Maryland Football National Signing Day Primer


Quince Orchard defensive tackle Adam McLean headlines a strong 2015 recruiting class for the Terrapins, and it could grow larger on National Signing Day. (Mandatory Credit: Dan Gross/The Gazette)

The Maryland Terrapins football program has pulled in a commitments on National Signing Day over the last few years. On Feb. 4, coach Randy Edsall and his staff will be looking for previously committed players to fax over their signed Letters of Intent, and possibly a new commitment or two. Currently, Maryland has 17 commitments on board to play their collegiate football in College Park. The likes of Eleanor Roosevelt offensive tackle Isaiah Prince, and Trinity-Pawling (NY) defensive Austrian Robinson have yet to make their college decisions, so all three will be interesting situations to follow on National Signing Day.

Here’s the current list of future Terps: (all ratings courtesy of 247Sports)

  • Defensive tackle Adam McLean (Quince Orchard, Gaithersburg) – 6’2/290 lb./four-star
  • Offensive guard Quarvez Boulware (Friendship Academy, Washington D.C.) – 6’2.5/283 lb./four-star
  • Offensive guard E.J. Donahue (Linganore, Frederick) – 6’5/335 lb./four-star
  • Running back Ty Johnson (Fort Hill, Cumberland) – 5’10/178 lb./three-star
  • Wide receiver D.J. Moore (Imhotep Institute, Philadelphia) – 6’0/180 lb./three-star
  • Defensive tackle Keiron Howard (Potomac, Oxon Hill) – 6’4/295 lb./three-star
  • Pro style quarterback Gage Shaffer (Frankfort, Ridgeley, WV) – 6’7/205 lb./three-star
  • Cornerback Darnell Savage (Caravel Academy, Bear, Del.) – 5’10/172 lb./three-star
  • Offensive guard Ellis McKennie (McDonogh School, Owings Mills) – 6’4/310 lb./three-star
  • Inside linebacker Gus Little (Massaponax, Fredericksburg) – 6’3/230 lb./three-star
  • Wide receiver Jahrvis Davenport (Robinson, Tampa) – 5’10/180 lb./three-star
  • Center Mason Zimmerman (Anthony Wayne, Whitehouse, OH) – 6’5/275 lb./three-star
  • Offensive tackle Will McClain (Middletown, Middletown, Md.) – 6’5/290 lb./three-star
  • Inside linebacker Brett Zanotto (Franklin Regional, Murrysville, Pa.) – 6’0/215 lb./three-star
  • Strong-side defensive end Mbi Tanyi (Bush, Richmond, Tx.) – 6’2.5/247 lb/three-star
  • Outside linebacker Isaiah Davis (St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, Alexandria, Va.) – 6’1/210 lb.-three-star
  • Strong-side defensive end Oseh Saine (Worcester Academy, Mass.) – 6’4/265 lb./three-star

Where It Ranks:

Despite not a ton of high-profile commitments early on, the Terps have managed to land to round up a solid class. With a four star in McLean in the fold, Maryland currently has the 45th-best class, according to 247Sports. The group also ranks sixth in the rugged Big Ten.

Impact of the 2015 class:

As was mentioned above, Maryland ended up with a strong group in 2015. Aside from potential commitments on National Signing Day, the Terps currently have 17 recruits that are committed. McLean and Boulware are currently the only four-star prospects in the group and the other 15 are all three-star recruits.

McLean is the second-best recruit in the state of Maryland and a top 200 talent. The Quince Orchard product has a strong knack for getting into the opposing team’s backfield. In 2013, McLean had 10 tackles-for-loss and seven sacks for the Cougars. His size allows him to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage as well.

As for the offensive line, Edsall continues to build depth to a unit that was depleted in the first few years of his tenure. Just a year after bringing in Derwin Gray and Damian Prince, Maryland has the likes of Boulware, Donahue, McClain, McKennie, and Zimmerman coming to College Park. And that’s not including Isaiah Prince, who is announcing on Wednesday whether he will be attending Alabama, Maryland, or Ohio State later this year.

