Maryland head coach DJ Durkin announces new recruiting class at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. (Johnny Moseman/The Left Bench)

Early signing period brings 22 recruits to Maryland’s 2018 class

The University of Maryland football team announced their 22 commits who signed their National Letters of Intent on Tuesday at the beginning of the early signing period.

Maryland head coach DJ Durkin now has back-to-back Top 25 recruiting classes and couldn’t be happier with the way this early signing period ended.

“I can’t wipe the smile off my face today,” Durkin said. “Football is the ultimate team sport and you’ve got to stack great classes on one another in order to build a team with the depth you need in the greatest conference in college football.”

The consensus Top 25 class consists of five four-star commits, 18 three-stars, and a former five-star in former Auburn defensive end Byron Cowart.

Cowart, the No. 1 player in the class of 2015, left Auburn before enrolling at Hillsborough Community College (Fla.) this past fall. He did not play football in the fall though.

15 of the players that signed Tuesday are from the DMV and that is the bread-and-butter of Maryland’s recruiting game, Durkin said.

“That’s going to be the lifeblood of the program,” Durkin said. “That is our formula, our recipe. We have tremendous football players and coaches in this area. I would throw up our area up against any other place in the country when it comes to the level of talent that comes out year after year.”

Another big point of emphasis from Durkin on this new recruiting class is the offensive lineman that just joined the program. Four offensive linemen have signed with the Terps, including a pair of four-star’s in Evan Gregory from right down the street at DeMatha Catholic High School and Jaelyn Duncan from St. Frances.

“Evan is a people mover. He’s a guy that plays with great toughness and a chip on his shoulder,” Maryland Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell said. “He plays the game the right way and is very aggressive. He’ll be a great player for us.”

One position Durkin and his staff still need to improve on before the final recruiting class is introduced on Feb. 7 is cornerback. They only signed three defensive backs, including three-star Raymond Boone from Eleanor Roosevelt High School, which is only miles away from College Park.

“Raymond is extremely competitive and plays aggressive. He has tremendous ball skills, can take the ball out of the air and create turnovers,” Maryland defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim said.

Maryland also signed one kicker in three-star Joseph Petrino out of Richmond Hill, Ga.

“I’m just really excited we have a kicker,” Durkin said. “He is really talented and we’re pumped to have him.”


The 22 commits that signed their NLI on Tuesday:

-Jalen Alexander, DL, 6-4, 295 lbs, Western Branch High School (3-star)

-Nihym Anderson, LB, 6-1, 225 lbs, Vineland South High School (3-star)

-Spencer Anderson, OL, 6-5, 290 lbs, Bishop McNamara High School (3-star)

-Tyler Baylor, BUCK, 6-4, 230 lbs, Good Counsel High School (3-star)

-Raymond Boone, DB, 6-0, 198 lbs, Eleanor Roosevelt High School (3-star)

-TJ Bradley, OL, 6-7, 285 lbs, Lackawanna Community College (3-star)

-Chance Campbell, LB, 6-2, 225 lbs, Calvert Hall College (3-star)

-Brian Cobbs, WR, 6-1, 200 lbs, Hayfield High School (3-star)

-Bryon Cowart, DL, 6-4, 270 lbs, Auburn (former 5-star, current 3-star)

-Dontay Demus Jr., WR, 6-4, 205 lbs, Friendship Collegiate Academy (3-star)

-Tyler DeSue, QB, 6-1, 210 lbs, Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School (3-star)

-Jaelyn Duncan, OL, 6-5, 302 lbs, St. Frances Academy (4-star)

-Vincent Flythe, DB, 6-0, 172 lbs, Howard D. Woodson High School (3-star)

-Austin Fontaine, DL, 6-4, 321 lbs, DeMatha Catholic High School (4-star)

-Fa’Najae Gotay. ATH, 6-0, 205 lbs, North Fort Myers High School (3-star)

-Evan Gregory, OL, 6-4, 296 lbs, DeMatha Catholic High School (4-star)

-Darryl Jones, WR, 6-3, 184 lbs, Princess Anne High School (4-star)

-Jeshaun Jones, WR, 6-2, 173 lbs, South Fort Myers High School (3-star)

-Jordan Mosley, LB, 6-1, 217 lbs, Haverford High School (3-star)

-Durell Nchami, LB, 6-3, 220 lbs, Paint Branch High School (3-star)

-Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, 6-2, 225 lbs, Hillgrove High School (3-star)

-Joseph Petrino, K, 5-11, 170 lbs, Richmond Hill High School (3-star)