The first visit Silvano Altamirano made to the East Coast felt like a bit of a "culture shock" to the California native. But the 6-foot-2, 290-pound offensive guard from San Diego Mesa College enjoyed his official visit in December to Maryland enough to sign with the Terps days later.
One month into his new life in College Park, Altamirano so far is happy with his decision.
"It's going pretty good," Altamirano said last week after Maryland's annual Signing Day ceremony. "The weather is a lot different here than San Diego, but I'm adjusting pretty well. It's going pretty easy. I don't feel out of place or anything like that, so it's gone well."
A two-star prospect, Altamirano picked the Terps over offers from New Mexico, SMU and Washington State, according to 247Sports.com. His recruitment out of junior college was significantly different than his experience at San Diego's Mount Carmel High.
"Well first off, [in] high school I didn't really get recruited much," he said. "When I got to JUCO, I just felt like I had to prove myself. I think I did that, because as the process went on, I got offers from DIs and everything like that. It was different, but I felt like I had something to prove and I did that."
Altamirano said he did his homework on Maryland, learning fairly quickly that the Terps would be losing two offensive line starters in Justin Gilbert and Bennett Fulper. Challenging for a starting job was "definitely" important to Altamirano, but far from the only factor he considered when making his decision.
"I had other opportunities where they told me specifically I would start," he said. "But I just felt like Maryland was a better opportunity for me education-wise. I like everything so far."
"I think it's going to be a good competition," he said. "We'll find that out during spring. Right now, me as a player and as a person, I'm a totally different person. Off the field, a lot of smiles and not very much talking. But on the field, it's a whole different story. I'm more aggressive. It'll be a good competition. Competition, I think, brings the best out of me. It'll be good to see how I go against the other guys."