Mike Madaras perfect for UA Game

Mike Madaras is exactly what Maryland's 2012 class needed.

The four-star offensive tackle from Olney (Md.) Good Counsel was a lifelong fan of the Terrapins. He committed early and hasn't swayed during Maryland's season full of struggles.

“I just like what Coach [Randy] Edsall is doing,” said Madaras, who received his Under Armour All-America Game jersey on Wednesday morning as part of the 80-stop American Family Insurance Presents the Under Armour All-America Game selection tour.

“Even though the season wasn't that great, I know that it will improve in the future. It's great because going in like this I don't have to be team where we're expected to win every game and expected to be at the top. We get to work there and exceed expectations.”

Maryland had the inside track on Madaras for better part of three generations. The 6-foot-5, 286-pounder has always cheered for the hometown college that his mother and grandmother graduated from.

A 2-10 record wasn't nearly enough to sway his devotion.

“I'm confident because in every single game I've seen of Maryland's, they've played really well,” Madaras said. “The reason why they lost the games is that they just let it slip away. I think that's because there's a lot of youth on the team and they're adjusting to a new coaching staff.

“They had to get used to a whole new offense and they're starting a lot of young guys. For what they had, I think they did pretty well. Their record doesn't really show how well they played this year, I believe. I think in years to come it's going to get way better.”

If so, it will depend on prospects like Madaras, local prospects who fit Edsall's vision of what a blue-chip prospect should be.

“What he really looks for in a player, it's not just how talented you are in football,” Madaras said. “He finds out really who you are and what you're going to be like in Maryland, not just the athlete but the student.

“I just really like the guys he's recruited so far. I've met a couple of them and every single one, they're well-rounded kids. They're all smart kids. They all love what they're doing and they're all hard workers.”

Madaras considers himself as such, even if he's a bit reluctant to say it. Hard work is a mainstay and the foundation of his game.

He also considers himself a trendsetter, a local product who declined opportunities elsewhere, namely West Virginia and Michigan, to stay close to the home he loves so he can be there for his family and play for the hometown team. Of course, he's not the only one. Of the Terrapins' 18 commitments, seven are within close proximity of College Park, Md. Many have said they hope to show future prospects that Maryland is a solid, if not preferred, option.

“I definitely feel like that,” he said. “This is Coach Edsall's first recruiting class. He's faced a lot of adversity with people online talking about how he's not doing good so far, but this is his first year and his whole entire mentality is he's going to get Maryland high school football players -- and around the Maryland area -- to go to Maryland, all the good ones. And he's going to make Maryland into a great team. I see how he's progressing and how he's doing that. All the kids that he's gotten so far, every single one of them has excellent character.”

Before Madaras goes from high school prospect to college football player, he'll be a scout, checking out the competition during the week of practices leading up to the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 5.

“I knew I had the possibility of being chosen but I wasn't 100 percent sure that I was going to be one of those guys that was picked,” he said. “ I'm excited to have that opportunity. I'm really looking forward to playing against some of the kids I might be going to Maryland with or playing against in college and getting a look at where I stand and seeing what work I need to do to get ready.”

A scout. A hard worker. A four-star offensive tackle who loves the hometown team.

A perfect fit.

Dave Hooker covers Southeast and Atlantic Coast recruiting. He has covered recruiting and college football for more than a decade. Email him at davehookerespn@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @davehookerespn