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Terps Sign Second Straight Top 25 Recruiting Class

Maryland Athletics
12-20-2017
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland Head Coach DJ Durkin announced that 22 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to play football for the Terrapins during the early signing period, which began on Wednesday. Maryland’s class is currently ranked among the Top 25 classes in the nation, setting it up to be the first time in school history that the Terps have signed back-to-back Top 25 classes.

The class includes five consensus four-star signees and two members of the ESPN300. The class is ranked No. 18 by Rivals, No. 19 by Scout/247 Sports and No. 21 by ESPN.

The 22 student-athletes hail from six different states and the District of Columbia. The signing class is highlighted by 15 players who attended high school in the DMV area and nine players who earned All-MET honors.

Four of the Top 10 and eight of the Top 25 players from the state of Maryland signed with the Terps (per Rivals). Additionally, two of the Top 10 players from Washington D.C. and four of the Top 20 players from Virginia also pledged to play at Maryland.

The remainder of Maryland’s 2018 signing class will be announced on February 7. 

For more info on all of the early signees, check out Signing Day Central!


Maryland Football Early Signees


Jalen Alexander
Defensive Lineman
Fr.-HS, 6-4, 295
Chesapeake, Va. (Western Branch HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … ranked the 10th overall player in the state of Virginia by Rivals … ranked No. 8 among the Virginia-Pilot’s Top-50 senior recruits...  also received offers from Oklahoma, Georgia and Auburn … coached by Greg Gibson.

Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Jimmy Brumbaugh on Alexander:
“Jalen has the size and quickness to be a 4-technique, 3-technique for us. He has the ability to rush the passer, but also hold the point. He’s a great person, great kid. He has a passion for the game and is constantly studying the game and finding ways to improve.”


Nihym Anderson
Linebacker
Fr.-HS, 6-1, 226
Vineland, N.J. (Vineland South HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the 21st overall recruit in the state of New Jersey by 247sports.com ... a two-time Press of Atlantic City All-Star … had 64 tackles, seven sacks and recovered three fumbles as a senior …  totaled 48 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior … also rushed for two touchdowns and caught 16 passes for 389 yards and five touchdowns as a junior … helped lead Vineland to an 8-2 record back-to-back seasons as a junior and senior … also recruited by Pitt, Minnesota and Syracuse … coached by Dan Russo.

Linebackers Coach Matt Barnes on Anderson:
“Nihym is an unbelievable athlete for his size. He’s physically dominant and extremely productive on both sides of the ball as a high school player. He has the raw materials and work ethic to excel in the Big Ten.”


Spencer Anderson
Offensive Lineman
Fr.-HS, 6-5, 290
District Heights, Md. (Bishop McNamara HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the 16th overall player in the state of Maryland by 247sports.com … an Honorable Mention All-Metro selection as a senior … also received offers from North Carolina, Pitt, and Wake Forest … coached by Keita Malloy

Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell on Anderson:
“Spencer has great feet and could really play almost anywhere on the line. He’s an incredibly versatile piece. He’s one of the best guys we’ve had in two years of camps here.”


Tyler Baylor
BUCK
Fr.-HS, 6-4, 230
Olney, Md. (Good Counsel HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the ninth overall player in the state of Maryland by Rivals … an Honorable Mention All-Metro selection and Second Team All-WCAC selection as a senior … did not play football in high school until his junior season … chose Maryland over Georgia, Louisville, and Tennessee… coached by Andy Stefanelli.

Personal: The grandson of Basketball Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, who was an 11-time NBA All-Star.

Defensive Coordinator Andy Buh on Baylor:
“Tyler’s a local talent. He has a great deal of raw skills that we feel we can develop. He’s long, quick-twitch and has pass rush ability. With his size and strength, we feel that he can develop into a dynamic pass rusher.”


Raymond Boone
Defensive Back
Fr.-HS, 6-0, 198
Greenbelt, Md. (Eleanor Roosevelt HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the 16th overall recruit in the state of Maryland by Rivals … a First Team All-Metro selection as a senior, catching five touchdowns and picking off three passes … a Honorable Mention All-Metro selection as a junior … totaled 760 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior … also received offers from Virginia Tech, Pitt and NC State … coached by Tom Green

Defensive Backs Coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim on Boone:
“Raymond is extremely competitive and plays aggressive. He’s a super athlete, two-way player. He has tremendous ball skills, can take the ball out of the air and create turnovers. Raymond is someone that can mentally come in and play with a great deal of confidence.” 


