With so many Raleigh, N.C., connections in and around College Park, it’s hard to envision Dez Wells transferring anywhere else. On Tuesday, Demetrius Hartsfield, who attended Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, voiced his excitement that the former Xavier guard-forward had decided to enroll at Maryland.
It was Nigel King’s turn Wednesday. The freshman wide receiver’s mother attended college with Wells’s mother, so the two have known each other since they were young. They attended Word of God Academy together for a year as well.
So when Wells visited campus Saturday, taking in Maryland’s 7-6 win over William & Mary, King was there to hang out after, play video games, catch up and make his pitch.
“I’m glad that he’s back here with me,” King said. “I’m glad he was able to get that second chance. I’m glad Maryland was able to get him to school and just accept him for what happened at Xavier.
“I was just letting him know, he had never been to a big campus. When he came in, he liked the campus, liked the diversity, and the coaching staff, he felt like they wanted him the most.”
The news of late at Maryland has swirled around Wells, who was scheduled to arrive in the area Wednesday. But King has been through plenty just to take the field against the Tribe. After arriving on campus a semester early in 2011, King practiced once, then was told he had been ruled ineligible by the NCAA clearinghouse.
Last fall, he had his bags packed, ready to attend camp, then received another call. He had to stay home and couldn’t attend attend team activities. He was living on his own, just going to class and working out, biding his time. Outside of practice and weightlifting, he was with his future teammates, but missed out on the camaraderie and bonding.
“It was hard,” King said. "I was doing everything on my own. I felt like I got pushed back. Everything happens for a reason, so I can’t really think back on it, but I’m just glad I’m able to play.”