Maryland football is trying to expand its recruiting landscape and the commitment of Texas defensive end Mbi Tanyi in mid-June shows they can get guys from outside the immediate area. The three-star is 6’2" and 247 pounds and will be joining as member of the class of 2015.
When we last spoke with Tanyi in April, he seemed very interested in Maryland. He said Maryland’s offer had been the one to stick out to him and that the Terps were first on his list at the time. He said he decided that Maryland was the place for him after his visit at the beginning of the summer.
"I was looking at all my offers’ educations, facilities and football teams," Tanyi said. "I watched games from last year and coach interviews. Every time I watched Maryland, I remembered being there for the spring game and I always felt good about it. One day I just thought it’s that time. I told my dad and committed later on that night."
He said that part of what made Maryland stand out was the welcoming environment.
"Most coaches, they had just showed up a month or two before I got up there, and they seemed like they fit in really well," Tanyi said. "They told me why they chose Maryland for their coaching jobs. They’re still learning and trying to get to know everyone, but it worked for them. I felt like if they could get there brand new and fit in perfectly, I could."
He added the sense of dignity he noticed at Maryland also caught his attention.
"[Maryland’s] coaches had a great sense of pride," he said. "The sense of pride you see over there, like the flag colors. I saw those everywhere."
Tanyi said the education offered at Maryland was a major factor in his decision to commit.
"I was told all the opportunities I have to finish my degrees and graduate early," he explained. "That puts me in the best position to get my life started. It’s great because it really gives you a foundation for life after football."
From a football standpoint, Tanyi said Coach Edsall was the biggest reason for his commitment.
"I feel like he’s down to earth and really cares about his players," he explained. "Even recruits who he wasn’t even really pursuing, he cared about their well-being. He gets to know all of his players and wants them to be the best men they can be first and football players second."
Maryland joining the Big Ten also played a role in his decision, he said.
"I want to play the best of the best," Tanyi said. "I want to play those schools. I want my college football experience to be great."
Tanyi said Keenan McCardell, the new wide receivers coach at Maryland, was his lead recruiter. Before Tanyi committed, he said McCardell stressed to him to take his time in making the best decision. He said he didn’t pressure him to choose Maryland and wanted him to make the best choice for him and his family.
Since his commitment, Tanyi said McCardell has been telling him to focus on this coming year and being a leader for his high school team.
"He’s been saying to take care of myself, take care of my grades, to focus on the goals we set for our team this year and has emphasized my leadership so when I get to college I can use it," Tanyi said. "He says to enjoy this year because it will go fast, to stay on the books and to keep doing what I’ve been doing."
Tanyi said Coach Edsall has told him he wants him to be a leader for his class when he gets to College Park. Edsall has also told him he’s going to play defense at Maryland, he said.
"The offensive coordinators wanted me to play offense and the defensive coordinators wanted me on defense, but [Edsall] wanted me on defense," he explained.
Tanyi said he visited Maryland in April for the spring game. He said he would like to come to College Park again for another visit, preferably during the season so he can see a game. He added he doesn’t have any official plans to visit any other schools either.
"First I want to visit Maryland and that will be my first official visit," Tanyi said. "I don’t know if I’m open to going to visit other schools. I’m more worried about taking my official visit up to Maryland."