An unknown phone number lit up Damascus junior running back Jake Funk‘s phone Tuesday afternoon.

“It was defensive line coach Chad Wilt. I didn’t have his number at first, and he was like, ‘You should keep this number in your phone because I’m the guy who’s giving you a scholarship to your hometown school,’ ” Funk said.

Wednesday night, Funk committed to Maryland and became the first recruit under interim head coach Mike Locksley. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior had offers from a host of Ivy League schools, the three service academies and Wisconsin, but the opportunity to stay instate and play in the Big 10 excited Funk the most.

“I’ve always had the dream of playing D-1 football,” Funk said. “I worked really hard the last three years to get where I am now. I take pride in being in the weight room, and getting fast, and it’s nice to see that hard work pay off.”

In the weight room, Funk put on 60 pounds between his freshman and junior season before turning his attention to getting faster this past offseason. In the eyes of college scouts, speed was the one weakness on Funk’s resume coming into this year after he rushed for 1,832 yards and 37 touchdowns as the Swarmin’ Hornets reached Maryland 3A state final last season.

“Coming into this year, I focused a lot on speed. That’s something that people told me a lot, that I may not be fast enough,” Funk said. “Committing is a huge stress reliever, now I can focus on winning a state championship.”

Funk joins a talented group of locals in Maryland’s 2016 recruiting class that faced uncertainty after Randy Edsall was fired last week. Since the search for a new football coach in College Park began, a pair of DeMatha stars as well highly-touted Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. have pledged their loyalty to the DMV to UMD movement.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to play with some of the best talent from around here. There’s new energy and a lot of hype around the Maryland football movement. It’s on the rise,” Funk said. “My whole family is going to be able to come see me play and not just the people living in my house.”

While there are a variety of Big-10 allegiances inside his household, Funk is sure that his family members are strictly Maryland fans from now on.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t grow up a Terps fan. My dad played at Penn State, so I grew up rooting for them, and my older brother played lacrosse at Ohio State,” Funk said. “They’re going to cheer for UMD now. They’ll support me no matter what.”

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