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2017 Maryland Recruiting: Will D.J. Durkin Keep This Monster Class?

D.J. Durkin has brought in a class of 28 commitments with up to another three spots open but can he keep the blue bloods from poaching?

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Maryland Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

This is a recurring feature leading up to National Signing Day where we will preview each teams recruiting class and who each team’s best recruit is and who can make an immediate impact. We’ll go in order from worst to first based on 2016 standings. All ratings come from the 247 composite rankings.

Where does the class stand?

Maryland currently ranks 18th nationally and 4th in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, they’re also 4th in the Big Ten East, who is recruiting at a ridiculous clip this year. Maryland has a total of 28 commitments this year with 7 being Early Enrollees. The general rule is that up to six early enrollees can count towards the prior year if there is space in that recruiting class, so technically Maryland’s 2017 scholarship count is at 21 with one preferred walk on. A little crazy, but they could still take more if they had the opportunity.

How does the class breakdown?

Maryland’s commitments currently breakdown as 12 on offense and 14 on defense with 1 kicker. Yes, that doesn’t equal 28, thanks. Maryland has two athletes committed but one currently will slot either at WR or Safety/LB depending on how the staff feels or how he looks in summer practice, which leaves the uncertainty as to where to slot him. Here is how it breaks down on both sides of the ball:

  • QB: 1
  • RB: 2
  • WR: 5*
  • TE: 1
  • OL: 4 (1 tackle, 2 guards, 1 center)
  • DL: 6 (3 DE, 3 DT)
  • LB: 3
  • DB: 5
  • K: 1

Here is the full class via 247:

Is the talent any good?

Yep. Maryland has brought in Kasim Hill at QB, who could compete right away for the starting position against former four star UNC transfer Caleb Henderson and Tyrrell Pigrome. Nearly all of Maryland’s early enrollee’s are on the defensive side of the ball in the secondary, which will give them a leg up and a chance to contribute immediately. The interior OL recruits are very good and while they should redshirt this year, they should be able to make contributions early on in their careers.

Will Maryland take anymore players?

As crazy as it sounds, yes. Maryland is still recruiting Naytron Culpepper at safety and would take Anthony McFarland if he decides to come to Maryland over Miami (full disclosure: Miami lean). Maryland will also actively scan the transfer market this summer if they can find someone who can contribute on the DL as its the biggest weakness on that side of the ball by far.

First things first though, Maryland needs to fend off those that are trying to poach players. Defensive line coach Mike London took the head coaching job at Howard earlier this month and it threw the defensive line recruits into disarray. The Gaddy twins were never thought to be hard commitments to Maryland but losing their lead recruiter and position coach certainly didn’t help things. Additionally, long time commit Cam Spence started looking around as well, although there is much more hope that he stays committed than the prior two. D.J. Durkin will need to put the full court press on the DL recruits to keep them in the fold as well as quickly hire a positional coach, which should at least show the recruits who their positional coach will be.

Can anyone make an immediate impact?

Yes. As mentioned above, Kasim Hill could challenge to start right away at QB if he can pick up the playbook quickly and beat out UNC transfer Caleb Henderson and sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome. Markquese Bell is an early enrollee and should contribute right away in the two deep at the S/LB position in Andy Buh’s 4-2-5 defense that features a spot similar to how Jabrill Peppers played at Michigan. Bell could start depending on the status of Denzel Conyers medical redshirt status for his last year of eligibility. JUCO transfers Alex Woods and Nick Underwood will challenge for playing time at corner and LB respectively and otherwise provide solid depth at both positions.

Up next: Indiana