D’Sean Cummings had always viewed his recruitment as a marathon. After the Douglass defensive end finished his high school career with a loss in the Maryland 2A final on Dec. 1, he expected to use at least four of his allotted five official visits and then make his pick Wednesday on National Signing Day.
The finish line appeared sooner than Cummings had planned with a visit to Towson last month. The second-team All-Met orally committed to the Tigers on Dec. 17, cancelling planned trips to Ohio, William & Mary and Richmond.
“I told every coach who recruited me, ‘I’m waiting for someone to pop out and wow me,’ ” Cummings said, “and that’s what happened at Towson.”
Towson has come on strong on the field of late under fourth-year Coach Rob Ambrose. The Tigers won nine games in 2011 to qualify for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and then posted seven wins this fall, earning national attention for a competitive loss at LSU in September.
Local players, including Cummings, have taken notice. The Tigers added a commitment from Northwestern running back Darius Victor this week, joining a recruiting class that is also expected to include Maret defensive tackle Tre Bowens, DeMatha safety Brian Charles, McDonough wide receiver James Harrell, Watkins Mill cornerback Dontay Hears and Reservoir linebacker James Simms.
Cummings said Towson has come up with a convincing recruiting pitch, giving players a chance to play high-level football close to home. On the weekend Cummings took his official, the Tigers also welcomed Charles, Wise All-Met lineman Antonio Harris and Union City (N.J.) quarterback Isaiah Diaz-Mays.
All of those players except Harris ended up committing to Towson, and he had planned to pick the school before a strong visit to Massachusetts last weekend.
For Cummings, the deciding factor was the chance to work with defensive line coach Rubin Carter, a longtime college and pro assistant who played 12 seasons in the NFL. Carter’s son, Andre, played five years with the Redskins and recently finished his 12th season in the league.
While Cummings took the mystery out of his pick, he said he’s looking forward to officially signing on Wednesday, so he can get an individual workout plan from Carter. He’ll begin taking classes during the summer session alongside many of his new teammates and hopes to avoid red-shirting next fall.
“It’s a good group we have now,” Cummings said. “I feel that we, as a recruiting class, can work hard and take over the [CAA] in a couple years. Hopefully, we can make sure the dream Coach Ambrose has of a national championship becomes viable.”