Terps Football: 2019 Recruiting Preview – Defense
With spring practice still a few weeks away, recruiting season is in full swing. And with the 2018 recruiting class all but wrapped up, the majority of coaches’ time has shifted to next year’s class. A few weeks ago, we took a look at the early offensive targets for Maryland’s 2019 recruiting class. Today, we’ll take a look at the defensive side of the ball.
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4-star Brandon Smith (Mineral, VA)
4-star Antonio Alfano (Rahway, NJ)
4-star Steven Faucheux (West Chester, OH)
4-star Derick Hunter (Fort Myers, FL)
3-star Aeneas DiCosmo (Oradell, NJ)
3-star Dontay Hunter II (Westerville, OH)
3-star Christian Rorie (Raleigh, NC)
Interestingly enough, of the 7 defensive targets on the Terrapins’ early big board, just one comes from the DMV area. The coaching staff has their eyes on a number of blue-chip targets from Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, and Florida. Smith and Alfano are each the top high school player from their respective states, and Penn State is the early favorite for both of their commitments. With openings at both defensive end spots in 2019, recruiting this position will be a focus for head coach DJ Durkin and his staff.
3-star Lloyd Murray, Jr. (Wichita Falls, TX)
3-star Ireland Burke (Sparta, NJ)
3-star Joshua Harris (Roxboro, NC)
The majority of Maryland’s defensive tackles on the roster this season will be returning in 2019, so this position isn’t as large a priority as it has been in years past. Murray, Jr. and Burke are both lower-ranked 3-star prospects, though both have good size for their respective positions.
4-star Shane Lee (Baltimore, MD)
4-star Ge’mon Eaford (Deerfield Beach, FL)
4-star Kevin Harris (Loganville, GA)
3-star Hunter Stewart (Washington, DC)
3-star Jaylon Scott (Shelby, NC)
Lee is the crown jewel of this recruiting class, and the Terrapins’ top overall target. He is the 2nd-best inside linebacker in the country and the best player in the state of Maryland according to 247Sports. He has received scholarship offers from countless major programs including Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State, and Penn State. They’ve also been recruiting Stewart fairly heavily in recent weeks as a high-ranked 3-star linebacker-safety hybrid from Washington, DC.
4-star Tayvion Land (Virginia Beach, VA)
4-star Cam’Ron Kelly (Chesapeake, VA)
4-star Nyquee Hawkins (Orange, NJ)
4-star Sheridan Jones (Virginia Beach, VA)
3-star Jermaine Johnson (Hyattsville, MD)
3-star Chris Shearin (Bradenton, FL)
UNR Isaiah Kemp (Wilmington, NC)
The coaching staff has their eyes on a number of local blue-chip cornerbacks, with former Virginia Tech commit Land being their top target at the position. 247Sports ranks him as the 14th-best cornerback in the country, and the 6th-best player in the state of Virginia. Jones, his teammate at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School, is ranked as the 7th-best cornerback in the country and the 3rd-best player in the state. After missing out on Noah Boykin in the 2018 recruiting cycle, adding one or more blue-chippers at the position seems to be a point of emphasis for 2019.
4-star Briton Allen (Bradenton, FL)
4-star Cortez Andrews (Tallahassee, FL)
4-star Kenyatta Watson II (Loganville, GA)
3-star Tyler Rudolph (Oakton, CT)
The Terrapins have a bit of a problem with depth at the safety position, so adding a few in the 2019 recruiting class will be important. The coaching staff has their eyes on a few southern blue-chip prospects, with Allen and Andrews their top targets. Both have received offers from countless major programs, and Andrews is being courted heavily by Alabama.