Playing college football for the University of Maryland had always been in the back of Gus Little's mind. Having grown up just down I-95 in Fredericksburg, Va., the inside linebacker from Massaponax High School followed two teams during his childhood: the Terps and the Virginia Tech Hokies.
By Little's junior season, coaches from all over the east coast were calling him to talk about taking his game to the college level. Two of them were Maryland linebackers coach Lyndon Johnson and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster. The inside linebacker met coach Johnson at Maryland's junior day and the two had been in contact regularly prior to attending Maryland's prospect camp on June 1.
"I've always had a good relationship with coach Johnson," Little said. "He usually recruits the Georgia area but he was the first coach I met from [Maryland].... He's a really funny coach and I've learned a lot from him at the same time so I felt it would be a really good combination."
Little, a three-star prospect by the 247sports composite, showed interest in 19 different schools. He received offers from 13 of them, but ultimately decided on Maryland on June 19. He says he felt confident he would be receiving an offer from the Terrapins going into the team's camp.
"Coach Johnson visited my school about a week before the camp started and told me everything the coaches would want to see from me to [give me] an offer," Little said. "I was listening and went into the camp... knowing exactly what I needed to do and just executed."
The Maryland assistant coaches had been impressed with Little's highlight film, but Randy Edsall wanted to see him perform in front of the coaching staff before extending an offer.
"[Coach Johnson] and coach [Studrawa] both watched my tape and really liked my tape," Little said. "[Coach Edsall] just needed to see me move around because the coaching staff has to see their middle linebackers move around before making an offer."
The three-star recruit, according to 247sports.com, says he received his offer halfway through camp but was not told of the news until he completed the second half.
"[Coach Edsall] made an offer to me before the camp was over but he hadn't officially said it to me," Little said. "He told my dad and called my head coach at Massaponax to let them know they were going to offer me a scholarship."
The 6'3", 230-pound linebacker says Edsall sold him on playing for the Terps after the two sat down face-to-face after camp ended.
"[Edsall] told me people are expecting Maryland to not do as well in the Big Ten," Little said. "But he's ready to prove them wrong.... I earned the offer from Maryland and also felt the coaches could develop me the best of any of the coaches that made me an offer."
Little, being a local prospect, plans to attend many of Maryland's home games this season and is eager to get back to College Park prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Little can't wait to get started with the Terps.
"I had a [good] feeling in my stomach when I went to the junior day," Little said. "The relationship I've built with the coaches... along with a combination of other things [made me feel] Maryland was the right fit for me. It's close to home, has really nice facilities, has plenty of different degrees you can choose from and I just felt like everything fit perfectly for what I wanted in a school."