Jalen Smith was arguably the most highly-regarded recruit left on the board for Maryland.
On Monday evening, the four-star Mount Saint Joseph (Md.) forward announced that he has committed to the Terrapins. Smith’s pledge comes just three weeks after four-star guard Aaron Wiggins committed to Maryland.
Smith chose Maryland over several high major offers from some of the top programs around the country. Miami (Fla.), Syracuse, Villanova, and Virginia were heavily involved in Smith’s recruitment, but Maryland seemed to be the team to beat from the very beginning.
He had just finished up an official visit to College Park this past weekend.
According to 247Sports’ Composite rankings, Smith was rated as the No. 29 player in the nation. In addition, he was tabbed as the 12th-best power forward and the second-best player in Maryland behind Immanuel Quickley.
Monday night was the culmination of three years of hard work by the Maryland coaching staff. At the beginning of Smith’s sophomore high school season, coach Mark Turgeon extended an offer his way.
To put Turgeon’s efforts into perspective, Smith is the second-highest rated recruit in the past 15 years. Only Diamond Stone was ranked high at sixth overall back in 2015.
The former Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year is coming off a season in which he averaged 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks. He led Mount St. Joseph to a 35-3 record and played alongside incoming Terp freshman guard Darryl Morsell.
The combination of Morsell and Smith has proved to be a very formidable one. With the dynamic duo joining forces once again in College Park, it could be a very big deal for the Terps in the years to come.