Terps Football: 2020 Recruiting Preview
With head football coach Michael Locksley’s 2019 recruiting class behind him, he and his coaching staff are fully entrenched in the 2020 recruiting cycle. Having built this staff of excellent recruiters, this year’s class will be where they have a chance to truly make their mark. And with one of the most talented group of high schoolers the DMV area has ever seen, locking down the local recruits will be crucial for the Terrapins moving forward.
(Discuss this article on the BSL Message Board here.)
Talent As Never Seen Before
247Sports began rating high school football recruits in 2000, and until 2020 the state of Maryland never had more than two 5-star players. This year, there are three. Most recruiting analysts believe this is the most talented DMV recruiting class ever, and the Terrapins have assembled the perfect coaching staff at the perfect time to capitalize on it. Last year, Locksley received commitments from every single one of the top 5 players in the state of Maryland (3 for Alabama, 2 for the Terrapins.) The program is hoping he has similar success this year bringing these blue-chip recruits to College Park.
In addition to the three 5-star recruits from the state of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. each have two 5-star players. And with a number of coaches having ties to the Carolinas, including all three coordinators, we could see the Terrapins pull a few more players from those states than is typical.
This week, Locksley added his first player to Maryland’s 2020 class when 3-star defensive tackle Jordan White committed. He’s a key piece who could be a bit underrated at this point, and could pave the way for some of his teammates at DeMatha Catholic High School to follow him to College Park.
The Old Line State
As mentioned earlier, the state of Maryland currently boasts three 5-star recruits:
– DT Bryan Bresee (Damascus High School)
– DE Chris Braswell (St. Frances Academy)
– RB MarShawn Lloyd (DeMatha Catholic High School)
Braswell committed to Alabama in late November, and was recruited by linebackers coach Sal Sunseri and running backs coach Charles Huff. Surprisingly despite being from Baltimore, Locksley doesn’t seem to have been too involved in his recruitment, making the chance of flipping him fairly unlikely.
Clemson are the leaders for Bresee’s commitment, but the Terrapins are certainly in the running. Other teams at the top of his early list include Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, and Penn State. He’s currently ranked as the best 2020 recruit in the country, and incredibly still has upside as an interior defensive lineman while he continues to bulk up.
Lloyd is the most likely of the top 3 to choose Maryland, as he’d be following his former high school head coach. Elijah Brooks is in his first season as the Terrapins’ running backs coach, so not only would Lloyd have a familiar face on the coaching staff, that face would be his position coach. With a number of the team’s running backs set to graduate in the next two years, adding talent at this position is a must in the 2020 recruiting cycle.
Brooks has his work cut out for him, as there are a number of his other former players on Maryland’s big board. 4-star defensive tackle Coziah Izzard and 3-star offensive guard Golden Achumba are near the top of the Terrapins’ list, and both are Top 20 players in the state of Maryland.
The District of Columbia has two 5-star recruits in the 2020 class. Both hail from the same high school and are the second-best players in the country at their respective positions:
– LB Mekhail Sherman (St. John’s College High School)
– WR Rakim Jarrett (St. John’s College High School)
Ohio State is considered to be the leaders for both Sherman and Jarrett, but it’s far too early to be making any serious predictions. Buckeyes associate head coach and defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who was rumored to be on Locksley’s radar for his defensive coordinator position, is leading recruiting efforts for both players.
Like D.C., the state of Virginia has two 5-star recruits in this year’s class:
– LB Antoine Sampah (Woodbridge High School)
– RB Chris Tyree (Thomas Dale High School)
Clemson is currently thought to be the early leaders for Sampah, who was being recruited by former Maryland associate head coach, co-offensive coordinator, and wide receivers coach Chris Beatty before he left for Pittsburgh. Beatty was the program’s best recruiter in the state of Virginia, and his departure leaves the Terrapins without a true recruiting specialist in the talent-rich state.
With Locksley expected to put most of his running back eggs in Lloyd’s basket, Tyree is more unlikely to wind up in College Park. He already has visits scheduled at Oklahoma and Notre Dame before summer begins, and Alabama and Penn State are among the other early leaders for his commitment.
Without Beatty on staff, it’s more likely that the Terrapins dip into Virginia for some of their lower-ranked recruits. The coaching staff is currently high on 4-star offensive tackle Jimmy Christ (Dominion High School) and 3-star running back Tim Baldwin (Broad Run High School.)