National Signing Day is finally here!
We’re going to look at who’s already committed for Maryland and provide an in-depth at some of the big name prospects
The Terrapins certainly have gone through a very tumultuous year. Randy Edsall was thought to be leading the program to the promised land, but was relieved of his duties after a horrific 2-4 start. Interim coach Mike Locksley didn’t fare a whole lot better, but did rally Maryland to an uplifting win in the season finale against Rutgers.
Just days after the season ended, athletic director Kevin Anderson hired D.J. Durkin to resurrect the Maryland program. Durkin immediately hit the ground running when it came to recruiting, which was exactly what the Terps needed. While he wasn’t able to keep Dwayne Haskins and Keandre Jones around, the former Michigan defensive coordinator has accumulated some strong talent despite only being on the job for just two months.
Terrance Davis – four stars (Offensive guard, DeMatha Catholic)
Davis was definitely a prospect that many may not have thought Maryland would land in the midst of a coaching change. Durkin had only been on the job a few weeks when Davis decided to commit to the Terps during the Under Armour All-America Game. Davis is one of four DeMatha recruits that are currently committed to Maryland, which is significant given the disconnect between the Terps and the local powerhouse in recent years. The DeMatha offensive lineman is a mammoth specimen that really gets push off the line of scrimmage and could be a fixture in College Park over the next few years.
Tino Ellis – four stars (Wide receiver, DeMatha Catholic)
With Haskins out of the picture, Ellis definitely became the “sexy” offensive recruit that is Maryland bound. The four-star wideout is a phenomenal prospect that the Terps chased during the Edsall era and Durkin convinced Ellis to stand pat in his decision to play at home. Ellis is a flat-out playmaker that will be a great target for whichever quarterback is under center at Maryland for years to come. The DeMatha star is a top 300 talent that also has the ability to run after the catch and will solidify a position that already includes guys like Jahrvis Davenport and D.J. Moore.
Richard Merritt – four stars (Offensive guard, Archbishop Carroll)
Merritt was one of the first recruits that Durkin was able to lure to College Park. The Archbishop Carroll (D.C.) star is even bigger than Davis and the two could form a formidable duo on the inside of Maryland’s offensive line. Merritt chose the Terps over offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan State, and Ohio State. This is an extremely physical guard that can absolutely maul opposing defensive linemen. Maryland continues to recruit the offensive line extraordinarily well since coming over to the Big Ten.
D.J. Turner – three stars (Wide receiver, DeMatha Catholic)
Turner was one of the first prospects to commit to Maryland nearly a year ago. Since then, the DeMatha wideout saw his recruitment intensify and even received a late offer from Syracuse on Jan. 19. Turner is a very impressive playmaker at the wide receiver position that did have his season cut short due to a horrific knee injury early in his senior season. He probably would’ve received even more offers as a senior if not for the injury, but that’s Maryland’s gain. Along with Ellis, Maryland has added two incredible playmakers at the wide receiver position in 2016.
Ole Hotty Toddy
Lorenzo Harrison – three stars (Running back, DeMatha Catholic)
Much like Turner, Harrison was an early addition to Maryland’s 2016 class. The position was certainly one of strength during the 2015 season with Brandon Ross leading the way, but it’s undergoing a changing of the guard this fall. The Terps did get a graduate transfer in Virginia Tech’s Trey Edmunds and will have sophomore Ty Johnson along with incoming freshmen Jake Funk, Harrison, and Laderrien Wilson. Harrison is definitely the most heralded in the group of freshmen as he is rated as the No. 55 tailback in the nation, according to 247Sports. This is a shifty runner that doesn’t go down at the first point of contact. If you need a reminder of just how talented Harrison is, check out the run below for clarification.
Jake Funk – three stars (Running back, Damascus)
Funk is another local running back that Maryland was able to secure. Funk’s recruitment was a little strange because he ended up committing to the Terps while Locksley was the interim head coach. The Damascus star certainly is a welcome addition to the program as he is one of the most accomplished backs in Maryland state history. Funk rushed for 2,866 yards and 57 touchdowns (a Maryland state record) as a senior. Funk also led the Hornets to a Class 3A state championship, which culminated in a 55-14 win over Dundalk. In the Class 3A title game, Funk rushed for a mind-boggling 270 yards and a state record seven touchdowns. It was Damascus’ first state championship since 2007. This is a tailback that is an extremely determined runner and even if he doesn’t make a huge impact as a freshman, this is a guy that the Terps could count on down the road.
Max Bortenschlager – three stars (Quarterback, Cathedral)
The addition of Bortenschlager certainly came out of left field for Maryland. However, when Lindsey Scott committed to LSU on Sunday, it made a lot of sense. Bortenschlager, a former Buffalo commit, visited College Park this past weekend and ended up committing on Saturday. The Cathedral (Ind.) signal caller is a pro-style quarterback that could fit in very well with the Terps. While he definitely has great pocket presence and a strong arm, Bortenschlager is also very mobile and can make plays on the run. Obviously, Maryland is still in hot pursuit of Clay-Chalkville (Ala.) quarterback Tyrell Pigrome, who did visit this past weekend as well. If Pigrome doesn’t end up in College Park, Bortenschlager is definitely a solid backup plan.
Laderrien Wilson – three stars (Running back, Osceola)
Terek Zingale – three stars (Offensive tackle, Nordonia)
Brian Plummer – three stars (Offensive tackle, South Carroll Sr.)
Noah Barnes – two stars (Tight end, Auburn)
Antwaine Richardson – three stars (Cornerback, Atlantic)
It’s pretty clear that Durkin enjoys recruiting in the Sunshine State. Richardson is one of five Maryland commit that hail from the state of Florida. Richardson was originally a Michigan commit before reopening his recruitment on Jan. 21. Just five days later, Richardson pledged to the Terps, which may be one of the bigger pickups in this class. Aside from William Likely, Maryland is very inexperienced in the secondary with Sean Davis, A.J. Hendy, and Anthony Nixon graduating. Richardson is a very corner that could see a good amount of playing time in 2016. Guys like Jarrett Ross and Darnell Savage will also see the field. Richardson is a very physical cornerback that has nice size at 6’0/165 lbs. He is one of three corners in the 2016 class, along with Elisha Daniels and Travon Stott.
Elijah Daniels – three stars (Safety, Cardinal Gibbons)
Once the Daniels twins decommitted from Minnesota, it was widely predicted that they would end up at Maryland. On Jan. 23, they made it official and both committed to the Terps. Elijah Daniels is the more highly-touted of the duo and projects as a safety at the collegiate level. As was mentioned about Richardson, Maryland is in dire need of safety help with Hendy and Nixon graduating. Daniels is a guy that definitely isn’t afraid to lay a big hit on an opposing ball carrier. He’s always around the football and can help stop the run. Much like Richardson, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Daniels saw significant playing time as a true freshman.
Brett Shepherd – not rated (Outside linebacker, Buford)
Travon Stott – three stars (Cornerback, Good Counsel)
Elisha Daniels – three stars (Cornerback, Cardinal Gibbons)
Qwuantrezz Knight – two stars (Safety, East Gadsden)
Antoine Brooks – not rated (Linebacker, Duval)