IOL Michael Purcell goes in-depth about his transfer to Maryland

After losing three to the NFL then two more to the transfer portal, rebuilding the offensive line has been priority number one for Maryland this offseason as they look to keep quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa upright to lead the offense yet again. So when Michael Purcell reentered the portal after a brief stint at Duke, Maryland initiated contact for the 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman.

“I talked to a couple of the recruiting coordinators then coach [Brian] Braswell,” Purcell told IBG. “I entered in January and then committed to Duke kind of nonchalantly, not knowing what the portal has to offer and jumping on my first Power Five instead of taking official visits and kind of finding the best fit for myself. I just left Duke, it didn’t really work out. Probably wasn’t going to be the starting center which is what I wanted to do to give myself the best chance to get to the next level.”

Enter Maryland, who has a need at center after watching Coltin Deery depart in favor of TCU. “That’s why I chose Maryland—highest level of football, great staff, great facilities and then a chance to be their guy interiorly,” Purcell added.

Purcell arrived in College Park last Tuesday where Maryland got a chance to make their pitch with a starting role available. Along with the additional resources and improved facilities, Maryland’s recent success in the 2023 NFL Draft was a development Purcell couldn’t ignore.

“They put seven guys in the combine. They had two [offensive] linemen drafted, five guys drafted, another lineman signed in free agency. That’s the whole reason why you grow up playing football, to try and make it to the league, and they offer that best opportunity. Just being behind in the same room as coach Braswell with seven years of NFL experience, that’s kind of all he knows and for him to be able to take my game to the next level technically and hopefully master my craft, technique-wise will go a long way. Those NFL connections will go a long way.”

Maryland’s strength and conditioning program was another aspect that Purcell couldn’t overlook.

“Coach [Ryan Davis]. I’m not sure if there’s anybody better in the business.  I like coach [Mike] Locksley a lot and I believe in him. I think it’s a good fit. It would’ve been hard to beat. With everything that I saw and the opportunity to go and compete for the starting job, I was just pretty confident that was the place to be so it would’ve been hard to trump for sure.”

With offers from San Diego State and Washington State among others, Michael Purcell took visits to Charlotte and San Diego State before landing on Maryland. “Everyone was saying I chose Maryland over the offers I posted but I stopped posting my offers after the first two days and so I just kind of was looking at schools without making it public,” Purcell added. “I kind of knew when I left that they had a lot more to offer with the whole package, the facilities, level of play, staff connections everything like that than any of the other schools I was talking to.”

Purcell will look to make his way to campus “in the next week or ten days” as he gets situated in his new home, but now, he gives Maryland another experienced piece to work with. After redshirting his first season back in 2017, Purcell lined up at guard and played in 11 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2019 before making the transition to center. Purcell would start the next nine games at center before suffering a season-ending injury in 2021, returning to the lineup last fall where he was named a second team All-CAA selection. Purcell knows he can fill in at guard if needed, but more importantly, he knows he has a chance to make an impact in his seventh and final season of college football.

“But I’ll really do whatever for whatever the team needs to win. I’m a center first, guard second. I played center my last three years and guard in 2019. I think my style of play, I’m a better equipped center than a guard so I think they’re looking at me more or less for center.”

Related Links

VIP: four-star development, battles for local recruits, OL recruiting heating up (+)

Mady Traore announces transfer to Maryland basketball

2025 four-star RB Iverson Howard shares latest on visits (+)

Former Elon lineman Michael Purcell transferring to Maryland

Three schools standing out to Spalding LB Keyshawn Flowers (+)