DJ Durkin is from Youngstown, a rugged city in Ohio that molded him into what he is today.
Now Durkin, as the head coach of the Maryland football program, is trying to pull some talent out of his hometown. He offered a scholarship this week to tight end Travis Koontz, a 2017 prospect at Youngstown's Boardman High School.
Maryland defensive coordinator Andy Buh visited Koontz on a road trip, and Durkin offered him personally over the phone, the player said.
Koontz holds seven other offers, he said: Iowa State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Ohio, Akron, Eastern Kentucky and hometown Youngstown State. Maryland stands out near the top already, alongside ISU, BGSU and Cincinnati. He's rated three stars and the No. 41 tight end in the country (fourth in Ohio) by Scout.
"I don't know much about Maryland," Koontz said, "but I'm going to take a visit there in the summer and I think I'll love it."
When a college football recruiter hears the phrase "tight end from Youngstown, Ohio," the scouting report that jumps to mind isn't one of an athletic pass-catcher. But Koontz looks a lot like a wide receiver on film, and he clearly has some hands on him. He's 6'4 and 240 pounds, he said, and that doesn't hurt. He also has impressive skill.
Iowa State is only nominally a Power 5 school, and Maryland is Koontz's most prestigious offer yet, but he also likes the Bearcats and Falcons quite a bit. His recruitment will be an interesting one for Maryland fans to monitor.
The Terps have one tight end, Virginia three-star Andrew Park, committed for 2017 already.