Terps Football: National Signing Day Recap
Despite coming into National Signing Day with just 6 officially signed members of their 2019 recruiting class, the Maryland Terrapins finished the day with 17 total recruits and an impressively salvaged class by new head coach Michael Locksley. Just 4 of these recruits were holdovers from the previous regime, with the remaining 13 added with less than 2 months of recruiting. 6 of these recruits hail from the state of Maryland, highlighting the emphasis this coaching staff will place on local recruiting. The Terrapins finished with the 60th-best class in the country, just ahead of Rutgers and Illinois for the third-worst ranking in the Big Ten Conference.
The team is still waiting on one final prospect, 4-star safety Nick Cross. He’s the best player in the state of Maryland and a former Florida State commit, but is still deciding between the Seminoles, Penn State, and Maryland. Rumors say that his father is refusing to sign his letter of intent to play for Florida State because he wants him to play for the Nittany Lions. Maryland has entered the picture as a home-state compromise. It doesn’t sound like this is going to be resolved anytime soon, but Cross would obviously be a quality pickup for Locksley and his coaching staff.
Note: All rankings are based on the 247Sports Composite ranking scale.
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Isaiah Hazel (4-star)
Position: Wide Receiver (#33)
High School: Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. (Upper Marlboro, MD)
Weight: 190 lbs.
Other Offers: Alabama, Boston College, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Kentucky, Marshall, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Hazel committed to West Virginia last July, but flipped to Maryland just days after Locksley was hired. A few days after that, he signed his letter of intent (LOI) at the end of the early signing period and quickly became the Terrapins’ top ranked recruit. Locksley had recruited him for Nick Saban while he was with Alabama, and the Crimson Tide were among many others who offered him a scholarship. Despite being just over 15 miles away, the Terrapins have never been able to break through to create a recruiting pipeline with Wise High School. However if there is anyone who could do just that, it’s Locksley.
Lance LeGendre (4-star)
Position: Dual-Threat Quarterback (#9)
High School: Warren Easton Charter (New Orleans, LA)
Weight: 205 lbs.
Other Offers: Alabama, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Memphis, Miami (FL), Missouri, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Tulane, Virginia
In one of the more surprising storylines nationwide on National Signing Day, the Terrapins stole a blue-chip quarterback from Florida State after recruiting him for just two weeks. LeGendre is one of the most talented high school quarterbacks to come to College Park in recent memory, and should prove worthy competition for incumbent starter Tyrrell Pigrome. He is a true dual-threat, pairing excellent quickness with a very strong throwing arm. LeGendre’s recruitment is a prime example of what Maryland fans, and the entire country, can expect from Locksley and his coaching staff.
Cortez Andrews (3-star)
Position: Outside Linebacker (#29)
High School: Amos P. Godby (Tallahassee, FL)
Weight: 217 lbs.
Other Offers: Alabama, Auburn, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kent State, Louisville, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Temple, UAB, UCF
Andrews is Maryland’s top 3-star recruit, and had been ranked as a 4-star by a few recruiting services. He chose the Terrapins over offers from numerous blue blood collegiate football programs, including Alabama. A former safety, he switched to linebacker late in his high school career and never looked back. His size makes him a perfect fit for a modern outside linebacker in the defenses of today which prioritize speed over all else. Defensive coordinator Jon Hoke will have some holes to fill at the linebacker position this season, so Andrews will likely receive every opportunity for immediate playing time.
Deonte Banks (3-star)
Position: Cornerback (#77)
High School: Edgewood (Edgewood, MD)
Weight: 190 lbs.
Other Offers: Buffalo, Delaware State, Elon, Kent State, Monmouth
Banks is one of the few holdovers from the former administration’s recruiting class, having committed to Maryland in June. He signed his LOI at the end of the early signing period in December. Not many teams across the country showed much interest in him, largely due to his early commitment. It also likely doesn’t help that he went to high school in a rarely-recruited area of Harford County. However he is a very strong prospect at cornerback, a position the Terrapins will likely have some openings in next year.
Anthony Booker (3-star)
Position: Strong-Side Defensive End (#60)
High School: Winton Woods (Cincinnati, OH)
Weight: 280 lbs.
Other Offers: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami (OH), Ohio, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Toledo, Western Michigan, Youngstown State
Booker was a late addition to this year’s recruiting class, as he committed to Maryland on February 5th and signed his LOI the next day. Despite being a solid defensive end prospect with excellent size, he didn’t receive much interest outside of the Midwest. With the Terrapins needing to replace Byron Cowart on the strong-side, Booker will be a welcome addition to compete for immediate playing time.
Treron Collins (3-star)
Position: Safety (#76)
High School: Langston Hughes (Fairburn, GA)
Weight: 190 lbs.
Other Offers: Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, FIU, Florida, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville, Massachusetts, N.C. State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Oregon State, South Alabama, Syracuse, Tennessee, USF, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Maryland offered Collins a scholarship in March of 2017, but it wasn’t until he visited College Park two weekends ago that he committed to the new Locksley regime. He has excellent size for a high school safety, and could compete for immediate playing time with Darnell Savage, Jr. likely headed to the NFL.
Kameron Blount (3-star)
Position: Outside Linebacker (#81)
High School: St. Charles (Waldorf, MD)
Weight: 216 lbs.
Other Offers: Howard, Indiana, Massachusetts, Monmouth, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, Wake Forest
Blount is another of the few recruits that Locksley was able to hold on to after taking the head coaching job in December. He committed to Maryland in April, and remained committed even after former offensive coordinator Walt Bell and former defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim attempted to steal him away to Massachusetts. He’ll join a number of small, quick outside linebackers looking to compete for some early playing time this season.
