Matawan, NJ (Old Bridge) quarterback Artur Sitkowski became the first quarterback in the 2018 class to be offered by Maryland. The 6’4, 202-pound prospect received the offer after a standout performance at the Maryland camp earlier this week. The sophomore-to-be is looking to build upon his first stint as a high school quarterback, and is taking every opportunity to improve.
"My offseason has been going great. I’ve been training with two guys – my quarterbacks coach Matt Bastardi and my strength and conditioning coach Val Barnaby," said Sitkowski. "(Barnaby) has been getting me very fast and explosive. From the beginning of my freshman year, I have gained 20 pounds. I’m up from 185 pounds to 205. My strength has gone up tremendously. My hips have gotten looser from doing yoga and stretching often, so it really improved me."
Even though Maryland found their lead signal-caller in the class of 2016 in Dwayne Haskins, it’s never too early to look beyond that point in hopes of finding the next man up. Luckily for Maryland, Sitkowski was free to participate in their camp and the relationship coach Edsall has established with Sitkowski’s family could go a long way in the prospect’s recruitment.
"They’re a really prestigious school in the Big Ten, so I was excited to workout with them," he said. "So I went there and tried to get better. I worked on my footwork with coach Locksley and some other coaches. After the camp, they brought me in and toured the facility and talked to Coach Edsall and that’s when he offered me the scholarship. The biggest thing with my mom and Coach Edsall was the education and how important academics are. Football is over after a certain period of time and academics is something that can’t be taken away from you, so that was a huge thing about what coach Edsall was telling me."
Sitkowski’s goals of playing at the next level have been assured by the coaching staffs from Rutgers and now Maryland.
"I was just so thankful and it was a blessing," he said. "I worked so hard in the offseason and it was one of my goals to play football and to also play at the next level, and this is one of those goals coming true."
Maryland’s inaugural season in the Big Ten left a positive outlook in the eyes of recruits throughout the country, and Sitkowski sees no signs of stopping. The chance for greatness exists in the eyes of the young quarterback.
"They’re a rising program and will be a big-time contender in the Big Ten," said Sitkowski. "They’ll be up there competing for a national championship."
After seeing first-hand what College Park can offer, Sitkowski is intrigued enough to want to come back to campus very soon. Having a quick follow up visit like that could do wonders in terms of establishing a good rapport with the coaches. The coaching staff also hopes that Sitkowski’s presence at the Michigan game on October 3rd will yield similar results to last season.
"Yes, I’m going back October 3rd for the Michigan game and I’ll be going back down before the recruiting deadline is over in a couple of weeks in July."
There are two scholarships in play for Sitkowski as of right now – Rutgers and Maryland – but with an impressive frame and incredible talent at such a young age, that number will dramatically increase with more heavy hitting programs across the region and country.
"Rutgers is the hometown school. I grew up cheering for them. I loved them as a kid watching them. I love coach Flood. He’s a great coach, and a family guy," he said. "Their quarterback coach is a great coach who really knows what he’s talking about. I really have high consideration for Rutgers. I went to their spring game and went to their spring practices. I’m also hearing from Boston College, Delaware and Syracuse. I’ll also be visiting Penn State July 19th."
Sitkowski knows what he’s looking for, albeit as an underclassman. The facets of his prospective landing spot are those that will put him in a position for success on and off the field.
"I’m looking for the school I feel most comfortable at. I know I’m going to have the best academics and succeed in life."
Assessing a player’s strengths and weaknesses in such an early part of the prospect’s career are crucial, as they serve as a barometer on what needs to be improved or maintained.
"I think I’m a great leader on and off the field, I want my teammates to get better by staying after practice and making them better, I’m coachable. I’m a great leader on the field and I’m great with my teammates."
The mental aspect of the game and foot work are two parts of the game that will need to be addressed before his high school career winds down.
"I want to work on my footwork definitely and my mental approach to the game."
Sitkowski goes back and forth on the topic of making his decision. With 75% of his high school career left to be determined, it’s premature for him to hone in on a set time for his decision, but knows that anything can change at any second.
"Every day is a different story. I’m not sure if I want to wait it out or commit early and get it over with. I’ve yet to decide with that, so only time will tell."