Boulware, previously believed to be a silent commit, made things official as he committed to Maryland on Tuesday. The Friendship Academy star is one of the top prospects in the Washington D.C. area as he comes in third, just behind Gonzaga standouts Richie Petitbon (Alabama) and Marcus Lewis (announcing on Wednesday). If the Terps are unable to secure a commitment from Isaiah Prince, Boulware is the big fish of this offensive line group. Donahue is one prospect that could make an impact early on. The Linganore product has tremendous size at 6’5/330 lbs. and is just the type of lineman that Maryland could use in the meat-and-potatoes Big Ten.

One of the most underrated prospects in Maryland’s 2015 class is wideout D.J. Moore. The Imhotep star is a guy that relies on his speed and makes a living on yards after the catch. In the open field, there’s few wideouts around the country that are as elusive as Moore. In going up against some elite teams in the Philadelphia area and beyond, Moore more than held his own. With the likes of Stefon Diggs and Deon Long gone, Moore could see the field early on in his Maryland career.

Who could flip?

Such as is the case on National Signing Day in most years, many recruits (even committed ones) haven’t made their final decisions and will announce where they will be attending college as a freshman. Maryland has reeled in a few commitments on National Signing Day in recent years. In 2013, the Terps secured pledges from Jacquille Veii (The Avalon School) and Taivon Jacobs (Suitland), who had previously committed to Ohio State. Both could see extended playing time this season due to the departure of Diggs and Long, so valuable assets can clearly be found on National Signing Day.

Isaiah Prince is the biggest fish left on the board that is still considering Maryland. Prince is one of the top offensive tackles in the country and the top recruit in the state of Maryland. Prince is a mammoth, athletic tackle that moves extremely well. Much like Damian Prince was last year, Prince is the type of get that could transform this recruiting class from a solid group to an great group in a matter of seconds. In terms of his recruitment, there has been a ton of buzz that Ohio State is making a late push for Prince’s services. This is the Damian Prince of 2015 and the recruit that most Maryland fans could love to see stay home on National Signing Day.

Many of the few other remaining Maryland targets are still uncommitted and will stay that way until Wednesday. However, don’t rule out a recruit flipping to the Terps. National Signing Day is one of the craziest days on the calendar and nothing is out of the realm of possibilities.

Who announces when?

Byron Cowart (defensive end, Armwood) – 9 a.m. (#3 overall, #1 SDE)

  • Finalists: Auburn and Florida

Isaiah Prince (offensive tackle, Eleanor Roosevelt) – 9:30 a.m. (#105 overall, #7 OT)

  • Finalists: Alabama, Maryland, and Ohio State

Ryan Davis (wide receiver, Lakewood) – 10 a.m. (247 Composite: #187 overall, #24 WR)

  • Finalists: Auburn and Florida

Austrian Robinson (defensive end, Trinity-Pawling School) – 12:30 p.m. (#623 overall, #34 SDE)

  • Finalists: Maryland and Ole Miss

Cowart and Davis likely won’t be coming to College Park and may not even have a hat at either of these announcement. However, you never know what is going to happen, so it’s still a pair of situations worth monitoring. Cowart and Davis were both in town for the West Virginia game back in September and were on official visits that weekend.

Prince and Robinson are the two that Maryland fans should be most concerned with as the Terps have a realistic shot at landing a pledge from each. As noted above, Prince is being chased hard by Ohio State, but the hometown factor can never be counted out. Will Maryland land their second Prince in as many years? We’ll see.

As for Robinson, Maryland was seen as the frontrunner for a majority of his recruitment. However, Robinson did take an official visit to Ole Miss on Jan. 23. The Terps did visit Robinson on Jan. 29, so it’s a toss-up on where he will end up.

National Signing Day is one of the most hectic and exciting days of the college football calendar. Maryland’s class isn’t finalized by any stretch, so stay glued to TerrapinStationMD all day for comprehensive coverage of the day’s happenings!