With the move to the Big Ten, Maryland wants to expand its brand, which means recruiting countrywide. There is no better place to start than Texas, and the Terps have locked their sights on Houstonite Mbi Tanyi to help them grow nationally. The 6'3", 245 pound defensive lineman is a player Maryland hopes will join their class of 2015.
Maryland was the first school to offer Tanyi, he said, which is part of why he currently has the Terps ranked number one in his list of schools. His second school is Tulsa, followed by Louisiana Tech, the only other school to offer him, with Houston and Oklahoma rounding out his list, he told Testudo Times in an interview.
Tanyi will be taking a visit to Maryland on April 11 for the spring game, he said.
"I was supposed to get up to Maryland for Junior Day but I missed it," he said. "Now I can go talk to the coaches face-to-face."
He said Maryland has been talking to him a lot, but the in-person interaction he will get with the coaches during his visit will be important.
"[Maryland] mostly tells me they want to get me up there so they can actually talk to me," Tanyi explained. "When we do talk on the phone it's mostly about how I'm doing, what sports I'm playing, how my family is doing and education. Sometimes it'll be about how I'm feeling about the spring and where I want to play."
Tanyi added that how the spring game goes will be significant to him.
"I hope when I get to visit I get to see how the players act and how they are," he said. "How the players act and behave is the result of the coaches and how they've coached them. If they perform well on the field then I'll know the coaches did solid."
An aspect of Maryland which has drawn Tanyi's attention is College Park's academics.
"I'm thinking about majoring in pharmacy, but I was talking to my mom and now I'm thinking about pre-med," Tanyi explained. "[Maryland] has a good pharmacy school. That's one reason why I wanted to get up there as soon as I could."
He said he likes that Maryland is joining the Big Ten because of his competitive nature.
"I'm a big competitor," he said. "I like to compete with people who are the best or who think they're the best so I can know where I stand. I wouldn't like to be in a noncompetitive conference that doesn't have athletes who perform. I'm trying to compete at the highest level."
However, Tanyi said he would rather focus on playing football than be in the limelight.
"To me all of those bigger schools are flashy," he explained. "I'm just trying to be the best I can be."
He reluctantly said his best attribute is his work ethic.
"On the field I get what needs to be done, done," he said. "If my coach says go block then I'm going to block to the best of my abilities. If he says I need to get faster then I'm going to get faster."
Tanyi stressed, though, that he prefers to not be in the spotlight and is going try to be the best he can no matter where he ends up.
"I don't like to talk about myself too much," he explained. "I'm not above average in height or weight, but what I do best is I do everything to the best of my ability. I strive to be the best I can be and that's all I can say about myself. I don't want to boast, that's not the kind of person I am."
He said he won't be making a final college decision until at least after the end of his senior regular season.
"I would like to focus on my high school career," Tanyi added. "I would like to get better with my teammates. I don't want to jump the gun or anything."
Tanyi said if he does choose Maryland, he wants Terps fans to know he will proudly represent the black and gold.
"If Maryland does come up as my final choice, then I will play my hardest and I'll wear Maryland anywhere," he explained. "[If I choose Maryland] I hope I have a good four years over there and they welcome me in."