For 2016 Virginia lineman (Episcopal) Joe Goff, receiving a scholarship offer from the University of Maryland served as quite a surprise. As his recruitment picked up, so did the interest from the Terrapin coaching staff as they extended an offer on March 16th. Having the opportunity to stay close to home and experience Maryland Pride for himself is something that Goff can envision.
"I was surprised," said Goff. "I was talking to a few coaches from their staff and I wasn't really expecting an offer until they really started expressing a lot of interest, so when the offer came, I was surprised but excited too. Maryland really wasn't a school that I was considering until they offered me. With their academics, it seems like it's a good school. It's a place I can see myself for four years. I was really excited about it."
With the offer under his belt, Goff is carefully analyzing not only the Terrapin football program, but the standout academic programs Maryland has to offer. Goff's lofty goals on and off the field could be a reason why he chooses the Terps.
"Well, they have the education that I'm looking for when deciding on a college," he said. "I'm looking to be a teacher or maybe a psychologist, and they seem to have really good programs education wise. I also like the tradition of the football team. Education comes first to me, but I definitely like the football side of things with Maryland."
Being recruited mostly by wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell has had its perks with Goff. McCardell has given Goff the freedom to choose which position he would like to play, and the coaching staff seems certain they can accommodate to his request.
"Coach (Keenan) McCardell is my lead recruiter. We were discussing where I'd play and he was saying either way would work for him," Goff said. "He said I could choose. I'd like to be a defensive tackle in college. He said great and that they could really use me up front."
Goff also sees the transition to a 4-3 as a positive for his on-field goals.
"I was looking into that, and my high school runs the same scheme with a 4-3," he said. "I think that I would be the 3-technique. There is always room to put on more weight, but I see myself as more of a speedy type of player, so I'm more of a 3-technique player, but if not, then definitely more as an end."
After some quick initial thoughts on Maryland, Goff is intrigued enough to take a visit to College Park to obtain more insight on what all is available to him.
"I'm supposed to be visiting in the next couple of weeks, but it's tough because of school," he said." I have to work out a couple of things with rides, but I'm looking forward to getting up there for a visit."
Goff, the 12th-ranked player in Virginia by the 247Sports Composite, realizes that there is more to come with his recruitment, but states that a pair of schools currently stands out.
"I wouldn't say there is much of a leader yet, but I think Navy and Virginia Tech are standing out to me," he said. "Navy, being a service academy has always been a dream of mine and then I got all of these great D1 offers, so I'm looking at other places too. I love how they treat the recruits. I visited Virginia Tech and I love the history there. Coach Foster has been pushing the family culture and I love how they treat their recruits and how they get people in the NFL. I don't have a top-5 right now, but Navy and Virginia Tech are definitely up there, and Maryland is as well."
As the prospect's senior season approaches, he is hopeful of narrowing his list down by summer time.
"I'd say by June I should have a distinguished top-5 list that I'm not looking back on and those will be the schools I focus on. Maybe I'll even have a top-3, and visit those schools and make a decision. Once I get to a point where I don't think any more offers will be coming my way, I'll focus on five schools and make my decision from there."