Del. OL Evan Mulrooney on his UM commitment
Evan Mulrooney admits there's only a modest amount of size sprinkled throughout his family tree.
At 6 feet 4, 285 pounds, Mulrooney is the biggest in a family that includes his 6-foot-1 father, his "pretty short" mother, and a 6-foot-2 grandmother who, in her prime, was built like "a house."
While Mulrooney, an offensive tackle from the Salesianum School in Wilmington, Del., was the tallest member of his family, he didn't have the weight to match. That changed during his sophomore year, when Mulrooney's football coach informed him that he would move from tight end to defensive tackle. From there, a 65-pound weight gain ensued.
"I stuck to a lot of high-calorie, high-protein [foods]. It was a healthy-fat diet, eating every two hours, [ducking out of] class to eat second period," Mulrooney said. "I was just trying to get bigger and stronger. I was a pretty lean kid before I put that weight on. I didn't put too much fat on, so I was happy about that. I was just a little girly man. I needed to do that."
By adding that weight, Mulrooney transformed himself from a pretty good high school tight end to an impact player on the Salesianum defensive line and a Division I recruit on the offensive line. Maryland and North Carolina State extended scholarship offers, and on Saturday, Mulrooney decided to commit to the Terps.
"They were the first school to offer," Mulrooney said. "From the get go, they said they liked me for my athleticism. They weren't sugarcoating anything. They saw everything they needed to be sold on me. ... Some coaches would say, 'We have doubts about you. Get to campus and we'll check you out some more.' People that weren't sold on me, I think they won't ever be. But Maryland had faith in me the whole time, and I had faith in them. It worked for the best."
Playing left tackle, Mulrooney helped Salesianum to a 10-2 record and the Delaware Division I state championship. The Maryland coaching staff, however, recruited Mulrooney to play center. During his visit to College Park last weekend, one Terps assistant brought him into the coaches' office and pointed out that his name stood alone on their wish list at center for the class of 2011.
"They're just like, 'You have a good shot at contending for the spot when you come.' I don't think I would've got that anywhere else. If I refused that, I would've been dumb. It's just a no-brainer, so I said 'I'll be a Terp.' Then the coaches took me around [introducing me as] the newest Terp. My hand is still kind of sore from shaking hands, but it's cool."
For Mulrooney, there wasn't any temptation to prolong the recruiting process. A self-proclaimed "straight shooter," Mulrooney said he liked the no-nonsense approach of Maryland's staff, particularly offensive line coach Tom Brattan. Once he arrives in College Park next year, Mulrooney said he plans on showing the Terps staff that their faith in him was warranted.
"They can look forward to seeing a manimal out there, a guy that won't give up," Mulrooney said. "I'll do what they want. I'll give them what they want, and I hope that's going to be wins."