While the people at the University of Maryland and Randallstown High celebrate the Rams' running back Larry Washington's decision to attend Maryland, Washington will be at the hospital today as his mother undergoes surgery.
For the past two years, since Grace Price and her husband separated, Washington and his mother have been there for each other. Just as he will be at her side today, Washington's decision yesterday assured that he can remain close to his mother.
"The school I chose, I feel I have a good opportunity to go in and get a lot of playing time and stay close to my mother because I love her. I'm going to Maryland," Washington said yesterday, announcing his decision at an afternoon news conference at Randallstown.
Washington, the most highly recruited running back from the Baltimore area in years, also visited Clemson, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Michigan before completing his visits with a trip to Maryland last weekend.
Washington ran for what is believed to be a state-record 2,275 yards and 34 touchdowns and led Randallstown to a 13-0 record and the state Class 4A football title.
Washington became the second of the three running backs selected to The Sun's All-Metro first team to commit to Maryland. Wilde Lake'sRaphael Wall, who also led his team to a 13-0 record and a state title (Class 2A) last fall, gave the Terps an oral commitment Thursday.
The Terps also got oral commitments yesterday from Eugene Gray, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker from Washington's Archbishop Carroll, and Rick Budd, a 6-2, 219-pound fullback from Fort Hill, who averaged 5.9 yards a carry and scored 13 touchdowns last season.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association football signing period begins Wednesday.
With Wall, Budd and four backs remaining from last season, Maryland is deep at the position, but Washington said he is confident he will get playing time and does not expect to be redshirted.
"I know those guys, and I think I'm just as good," said Washington, a 5-10, 205-pounder who is noted for his speed, strength and balance.
Although Maryland corraled two of the area's top offensive players and is close to getting another (Dunbar tight end Kevin Washington), the Terps lost out on the area's top defensive player.
Gilman linebacker Jamal Cox, The Sun's Defensive Player of the Year, has committed to Georgia Tech, said his coach at Gilman, Sherm Bristow.
Gilman's Keith Kormanik, 6-0, 182, a second-team All-Metro selection at split end who was also a punter, place-kicker and defensive back, has committed to Boston College, Bristow said.
Also, Poly defensive back Lenard Marcus has given an oral commitment to Stanford.