On the same day it picked up a commitment from coveted New Jersey defensive back Kareem Ali, Maryland showed its recruiting reach by receiving a pledge from Texas junior linebacker Mbi Tanyi late Thursday night.
Maryland has been targeting Tanyi since April, he said, and the school has been atop the 6-foot-3, 253-pound linebacker’s list since he visited for Maryland’s spring game that month.
“The Terps actually started my recruiting. They were my first offer,” Tanyi said. “I was going to prolong recruiting … but I just woke up this morning and just felt like there’s no need to wait no more. And I just wanted to commit, so I committed, and I’m happy with my choice.”
Tanyi who plays both outside linebacker and several positions on the offensive line at George Bush High School outside San Antonio, said he was attracted to Maryland’s move to the Big Ten.
“It was a big factor, like for me, because I am a competitor,” he said. “Since they’re moving up, I just feel like it would be a better stage for me to showcase my talents.”
Thursday’s decision capped a long road for Tanyi, who said he didn’t enjoy sports when he was younger. He had to repeatedly ask himself, “Do I really want to play this?” when he was a teenager, and he nearly gave up football to focus on basketball as he got older. He had no template; both of his parents were born in Cameroon and his mother especially was suspect of the game. Tanyi said he is the first one from his family to receive a college scholarship.
“I just tell her there’s something about football that’s a magnet for me,” Tanyi said. “Over the years, I’ve really grown to love the game of football, and the life lessons it shows you … down here in Texas its something else to play football. It’s something you can live by or you can die by.”
Tanyi is the fifth recruit to commit to Maryland in the last week, joining Ali, Oxon Hill defensive tackle Keiron Howard, Fort Hill running back Ty Johnson and Frankfort (W.V.) quarterback Gage Shaffer.
Tanyi acknowledged that he and Ali would be linked by committing on the same day, although he had no idea about his New Jersey counterpart when he made his decision Thursday morning. It wasn’t until he talked with Maryland Coach Randy Edsall on Thursday evening that he realized he would be joining Ali in Maryland’s class of 2015.
“I don’t really know too much about Kareem Ali,” Tanyi said. “They said he’s a very solid commit, so I feel good about that and the rest of the 2015 commits.”
Here are highlights of Tanyi: