Darnell Savage came into his junior season at Caravel Academy in Delaware with high hopes for his future. Colleges were calling for his services for the 2015 recruiting class, and his team had promises of competing for a state championship.
Savage's season wouldn't end on a high note, however, as he suffered a broken leg midway through his season, an injury that could have prevented some colleges from taking a deeper look at the talented prospect. Maryland was not a team that was shied away by the injury. In fact, they continued their strong courtship of the athlete.
"Maryland was the school that was there from the beginning. Even through the injury, they never stopped keeping in touch," Savage said of Maryland's recruitment. "I have had a comfort level with the coaches. They made it feel like home."
Savage is considered a three-star recruit by the 247sports composite, ranking as the 77th-best cornerback in the nation and the second-best prospect in the state of Delaware. Just a little under two weeks after the commitment of talented cornerback Kareem Ali, Savage gave his pledge to Randy Edsall and the Terps, helping solidify the future of the cornerback position.
"Kareem and I should have some fun playing together in the future," Savage said. "I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet, but we followed each other on Twitter and I look forward to getting to know him soon."
From the beginning, Savage seemed comfortable with Maryland. They were one of the first schools to come calling, and through all of the adversity he faced, Maryland never wavered in their pursuit. Even with the comfort level from the beginning, it was only recently that Savage knew he wanted to become a Maryland Terrapin.
"I didn't really know for certain when I wanted to commit, but when I took my visit on Monday, it felt like home," he said. "They have been with me since the beginning, and on Monday, I felt comfortable enough to make the commitment."
Savage has spent months recovering from his leg injury, and the prognosis is good to this point. "The recovery is going great. I actually feel stronger and faster than I did before, so this might actually be a good thing to happen" Savage said of his recovery process.
Savage will look to regain his form and have the season he could have had a year ago had it not been for the injury. He has some clear-cut goals heading into the season, and he refuses to fall short of those goals.
"First and foremost, I want to finish out strong academically. I want to practice strong every day and help my teammates become better. The ultimate goal, in terms of football, is to win the state championship. If you don't have the top set as your goal, there is no point in even playing" Savage said of his upcoming senior season and academic year.
What does Randy Edsall want Savage to work on in his final high school campaign?
"He gave nothing specific," Savage said. "He knows me and I know him. We have a great relationship. He knows I work hard."
With his full commitment to Maryland, Savage expects to make some trips to watch his new school play in the fall. With their new move to the Big Ten, Savage is excited to see how the team stacks up to the competition, and where he can help upon his arrival next season.