McDonogh's Roman Braglio talks Terps pledge
For nearly two hours at the Gossett Team House in College Park on Thursday, Roman Braglio played the role of highly touted recruit and resident state expert.
“All the coaches are new here so we talked about restaurants, places to live, just normal conversation,” Braglio said. “It was just real apparent that they were not just trying to get to know me as a football player, but as a person, too.”
Braglio, a defensive end from McDonogh, said he had no intention of committing to the Terps last week. But after the sitdown with the three Maryland coaches, Braglio had a sudden change of heart.
“I kind of walked out, started thinking about it, walked back in, and [Gattuso] said, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘Coach, I want to be a Terp.’ He ran over and hugged me and picked me up, carried me to Coach Edsall.”
With his commitment, Braglio became the second member of Maryland’s 2012 recruiting class. Good Counsel offensive lineman Mike Madaras was the first on the board for the Terps just hours earlier.
Braglio, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound junior, got his start playing the game early, suiting up for his first team when he was just 8. As a 180-pound freshman, Braglio got the call to play for McDonogh’s varsity team.
“I was ready, but I wasn’t close to where I am now. I wasn’t really pushing those big kids around,” Braglio recalled. “But it definitely helped a lot just getting experience and knowing how to use your body against people bigger you. It just helps so much, just having the pressure of game time. The experience definitely helps me now.”
A defensive end and offensive tackle, Braglio hit the camp and combine circuit after his freshman year. Before his sophomore season began, the future Terp started to realize he might have a Division I future. Those thoughts were confirmed when former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen offered him a scholarship after his 10th-grade season.
Braglio -- who also had an offer from West Virginia -- was told that the Terps’ scholarship still stood after the new staff took a look at his junior film. It became clear quickly that he was a top priority for Edsall.
“Coach Edsall kind of told me, ‘Roman, you’re one of the top guys on our list right now. We kind of need to get the ball rolling for our class.’ He told me that in-state kids are what he’s going after right now. Sure, there are out-of-state kids he wants, but it’s always special for the in-state kids to play for their home school.”
Braglio is slated to play defensive end for the Terps, either as a strong-side or weak-side pass rusher. He’s excited for his senior season with the Eagles, and thankful to have wrapped up the recruiting process early.
“There was some temptation [to prolong the process],” Braglio said. “But it just kind of takes a lot of pressure off my chest to get it over with. I kind of looked at Maryland as a school and a football program, and didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be there.”