Brock Dean: Terps pledge 'a dream come true'
Throughout his athletic career, Brock Dean has always been a little bit ahead of the curve.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker from Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg, Pa., joined the Crusaders’ powerhouse varsity program as a freshman. He was entrenched as the team’s starting middle linebacker and de facto captain of the defense by the time junior year rolled around.
Dean was similarly precocious when it came to recruiting. The rising senior knew exactly what he wanted early on in the process.
Maryland has “always been on my radar,” said Dean, who has made three visits to College Park. “They were one of the first schools that started recruiting me. I always was kind of – I don’t want to say I knew – but it was always a school I was highly considering.”
On Friday, Dean publicly announced what Bishop McDevitt coach Jeff Weachter said Maryland coaches have known for a month: the three-star linebacker was a Terp.
“It feels great,” said Dean, who also considered Pittsburgh and Temple. “It’s like a dream come true for me. I just feel really blessed that I can make the decision and be in this position to make the decision.”
Maryland made it clear from the beginning that Dean was a top priority for its 2012 class. Defensive line coach Greg Gattuso was Dean’s main recruiter, but Terps coach Randy Edsall and linebackers coach Keith Dudzinski were in contact with Dean “equally as much.”
“It made me feel special -- all those guys recruiting me and just the type of men that they are,” Dean said. “They’re great guys. And that’s really what was one of the things that was most important to me in recruiting. The coaching staff is who you’re spending most of the time with, who you have relationships with. I was able to develop and form good relationships.”
As a junior, Dean recorded 93 tackles (including 18 for loss), five sacks, five forced fumbles, four pass breakups and an interception returned for a touchdown. An all-conference and all-state performer, Dean helped Bishop McDevitt to the Pennsylvania Class AAA championship game. The Crusaders lost 28-27 to Allentown Catholic Central, but Dean was an integral part of their success.
“He can do a little bit of everything,” Weachter said. “He’s a very good edge rusher. Playing linebacker, in his position he steps up and fills a hole and is very physical. He’s a very explosive tackler. ... The Maryland coaches and other coaches recruiting him really liked his versatility. … He’s really a leader of our whole football team.”
Dean’s first visit to Maryland was in March during spring practice. The minute he stepped on campus, Dean said he “got a feeling in my chest.” Academically, Maryland was highly ranked in Dean’s major of choice – business entrepreneurship. And in his interactions with the Terps players and coaches, Dean couldn’t have felt more comfortable.
“I really took to the coaching and took a lot away from what they told me and how they treat me,” Dean said. “It’s kind of like a family atmosphere. That’s another thing that really jumped out at me. Coach Edsall is a really great guy. It’s a great situation. They don’t have too many linebackers. They have five on scholarship. There will be a chance [for me to] go up there and make an impact.”
Dean, who is likely slotted for the MIKE linebacker spot in college, said he is relieved to have made his decision, and excited to focus on his senior season at Bishop McDevitt. After that, he’ll make sure he is well prepared heading into his college career at Maryland.
“I’m a team guy they can expect to come in and really work hard,” Dean said. “I want to just play to the best of my ability and contribute to my team and make an impact for Maryland.”