TJ Bradley
Offensive Lineman
So.-Junior College Transfer, 6-7, 285
Leesburg, Va. (Tuscarora HS) / Lackawanna CC

Before Maryland: A three-star recruit from Lackawanna Community College … only played one season of high school football (as a freshman) … took a redshirt season at Lackawanna in 2016 … helped lead Lackawanna to a 7-2 record in 2017 and was coached by former Maryland football player, Mark Duda … also had offers from Penn State, West Virginia and Minnesota.

Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell on Bradley:
“TJ is incredibly long and athletic. He’s going to be a great edge player for us. I expect him to excel in pass protection.”


Chance Campbell
Linebacker
Fr.-HS, 6-2, 225
Towson, Md. (Calvert Hall College)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets ... rated the 20th overall player in the state of Maryland by Rivals … a First Team All-MIAA A Conference selection as a junior … also received offers from Pitt, Michigan State, Navy and Harvard … helped lead Calvert Hall’s lacrosse team to an MIAA Conference title as a junior … coached by Donald Davis.

Linebackers Coach Matt Barnes on Campbell:
“Chance has all of the measurable and immeasurable qualities that you would want in a Big Ten linebacker. He’s a student of the game – loves watching film and is an absolute gym rat. He’s shown tremendous leadership qualities throughout his athletic career.”


Brian Cobbs
Wide Receiver
Fr.-HS, 6-1, 200
Alexandria, Va. (Hayfield HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets ... rated the 18th overall player in the state of Virginia by Rivals … a 2017 First Team All-Metro selection … caught 39 passes for nine touchdowns and rushed for 11 touchdowns as a senior … also threw for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns in four starts at quarterback as a senior … helped lead Hayfield to an 8-3 record in 2017 … selected to the All-Metro Second Team as a junior … coached by Eric Henderson.

Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach Chris Beatty on Cobbs:
“Brian is extremely smooth and has great ball skills. He’s very mature and a first-class person.”


Byron Cowart
Defensive Lineman
Jr.-TR, 6-4, 270
Seffner, Fla. (Armwood HS) / Auburn

As a junior at Auburn (2017): Departed Auburn early in the fall semester and enrolled at Hillsborough Community College…is expected to graduate in January.

As a sophomore at Auburn (2016): Played in 10 games at defensive end, totaling six tackles … forced a Texas A&M fumble … two tackles against ULM … TFL, two tackles against Arkansas … missed Alabama A&M, Alabama games with injury.

As a freshman at Auburn (2015): True freshman who was in the rotation at defensive end … played in every game, totaling six tackles … saw first action against Louisville, assisting on two tackles … tackle, two QB hurries vs. Idaho ... Academic Top Tiger.

At Armwood High School: Nation’s top defensive prospect … led the Armwood Hawks to the state championship game as a junior and senior … 185 career tackles, 29 sacks … Under Armour All-America Game … nation’s top-ranked recruit by ESPN and Rivals … Scout and 247 Sports rank him first among recruits at his position nationally … USA Today All-USA … Florida Class 6A player of the year … Tampa Bay Times Blue Chipper of the Year … PrepStar top 10 … also a basketball and track letterman.

Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Jimmy Brumbaugh on Cowart:
“Byron has great length and gives us a pass rush ability off the edge. He also has good girth. His experience at the collegiate level will really help us.” 


Dontay Demus Jr.
Wide Receiver
Fr.-HS, 6-4, 205
Washington, D.C. (Friendship Collegiate Academy)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the ninth overall player in D.C. by 247sports.com and ESPN … a Second Team All-Metro selection as a senior, posting 66 catches for 1,167 yards and 12 touchdowns … helped lead Friendship Collegiate to an 8-4 record and a trip to the DCSAA Class AA championship game in 2017 … selected Maryland over Michigan State and Wisconsin, among others …  coached by Mike Hunter.

Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach Chris Beatty on Demus:
“Dontay has huge upside. He has great size, length and plays above the rim. I think he’s going to be a monster.”


Tyler DeSue
Quarterback
Fr.-HS, 6-1, 210
Virginia Beach, Va. (Bishop Sullivan Catholic HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the fourth overall player in the state of Virginia by ESPN and considered a dual threat at the quarterback position … threw for 1,498 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior … played with current Terps Tahj Capehart and Breyon and Brandon Gaddy at Bishop Sullivan … also received offers from Miami, West Virginia, Virginia, Indiana and UCF … coached by Chris Scott.

Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Walt Bell on DeSue:
“Tyler has a great demeanor. He’s a completion finder that can hit spots. From a personality standpoint, he has all of the traits that we want in a guy to lead the offense.”  


Jaelyn Duncan
Offensive Lineman
Fr.-HS, 6-5, 302
Owings Mills, Md. (St. Frances Academy)

Before Maryland: A 4-star recruit according to ESPN … ranked third overall in the state of Maryland by ESPN … rated the No. 45 overall prospect in the ESPN300 … a 2017 Under Armour All-American … helped lead St. Frances to the MIAA A Conference Championship with a 44-7 win over Gilman … also received offers from Florida, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee … coached by Biff Poggi and Henry Russell.

Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell on Duncan:
“Jaelyn has a great body and is incredibly athletic for his size. I can see him playing any combination of guard or tackle – left or right – he can really do it all. He has a great frame that allows him to do anything.”


Vincent Flythe
Defensive Back
Fr.-HS, 6-0, 172
Washington, D.C. (Howard D. Woodson HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated third overall in D.C. by Rivals … a Second Team All-Metro selection as a senior … also received offers from Wisconsin, Virginia, Pitt and Rutgers … coached by Greg Fuller.

Defensive Backs Coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim on Flythe:
“Vincent is a student of the game and extremely confident in his ability. He’s a quiet assassin that will fit into our secondary. He’s mentally strong and can pick up everything in a fast manner. He’s long, athletic and can play press and off.”


Austin Fontaine
Defensive Lineman
Fr.-HS, 6-4, 321
Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 4-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … a 2017 Under Armour All-American … ranked 147th overall in the ESPN300 … member of the Rivals250 … rated the fourth overall player in the state of Maryland by ESPN … a Second Team All-Metro selection as a senior … ranked 4th in MD by ESPN… also received offers from Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Clemson and Georgia, among others… coached by Elijah Brooks

Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Jimmy Brumbaugh on Fontaine:
“Austin’s a great kid that we had in camp here. He has size and girth. He also has the ability on third downs to push the pocket, have a presence and collapse the pocket inside.”


Fa’Najae Gotay
Athlete
Fr.-HS, 6-0, 205
North Fort Myers, Fla. (North Fort Myers HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … helped lead North Fort Myers to a 9-1 record as a senior … totaled 60 tackles on defense, in addition to 660 rush yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior … named the News-Press Defensive Player of the Year as a junior after recording 160 tackles in nine games … had 629 rushing yards and eight touchdowns as a junior … also received offers from Illinois, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Syracuse and Arizona … coached by Earnest Graham, who played eight seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Linebackers Coach Matt Barnes on Gotay:
“Fa’Najae is dynamic on all sides of the ball. He has explosive, game-changing ability. He’s an instinctive player with the ability to play several positions.”


Evan Gregory
Offensive Lineman
Fr.-HS, 6-4, 296
Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic HS)

Before Maryland: Rated a 4-star recruit by Rivals … ranked 8th overall in the state of Maryland by Rivals … a First Team All-Metro selection … helped lead a resurgent DeMatha running game that led the Stags to the WCAC semifinal as a senior … the Stags totaled 1,160 yards on the ground in 2017 … also received offers from Penn State, West Virginia, Rutgers and Virginia … coached by Elijah Brooks.

Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell on Gregory:
“Evan is a people mover. He’s a guy that plays with great toughness and a chip on his shoulder. He plays the game the right way and is very aggressive. He’ll be a great inside player for us.”


Darryl Jones
Wide Receiver
Fr.-HS, 6-3, 184
Virginia Beach, Va. (Princess Anne HS)

Before Maryland: Rated a 4-star recruit by Rivals and ESPN … rated the fifth overall recruit in Virginia by ESPN and 247sports … caught 22 passes for 655 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior, in addition to posting four interceptions … also received offers from West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia … also played basketball and ran track & field at Princess Anne … coached by Jelani Fair. Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers

Coach Chris Beatty on Jones:
“Darryl has great speed, size and length. He does a little bit of everything. He’s great with the ball in his hands and has tremendous potential. He’s as good as you’re going to find.”


Jeshaun Jones
Wide Receiver
Fr.-HS, 6-2, 173
Fort Myers, Fla. (South Fort Myers HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … a four-year starter at South Fort Myers HS … posted 30 catches for 359 yards and three touchdowns as a senior … had 28 catches for 491 yards and five touchdowns as a junior … also received offers from Tennessee, Pitt, Iowa State, Nebraska and Minnesota … coached by Brian Conn.

Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach Chris Beatty on Jones:
“Jeshaun Jones is very fluid. He has tremendous ball skills, but is also great with the ball in his hand. He has the potential to play every spot at receiver, inside or out.”


Jordan Mosley
Linebacker
Fr.-HS, 6-1, 217
Havertown, Pa. (Haverford HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the 31st overall player in the state of Pennsylvania by ESPN and Rivals … broke Haverford’s career receiving yards mark in two seasons … helped lead Haverford to a 9-3 record as a senior, catching 49 passes for 865 yards and 10 touchdowns … led Delaware County with eight interceptions as a senior … a two-time All-Delco selection … a first team All-Central League selection as a junior, catching 52 passes for 996 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense … also received offers from Minnesota, Rutgers and Temple … coached by Joe Gallagher.

Linebackers Coach Matt Barnes on Mosley:
“Jordan is one of the best overall athletes in our signing class. He hits like a linebacker and moves like a defensive back. He’s just starting to scratch the surface of what he is capable of doing on the football field.”


Durell Nchami
Linebacker
Fr.-HS, 6-3, 220
Burtonsville, Md. (Paint Branch HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the 15th overall player in the state of Maryland … a First Team All-Metro selection as a senior, posting 10 tackles for loss, seven sacks and three fumble recoveries … the 2017 Coaches 4A All-MoCo Defensive Player of the Year … also received offers from Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse … coached by Michael Nesmith.

Defensive Coordinator Andy Buh on Nchami:
“Durell is a guy that we like because he’s extremely versatile. He has inside and outside linebacker skills with pass rush ability. He can really do it all. He’s the prototypical linebacker that we’re looking for. He has tremendous speed off the edge and can play both on and off the ball.” 


Chigoziem Okonkwo
Tight End
Fr.-HS, 6-2, 225
Powder Springs, Ga. (Hillgrove HS)

Before Maryland: A consensus 3-star recruit across all major recruiting outlets … rated the eighth tight end in the country by ESPN … helped lead Hillgrove to an 8-4 record and a regional championship as a senior … also received offers from Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and Navy … coached by Phillip Ironside.

Assistant Head Coach/Tight End Coach Pete Lembo on Okonkwo:
“Chigoziem brings an exciting element of speed and athleticism to our tight end group. He was a very versatile performer at Hillgrove in the passing game and on the perimeter. He is bright, has a real passion for the game, possesses a strong work ethic and has excellent ball skills.”


Joseph Petrino
Kicker
Fr.-HS, 5-11, 170
Richmond Hill, Ga. (Richmond Hill)

Before Maryland: Rated a 3-star recruit by 247sports and ESPN … rated 12th nationally among placekickers by 247sports … was featured on SportsCenter’s “Top-10 Plays” for kicking 50-yard field goals with both his right and left foot … coached by Matt Lezotte … also played soccer for Richmond Hill.

Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Pete Lembo on Petrino:
“Joseph attended our specialists camp last summer and really impressed us in person. We had over 50 kickers from 25 states on campus, and he topped the list. He has great flexibility and the ball pops off his foot. Joseph has only been kicking for two years, so his ceiling is very high. He’s also a very strong student.”


 

What They’re Saying About Maryland’s Recruiting Class…

DJ Durkin is on track to bring Maryland back-to-back top-25 recruiting classes for the first time since ESPN started its class rankings in 2006, which is a pretty remarkable feat. The staff has reenergized the DMV area, landing 15 of its 22 commitments from the surrounding area, which includes ESPN 300 offensive lineman Jaelyn Duncan and ESPN 300 defensive lineman Austin Fontaine. The two are the No. 3 and 4 ranked prospects in the state of Maryland respectively. Along with Duncan and Fontaine, the staff was also able to land a four-star quarterback to the roster for the second class in a row, this time with Virginia quarterback Tyler DeSue. Overall this is a class that should help Maryland fill holes on the roster while adding some future playmakers on both offense and defense.”

                --Tom VanHaaren, ESPN College Football & Recruiting Reporter

 

“It’s certainly important to build off of last year’s success with this second (full) recruiting class for Coach Durkin and his staff. When you look at this class, there’s a lot of local players, which has been a major focus for this coaching staff. There are a lot of players in this class with a great deal of potential and that certainly bodes well for a program like Maryland with a good history of player development. When you look at the specific positions that make up this recruiting class, they’re filling a lot of holes and positions of need, while bringing in good size on the offensive and defensive line.”

                --Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

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