McNamara’s Damian Prince talks playoff push and recruitment

October 15, 2013

For more than a week now, Damian Prince has seen the tweets and heard the same question in passing:

What did you think about the Maryland vs. Florida State game?

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Of course, the highly touted McNamara senior offensive lineman knows what that question really means, which is to say: How did the game affect your recruitment?

Being that Prince was playing in a game, he wasn’t able to watch or evaluate the teams, both of which remain on his final list of 10 schools. But Prince can admit that simply the game’s outcome, a 63-0 rout of Maryland by then-No. 8 Florida State, was enough to have some type of effect on him.

“It does make a difference and it did make me look at the Maryland situation a little differently,” Prince said in a Monday phone interview. “Any recruit that sees a team that they are interested in not only lose, but lose 63-0, if they say that has no effect on them, that’s just being dishonest.”

Prior to the Oct. 5 game, Prince said he was impressed by the Terrapins’ 4-0 record, a mark that catapulted them to the nation’s No. 25 spot. But Maryland’s bad showing against its first big challenge of the year left Prince to wonder what that could mean for the program when it moves to the Big Ten.

Highly touted McNamara senior offensive lineman Damian Prince said Maryland's blowout loss to Florida State did have an effect on him (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post).
Highly touted McNamara senior offensive lineman Damian Prince said Maryland’s blowout loss to Florida State did make him view the Terps differently (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post).

“It’s not like they were playing an out-of-conference power; this was Florida State, an ACC school and a very good team. And soon they will be playing Big Ten schools, which, no disrespect to the ACC, is a bit tougher,” Prince said. “I’m not saying that just because they lost I’m throwing them out the window because that’s not the case at all and would be ridiculous. But I will say it did make me look at things differently.”

After taking a break from the recruiting scene to focus on his senior season at McNamara, Prince has been evaluating his list as he determines which five schools he would like to officially visit. At this point, he knows he will visit Florida and Florida State, but he hasn’t decided upon the other three.

Though he hasn’t ruled any school out, Prince did say that he’s less prone to take an official visit to Maryland, being that he’s made the short trip from his house to the College Park campus quite often in the last couple years.

“I feel as though the official visits are used to go to a place that, financially, you normally wouldn’t be able to go see whether it be because of transportation costs or other expenses,” Prince said. “For any visit, I feel like you shouldn’t use an official to look at a school you’ve already seen a bunch of times before.”

With that said, Prince made sure to stress that Maryland is still a strong candidate on his list and will always be known as the school that offered him first. The Terrapins are also going after one of Prince’s good friends in Friendship Collegiate defensive back Jalen Tabor.

Prince plans to make his college announcement on February 14, which is nine days after National Signing Day. The 6-foot-6, 287-pounder chose that day to honor his late great-grandmother, who was born on Valentine’s Day and helped raise him.

In the meantime, there’s the business of helping McNamara qualify for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs for the first time in more than a decade. After a 5-0 start, the Mustangs have fallen to Good Counsel and top-ranked DeMatha, making their last three games all the more important.

“We didn’t just lose to two regular teams; we lost to two of the best teams in the state,” Prince said. “We just need to refocus and believe in one another because 5-2 isn’t a bad record. But we’re of course not satisfied. If we work to execute better and stay together, we’ll be ready come playoff time.”

NUMBER CRUNCH: 2007

The year that Surrattsville last beat Forestville on the football field. That string of five straight losses was snapped Monday night when the Hornets used a fourth-down stand to register a 22-20 win.

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Check out the latest installment of top plays:


BREAKFAST LINKS
–While prayer has become taboo within schools in recent years, this display of faith has become a commonplace act among football teams in the D.C. area. Check out Roman Stubbs’s well-written feature on the topic.

–Broad Run used a 99-yard drive to steal the momentum and surge to a 21-17 win against Tuscarora (Va.) in Monday’s make-up football action.

–See how the Post Top 20 football rankings shake out this week along with our coaches’ poll.

Click here to see who made the cut for this week’s All-Met Watch.

–St. John’s looks to turn its recent success into a prime playoff spot in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, while Churchill welcomes Good Counsel transfer Bryan Strittmatter.

–Wanya Allen used his basketball skills to block an extra point and preserve Potomac Falls’ 14-13 win against Freedom-South Riding.

–No. 3 Quince Orchard is on a roll, shutting out four of its first six opponents.

–Meade running back Kyle Evans put an exclamation mark on what’s already been a big year by rushing for a career-high 367 yards in last week’s win.

–Reservoir is moving up the Howard County football ladder.

–Sidwell Friends, which features just five seniors, is making waves this season while building a foundation for future success in the MAC football ranks.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
No. 6 Georgetown Prep at No. 10 Landon, 4:15 p.m.
Landon looks to gain some ground in the IAC soccer standings and shake off a loss in its last game when it faces first-place Georgetown Prep.

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Roman Stubbs | October 14, 2013