College Park, MD- The NCAA football recruiting process is a turnstile of athletes entering the program and eventually leaving a few short years later. With such little time to develop and mold players into a programs’ respective system, selecting the right players out of high school (and hoping they sign) is a tiring and hectic responsibility.
College football programs see firsthand how important and life-changing the right player can be. Teams like LSU, Alabama, and Clemson routinely round up some of the best high school athletes in the country. The result? Multiple victories, conference championships, and national titles.
But it isn’t as easy as selecting a 5-Star recruit and bringing them aboard. With no draft process or signing procedures, schools rely heavily on what they have to offer. Academics, facilities, staff, and school history are just a small list of what recruits will prioritize when selecting a possible school. Will they get playing time as a freshman? How many other elite recruits are signing with the program? What is the school/athletic balance like?
Many questions are asked, but only programs with the right answers end up reeling in some of the top recruits into their program.
And for the Maryland Terrapins, they have had all the right answers in recent years.
The Terrapins have flirted with .500 football for seasons past. Since joining the Big Ten, the Terrapins finished better than .500 in 2014, going 7-6 overall. They managed to stay .500 in-conference play as well, finishing the season 4-4.
Since 2014, Maryland has struggled in the Big Ten. But last season, there was a ton of promise shown by the program. The shortened season had the Terps end Conference play 2-3.
Focusing back on Maryland’s recruiting process, the Terrapins have brought in a number of high-profile talents to their program.
Looking at the 2021 recruiting class, the Terrapins signed 5-Star recruit Terrence Lewis. The ILB is ranked number 1 at his position and was ranked 20th overall in the nation. The 2021 grad year has been huge for Maryland.
Lewis joins Branden Jennings (4-Star) and Corey Coley Jr. (3-Star) as their biggest pickups from that class.
The 2020 recruiting campaign set the tone for Maryland its future recruits. In 2020, Maryland once again signed a 5-Star player. Rakim Jarrett was the number 4 rated WR in the country.
Other names like Ruben Hyppolite and Peny Boone helped solidify the Terrpains’ recruiting process. For a program that was easily passed over, the Terrapins are bringing in some of the best talents in the nation. The outlook has changed and now Maryland is a legitimate destination.
While Maryland is still considered longshots to win a national championship, it’s evident that they are on the right path to success.
The Terrapins are currently listed at +25000 to win the 2021 National Championship. Betway Sports has them as clear underdogs, but they are in the same position as other former top programs.
Maryland owns the same odds as programs like Baylor, Boise State and Michigan State.
An end-of-season bowl victory might be more obtainable for the Terrapins at this point, but they are only going up.
The 2022-recruiting class is another example of Maryland bringing in high school talents. They are still in search of a 4-or-5 star recruit, but it’s evident that the Terrapins are bringing in athletically gifted players.
For head coach Michael Locksley, who took over the team in 2018, the time is now to bring this program to new heights. Multiple high-profile recruits are filling out the program, meaning it’s almost time to strike.
For a program that formerly relied on local and state talents to help round out the roster, the future is looking bright for Maryland.
Now, not only is Maryland a destination for top talents in the state and district, it’s a destination for kids all over the United States. With such momentum brewing every season, expect the Terrapins to be a dominating force in future seasons.
The Big Ten is loaded with talent, but it’s no longer a one-team race to the podium. Maryland has proven that Terrapins football is legitimate, just like their recruiting process.
For any high school talent looking to make the jump to the next level, playing football for the Terrapins is now considered a viable option. For Locksley and the rest of his staff, sights are now set on a potential Conference championship.
And one day, maybe even bringing home a national title.