The 2018 Maryland Recruiting Class. The basic overview of the class, the relative strength, what you need to know if you don’t care about recruiting, the star, and the depth chart hole going into the season.
Maryland Recruiting Class Overview
It’s not quite as strong as last year’s class, but it’s still really, really good.
Head coach D.J. Durkin was using some of the new guys last year, but he’s mostly laying the foundation for the near future by making sure he keeps as many of the good local players around.
The recruiting class is almost all full of Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia players, with a few Floridians and Pennsylvanians sprinkled in.
Most importantly, he’s getting the linemen to hold up. With four good blockers – led by tackle Jaelyn Duncan out of Baltimore – and a pair of potentially amazing options for the defensive interior in Austin Fontaine and Jalen Alexander, there’s Big Ten talent to get excited about.
The skill player prospects are just okay, but WR Darryl Jones is a potential playmaker who could and should be the No. 1 target soon enough, but there aren’t any running backs to count on in this class.
The Maryland Class Is Heavy On …
There aren’t a ton of them, and they might not be the overall stars of some of the other Big Ten classes, but they’re strong.
Tyler Baylor is the best of the ends, with a 6-5, 220-pound frame that could add more weight, and decent pass rushing moves. Alexander isn’t quite as talented, but he’s a good tackle with a great upside as a possible tweener – he’d make a terrific 3-4 end. But …
The Star of the Maryland Class Is …
DT Austin Fontaine, 6-3, 280
The key to the class, he committed well before the Early Signing Day and didn’t waiver, blowing off Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin to be a potential anchor for the D line. He’s quick enough to live in opposing backfields, and he’s tough enough be a rock against the run.
The Maryland Biggest 2018 Depth Chart Hole Is …
The defensive front is every bit as important to deal with, and getting a good quarterback to stay healthy is a must, but the receiving corps is the biggest piece of the puzzle that needs fixing.
Three of the top four targets are gone, including DJ Moore and Taivon Jacobs, who combined for 127 catches and 13 of the 15 touchdowns. The next leading receiver caught just 13 passes.
This is where Jones has to rise up and rock as soon as possible, but he’s not alone in a big corps. Donate Demus is 6-4, Brian Cobbs is 6-3, and Jeshaun Jones is 6-1. The Terps are going big.