On Sunday, Jacksonville (Fla.) Mandarin defensive lineman Kingsley Opara heard speculation that Maryland was having discussions about leaving the ACC. Today the rumor became reality as the Terrapins announced they are leaving their ACC affiliation for the financial greener pastures of the Big Ten conference.
Maryland recruits reactions varied as some embraced the change and new challenge. Others didn't know what to think. College football pundits said it was all about the money and nothing else.
Opara is one of the prospects that is taking a wait-and-see approach. The three-star defender said, "I chose Maryland over West Virginia back in July because they were moving to the Big 12 and it would be harder for my family to see my games in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Now instead of coming to see me play in Florida and Georgia they have to travel to the Midwest area for games in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin."
The ever-changing conference realignment is a question athletes will have to ask coaches during the recruiting process.
For Opara he is going to weigh his options and listen to other schools. He stated, "I'm not too happy about it, but there is nothing I can do."
The interior defender tallied nine sacks this season, but his team struggled with injuries to finish the season 3-7. He lines up at defensive end when his team plays a 3-4 defense and slides down to tackle in the 4-3 look.
North Carolina and N.C. State will get visits in the coming weeks. He is planning to keep his official visit to College Park for the weekend of December 7.
Right now he remains committed to Maryland and they are his first priority. Opara doesn't take his "commitment lightly" and wants to remain loyal.
However, Opara remarked, "Maryland has to do what's best for Maryland and I have to do what's best for me."