DeMatha’s Anthony McFarland was the highest rated uncommitted running back in the nation. Rivals.com ranked his third at his position. On Friday, he ended all the speculation deciding to stay close to his Hyattsville, Md. home by choosing the hometown Terrapins. He made the announcement on Snapchat.
Anthony McFarland's Snapchat commitment story concludes. Which school did he pick? pic.twitter.com/GRwxxCCeCa
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 27, 2017
For Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin and staff, nabbing McFarland is their biggest recruitment win to date. For McFarland an opportunity to play close to home was far greater than going to a more prominent program like the Hurricanes or Crimson Tide.
“I decided to commit to Maryland because I was thinking about staying home and staying close to my family,” McFarland told Rivals.com. “I have brothers and sisters that I want to help take care of that are always just a phone call away. My family will be able to come see me play.”
The 5-foot-9 all-purpose back also credited the coaching staff for helping make his decision. He went as far as saying he would not have chose Maryland had Randy Edsall still been head coach.
“The coaching staff is another reason I committed,” he continued per Rivals. “I wasn’t going to go to Maryland if Randy Edsall was still there. 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 that coaching staff together and brought them to College Park was big. With Coach Aazaar (Abdul-Rahim), I’ve been close with him since youth ball. That put them on a stepping stone as far as my recruitment and that helped me make my decision. Playing with my teammates (from DeMatha) one more time, Tino (Ellis), Terrance (Davis), Lorenzo (Harrison), and other local guys, was another reason why I decided to stay home.”
McFarland missed his senior season with a broken fibula, but that did not halt his recruitment. One of the best running backs in the nation, a Rivals250 and ESPN300 member, he rushed for more than 1,100 yards as a sophomore and had over 900 all-purpose yards in 2015.
Anthony McFarland joins one of nation's best backfields (Lorenzo Harrison & Ty Johnson) and two more good RB recruits. #Terps stacked at RB.
— Jeff Ermann (@Jeff_Ermann) January 27, 2017
He joins a slew of local high school recruits to commit to Maryland in recent years. There has been plenty before, but the recent generation of homegrown talent staying put is largely in part to a movement started by current Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs. He was five-star recruit that chose the Terps over Florida. Since then there has been a list, but a list that could not have grown stronger without the upgrade at head coach with Durkin, which McFarland noted.
McFarland is the sixth four-star commit for the 2017 class. With his commitment Maryland jumps to 13th in this year’s recruiting rankings according to Rivals.com. They are currently 16th on 247Sports.com.