Highly regarded running back Anthony McFarland committed to the University of Maryland Monday afternoon via Twitter, adding to an already stout Class of 2017 in College Park.
McFarland, who hails from DeMatha Catholic just down the road from the University of Maryland, is dubbed a 4-star recruit by practically every online recruiting website. Maryland’s 2017 recruiting class jumped from No. 20 to No. 16 in the nation after McFarland’s commitment, via 247sports.
“Like I tell everybody, man, College Park is changing,” McFarland said in an interview with MSA in Nov. 2016. “The whole atmosphere. The whole coaching staff is cool.”
I AM 100% COMMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND …. ENOUGH SAID … pic.twitter.com/HEw1HOwn6c
— 5️⃣ (@AnttMacc_) January 27, 2017
The commitment to College Park caught majority of people by surprise, as the University of Miami seemed to be the front-runner based on how often McFarland interacted with sources pertaining to the college. He exchanged numerous of tweets with Ray Lewis, a former Hurricane.
According to ESPN, McFarland (5-foot-9, 205 pounds) was the best running back left unsigned in the Class of 2017.
Alabama, Miami and Penn State were the other three colleges McFarland considered.
In an interview with Yahoo Rivals, McFarland said he picked Maryland because he wanted to stay close to his family and the revived coaching staff with the likes of rising second-year Terrapin coaches, Durkin and offensive coordinator Walt Bell, swayed his outlook on College Park tremendously. Durkin took over for Randy Edsall, who got fired in the fall of 2015.
“I wasn’t going to go to Maryland if Randy Edsall was still there,” McFarland told Yahoo Rivals. “No disrespect to him, but I just felt like things weren’t going the right way when he was up there. He wasn’t handling things the right way.
“When Coach Durkin and the staff came in, it really impressed me. The way he put the coaching staff together and brought them to College Park was big.”
In 2014, McFarland ran for 1,124 yards in just 111 carries as a sophomore. In 2015, he compiled more than 900 yards in DeMatha’s crusade to a third straight WCAC crown.
Of the 29 commits in the Class of 2017, 17 are from the DMV. And of the 109 players on last year’s Terrapins football roster, 61 were from the DMV region. Maryland is fresh off a 6-7 season and lost to Boston College in the Quick Lane Bowl, 36-30.
When asked in November if he was willing to adhere a rebuilding process to join the stay-at-home movement, McFarland’s answer was unhesitant.
“No doubt,” he said. “I think about it all the time. … It takes time to rebuild a team. You’re not going to rebuild a team in one year, you know? It doesn’t happen like that. Like, Nick Saban, it took six years for him to rebuild his team. I feel like they’re in a good place right now.”
Now McFarland is reunited with six of his former teammates, and wants to “build something together like we did at DeMatha.”
For those who don’t know, DeMatha has won the past four WCAC championships, and is nationally ranked by numerous of worldwide polls year after year.
“I want everybody in the DMV to stay home,” McFarland told Yahoo Rivals. “I just want those young kids to think about staying home and playing in front of their family and filling up that College Park stadium again.”