Zeke Riser, Houston's starting defensive end for 27 games over the last four seasons, plans to play his final year of college football as a Maryland Terrapin.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound lineman from LaVernia, Texas, still needs to sign a financial aid agreement, but he told the Washington Post that he was looking forward to playing for former Houston defensive coordinator Brian Stewart -- now in the same position on Randy Edsall's staff at Maryland.
"Me and Coach Stew having conversations about what the plan is for the season, going over terminology; it's going to be really easy," Riser said. "We can talk about the defense forever. Comparing and contrasting Houston people and saying Maryland people who fit into those same roles, and what kind of plans he has in store, I'm picking up quickly already. Once I can get there and start studying a bit more on my own, film-wise, I'll have no problem picking it up."
Riser earned his degree from Houston but has one year of eligibility remaining after using a medical redshirt (knee injury) during his sophomore season. If Riser enrolls in a graduate program not offered at Houston, he will be eligible to play for the Terps in 2013.
Brian Stewart joined Maryland's staff before the 2012 season, bringing a noticeable boost on the recruiting trail and installing a 3-4 defensive scheme similar to the one that he had at Houston. He turned Maryland's defense from one of the worst units in the ACC in 2011 to ranking third in total defense behind Florida State and Virginia Tech.
Riser initially considered a transfer to Texas, but those talks reportedly stalled. His versatility will help boost Maryland's defensive line depth; an area of concern after the departures of Joe Vellano, A.J. Francis and Justin Anderson.