio, Akron, East Carolina and North Carolina -- kept tabs on him throughout his academic ordeal. But by the time he was fully qualified, he “couldn’t get in contact” with any of those coaches. By the end of June, it became clear that Edet was running out of options. Thankfully for him, North Carolina A&T got in contact and Edet was impressed with what the program had to offer.

“The head coach called me and he’s a real humble, sincere man,” Edet said. “He’s a deacon in his church, and I don’t know. It just felt right.”

Edet is spending the remainder of his summer working out in Staten Island. He reports to North Carolina A&T on August 2, and said he couldn’t be more excited to finally begin his college career.

“I know I’m going lower than a lot of people expected after committing to an ACC school out of high school,” Edet said. “But it’s not even about that. It’s about getting a free education, playing football for four years and advancing as a man in life.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:49 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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