Carl Buchholz was always the strongest brother in the household, fierce on the wrestling mat and a bear on the football field. He, Ryan and Erik spent their childhood playing basketball on the outdoor court two minutes down the street or in the driveway, and the backyard grass was a perfect location for touch football. Not tackle. Someone might have gotten hurt.
“He was always the biggest, toughest guy out there,” Erik said of Carl, a heavyweight wrestler at Maryland who also walked onto the football team as a fullback this season. “For wrestling, he has basically all the records, football he was always the biggest, most physical guy. He likes contact. He likes bowling people over.”
This particular trait runs in the family. Erik plays tackle for James Madison. Cousin Dan Buchholz is a sophomore offensive lineman for Duquesne. But the youngest, Ryan, might wind up being the most successful football player of everyone. A junior defensive end at Great Valley High in Malvern, Pa., he currently boasts seven Football Bowl Subdivisions scholarship offers: Duke, Boston College, Rutgers, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and, of course, Maryland.
“Hoping he becomes a Terp one day,” Carl Buchholz said. “I try to stay out of it, because my opinion’s kind of skewed, playing football for Maryland. I try to give him advice, because me and my other brother have been through the recruiting process. It gets stressful after a while, talking to different coaches and having to choose after making relationships with a bunch of different coaches. I’m just there to make it easier for him.”
By simply being in College Park, Carl has already made the process easy for Ryan. Ryan can receive insider knowledge on a daily basis, with any question answered just a phone call away. He attended the team banquet this postseason with the Buchholz family and, on Oct. 26, formally received his scholarship offer.
“The Maryland coaches I remember, they came up to [Carl] in a meeting once, and said,’Why didn’t you tell us about your brother?’” Ryan said. “I know the coaches really well, we’re all connected. It helps that he plays football for them. I’ve been there a couple times.”
Other schools are in hot pursuit of the 6 feet 6, 235-pounder. Ranked a three-star recruit and the 12th best player in Pennsylvania for the class of 2015, Ryan said the incoming mail grew so voluminous, his mother needed three four-inch binders to hold all the letters. Roughly 10 per day arrive at the household – one school once sent him 18 letters in a single afternoon – and Ryan opens everything.
Of course, Carl wants Ryan to write his own future, whether that plan involves Maryland or not.
“Exactly what he says,” Ryan said. “I know Maryland’s good and he loves it there. He tells me to do what I like. But he loves all the coaches, what they do, the teammates. They’re all pretty close.”