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Cam Spence (Twitter Photo)

Cam Spence officially committed to the University of Maryland’s football program on April 8, but the four-star high school defensive tackle from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., felt a connection to the school long before the announcement.

Spence, a rising high school senior, grew up in Prince George’s County, Md., and played football for two years at Gilman School in Baltimore before transferring to IMG Academy, a boarding school for student-athletes. Spence’s uncle, Larry Stewart, was an All-American offensive lineman for the Terrapins in 1979.

Though Spence’s top 10 prospects included more promising championship contenders, such as Alabama and Ohio State universities, he ultimately decided to commit to Maryland because of what the school could provide off the football field.

“I had to go with my heart, and my heart told me Maryland,” Spence said. “My uncle passed away when I was 3 years old, and I just wanted to keep the family legacy going.”

At 6-foot-3-inches tall and 300 pounds, Spence is the fifth-ranked defensive high school tackle in the nation, according to ESPN. Though Maryland first offered Spence a scholarship two years ago, it wasn’t until he met with assistant head coach and defensive line coach Mike London that Maryland jumped to the top of his list of potential schools.

“Coach London is a great coach, but he’s also a good person,” Spence said in a phone interview. “We talked for 45 minutes when I first met him… just really getting to know me as a person. A lot of coaches jump right into football, but he took the time to get to know me.”

Once he visited the coaching staff, Spence knew it was time to return home to the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia) area.

Although the coaching staff behind the original “DMV to UMD Movement” is gone, new Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin continues to emphasize the recruitment of the area’s top high school players.

Lake Braddock (Va.) tight end Andrew Park was the first commit, followed by Quince Orchard High School (Gaithersburg, Md.) defensive back Fofie Bazzie. The day after Spence’s announcement on Periscope, four-star St. John’s College High School (Washington, D.C.) quarterback Kasim Hill and Good Counsel (D.C.) linebacker Ayinde Eley also made verbal commitments to the team.

Spence and Hill—also a Gilman transfer—have known each other since the seventh grade, and remain close friends. In fact, Spence knows a number of current Terps from his time playing football in Maryland.

Now, with his commitment behind him, Spence is focused on improving his game for his last season at IMG Academy. Once he returns home to Maryland, Spence says the fans can expect nothing less than greatness.

“Together, we’ll be able to win championships,” Spence said. “We’ll basically be like The U , but in the present.”