Almost immediately after he pledged to
"I knew I was going to have a big-time senior season," Opara said. "Other schools would come and be attractive to me. I kept the door open if a school I really liked came."
The two most attractive schools to Opara were
"I felt like taking the official to Maryland smoothed things over," said Opara, who plans to sign with the Terps next month. "I talked to the coaches and felt like I was really going to honor my commitment to Maryland. Maryland is the spot I can do things at [unlike] any other school. I recently shut the door and am sticking with Maryland."
Opara's final decision should provide relief to the many Maryland fans who follow the defensive lineman on Twitter (@future40million). For months, Terps fans on message boards and on Twitter speculated on whether or not Opara would end up in College Park.
"A lot of people were saying 'What's the deal with Kingsley? Is he committed or is he not committed?' A lot of mixed reactions," he said. "[Some people said], 'If you haven't committed, just go.' Other people were like, 'We really need you.' A mix of good and bad. I understand where they were coming from."
"Coach Johnson always felt I was going to come back to Maryland," Opara said. "When Edsall found out I wasn’t going to visit N.C. State, he was excited about it. I’m really happy that I’m going to be a Terp. ... I can’t wait to go to Maryland [and] just really change the recent history and help them win a championship –
Here's an introduction to Opara:
Name: Kingsley Opara
Birthdate: Oct. 13, 1994
Birthplace: Quincy, Mass.
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
Nickname: Big King and 40-Mill
Position: Defensive end
High School: Mandarin (Fla.) High
Senior statistics: 42 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 10 sacks
Rankings: Rivals.com – Three-star prospect. Scout.com – Three-star prospect, No. 91 defensive tackle. ESPN.com – Three-star prospect, No. 85 defensive tackle, No. 191 player in Florida, 74 rating. 247Sports.com – Three-star prospect, No. 56 defensive tackle, No. 137 player in Florida, 85 rating.
Bench max: 395
40-yard dash: 4.9
Other schools considered:
Favorite NFL team:
Favorite all-time Terp:
Favorite music: Future, Yo Gotti, Chief Keef
Favorite movie: The “Dark Knight” trilogy
Favorite TV show: “Criminal Minds”
Favorite food: Seafood
Favorite high school class: Forensics
Other high school sports: “I used to play basketball.”
Hobbies: “Just chilling with my friends and family, having fun with them.”
Intended major: Criminology or business
Something that not many people know about you: “Sometimes I get kind of sad. Everyone thinks I’m outgoing, but sometimes I get sad.”
Best football moment: “My first moment was when we beat Atlantic Coast the first game my senior season. My second moment was when I sacked the quarterback for Flagler Palm Coast. I thwacked him and knocked him out and the ball came out. It was our first district game. It was big time.”
Role model: “My role model is probably my dad because he’s really hard working. He has five kids and he provides for us by working hard all day. Sometimes I don’t always get to see him, but he’s always working hard.”