Dino Tomlin (3-star)
Position: Wide Receiver (#130)
High School: Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh, PA)
Weight: 165 lbs.
Other Offers: Albany, Army, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duquesne, Fordham, Holy Cross, Howard, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Robert Morris, Toledo, Yale
Tomlin is one of the few Maryland recruits to have committed during former interim head coach Matt Canada’s tenure with the program. Former wide receivers coach Chris Beatty led his recruitment, and Tomlin remained solid when Locksley took over the program. He is the son of Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, and will likely serve in a slot receiver role for the Terrapins.
Deshawn Holt (3-star)
Position: Weak-Side Defensive End (#73)
High School: Westlake (Waldorf, MD)
Weight: 220 lbs.
Other Offers: Bowling Green, Kent State, Massachusetts, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Temple, Toledo
Holt committed to Maryland in June, and hails from the same area as Blount. He could serve to bulk up a bit, and will likely have his best chance to compete for playing time in a few years.
Sam Okuayinonu (3-star)
Position: Junior College Strong-Side Defensive End (#9)
Junior College: Mesabi Range Community and Technical (Virginia, MN)
High School: Lowell (Lowell, MA)
Weight: 270 lbs.
Other Offers: Akron, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Charlotte, Grambling State, Liberty, Massachusetts, Memphis, Merrimack, New Hampshire, Oregon, Sacred Heart, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Troy, UAB, USF, Wagner
Okuayinonu was one of Locksley’s latest additions to the 2019 class, and committed just days after visiting College Park two weekends ago. As a junior college prospect, he brings solid experience and size to a position of need for Hoke’s defense. Of all the recruits in the 2019 class, he likely has the best chance to start immediately.
Mason Lunsford (3-star)
Position: Offensive Tackle (#122)
High School: Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, MD)
Weight: 305 lbs.
Other Offers: Air Force, Army, Massachusetts, Virginia
Lunsford was one of Locksley’s first recruits for this year’s class, and committed just over a week after he took the job in College Park. He has excellent size for a high school lineman, and will provide good depth on what will be a thin offensive line this season.
Lavonte Gater (3-star)
Position: Athlete (#126)
High School: Frank W. Ballou Senior (Washington, DC)
Weight: 160 lbs.
Other Offers: Howard, Morgan State, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Temple, Toledo
Gater is another holdover from the previous regime’s class, and committed to Maryland almost a year ago. He’s also the only Washington, DC recruit in the class. While rated as an athlete, he’ll play cornerback for the Terrapins and could have a chance to compete for the nickel job when Antoine Brooks, Jr. moves on next season.
Parris Heath (3-star)
Position: Junior College Offensive Guard (#8)
Junior College: ASA (Brooklyn, NY)
High School: Ramapo (Spring Valley, NY)
Weight: 325 lbs.
Other Offers: Arkansas State, Colorado State, Georgia State, Houston, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Ohio, Old Dominion
Heath joins Okuayinonu as the second junior college recruit in Maryland’s 2019 recruiting class. He also has a chance to start immediately, with former starting left guard Sean Christie graduating after last season. Surprisingly, he never visited College Park before signing his LOI.
Erwin Byrd (3-star)
Position: Cornerback (#170)
High School: John McEachern (Powder Springs, GA)
Weight: 175 lbs.
Other Offers: Army, Buffalo, Coastal Carolina, Colorado, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Liberty, Navy, Pittsburgh, South Alabama, Western Carolina, Western Michigan
Byrd committed to Maryland after visiting two weeks ago and despite a late push from Colorado, signed his LOI on Wednesday. He’s one of two recruits from Georgia in the 2019 class.
Tyler Devera (3-star)
Position: Tight End (#75)
High School: Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ)
Weight: 227 lbs.
Other Offers: Air Force, Buffalo, Central Connecticut State, Colorado, Duquesne, Georgia Southern, Howard, Kent State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisville, Maine, Marshall, Massachusetts, Miami (OH), Monmouth, Old Dominion, Rhode Island, Rutgers, Stony Brook, Villanova, Western Michigan, William & Mary, Youngstown State
Devera visited College Park last weekend and committed just a few days later. If you notice a trend, you’re not the only one. Locksley hosted two blowout recruiting weekends just before National Signing Day, and the commitments began flowing in the following days. He is a former Rutgers commit, and committed to Maryland earlier this week.
Marcus Finger (3-star)
Position: Offensive Tackle (#165)
High School: Fort Myers Senior (Fort Myers, FL)
Weight: 296 lbs.
Other Offers: Akron, Georgia State, Kent State, Southern Miss, UCF, USF
Finger was another late addition to Locksley’s class, and flipped his commitment from UCF to Maryland just two days before National Signing Day. So yes, Maryland flipped a Finger.
Malik Jackson (3-star)
Position: Tight End (#85)
High School: Meade Senior (Fort Meade, MD)
Weight: 225 lbs.
Other Offers: None
Jackson committed to Maryland in December, and signed his LOI during the early signing period. He is a former UConn commit so Locksley was able to steal him away from his former boss, Randy Edsall.
Zack is a financial analyst for a defense contractor in Washington, DC. The Owings Mills native focuses most of his efforts on Maryland Football recruiting and individual coach and player pieces; but also covers Terps Basketball. He has established relationships with Big Ten beat reporters across the conference, which he utilizes in his game previews. Now a Sr. Terps Analyst for BSL, Zack can be reached at: [email protected]