Mike Locksley came to College Park with a reputation as a strong recruiter. After a disappointing 3-9 season in his first full year as head coach of Maryland football, the class of 2020 would be Locksley’s first chance to revamp his roster.
While the majority of the class is compiled by three-star prospects, Locksley and his staff landed one four- and five-star prospect to highlight a class that ranks No. 27 in the country and No. 6 in the Big Ten, per 247Sports.
Blue-chip wideout Rakim Jarrett surprised even Locksley when he committed, but the early signing day haul also includes standout names such as linebacker Ruben Hyppolite, running back Peny Boone and wide receiver Deajaun McDougle.
Throughout the recruiting process, Locksley said he wanted to target players who were “smart, tough, and reliable,” and continued by saying, “the premium for us was getting better in the trenches — on the O-line and D-line.”
This class is made up of 23 players from 15 states. Seven players came from Florida, while four players from Maryland and D.C. signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Maryland showed a willingness to find talent from across the country from high schools and junior colleges alike.
Rakim Jarrett — Temple Hills, MD — WR — Five star
Jarrett headlines Locksley’s 2020 recruiting class after surprisingly flipping from LSU to Maryland. While Locksley “had no idea that [Jarrett] was signing,” he was proud of his staff’s consistency and ability to give him enough space to make his decision. Jarrett is ESPN’s No. 21-ranked overall recruit and the No. 2 wide receiver in the class.
Ruben Hyppolite — Hollywood, FL — LB — Four star
Hyppolite is ranked No. 20 in the country at outside linebacker, according to 247Sports, and made ESPN’s top-300 list. He had offers from other Big Ten programs such as Michigan and Penn State — as well as national powerhouses LSU and Auburn — but chose to join the Terps. The edge rusher might factor in to defensive plans early after Keandre Jones and Shaq Smith departed.
Ja’Khi Green — Baltimore, MD — OL — Three star
Green attended St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, which is ranked by MaxPreps as the No. 4 high school football program in the country. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound offensive lineman could factor in sooner rather than later on a front-five that loses Ellis McKennie and Sean Christie.
Nick DeGennaro — Princeton, NJ — WR — Three star
Mike Locksley called DeGennaro “one of [his] favorites in this class.” Maryland was the only Power-Five school to offer DeGennaro a scholarship, but they are confident in the quick and speedy receiver. As a senior at Hun School, DeGennaro reeled in 30 catches for 672 yards and seven touchdowns.
Tarheeb Still — Sicklerville, NJ — DB — Three star
Still chose Maryland over a variety of schools, including West Virginia, UCF, Baylor and Minnesota. He committed in June and had a strong senior season, playing as a receiver and cornerback. In addition to three interceptions, he pulled in 62 receptions for 1,336 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Glendon Miller — Orange Park, FL — DB — Three star
The 6-foot-3 safety could help provide depth to a secondary that was riddled with injuries in 2019. Antwaine Richardson should return from injury, and Nick Cross returns after a solid freshman year, though, making a path to immediate playing time at safety tricky. The Florida native chose Maryland over Troy, Idaho and Bowling Green, among others.
Shane Mosley — Havertown, PA — DB — Three star
Mosley joins his older brother, rising junior safety Jordan Mosley, at Maryland. Shane Mosley is also a safety and ranks as the No. 19 player in Pennslyvania, according to 247Sports. He could be another depth piece for a secondary losing Antoine Brooks.
Khristopher Love — Fort Lauderdale, FL — OL — Three star
Love committed to South Florida in June but flipped to Maryland on Sunday. The 315-pound guard helped American Heritage High School go 48-4 in his four years, earning a bevy of Power-Five offers — including Boston College, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pittsburgh — for his efforts.
Isaiah Jacobs — Tulsa, OK — RB — Three star
Jacobs was highly sought after by programs across the Big Ten and SEC, among other conferences. His brother is Josh Jacobs, a former Alabama running back and a 2019 first-round pick by the Oakland Raiders. Isaiah Jacobs joins a running back room that is now without Anthony McFarland and Javon Leake, who both announced they will declare for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Peny Boone – Detroit, MI – RB — Three star
Maryland beat out Michigan, Iowa and Nebraska — among others — to bring in the three-star running back from Detroit. Boone, along with Jacobs, could have an immediate role in Maryland’s backfield as it looks to replace McFarland and Leake. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound back rushed for 1,292 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior year.
Devyn King — Gardena, CA — DB — Three star
Locksley said Wednesday that Maryland’s brand could attract recruits from all over. King is a prime example, choosing the Terps over Oregon, Ole Miss and Washington State. The cornerback recorded 46 tackles as a senior, with 25 of those being solo stops, as well as two interceptions.
Deajaun McDougle — Deerfield Beach, FL — WR — Three star
While Jarrett is the clear star of Maryland’s 2020 wide receiver corps, McDougle produced at a high level in high school, too, racking up 1,851 yards and 18 touchdowns combined in his past two seasons en route to a three-star rating. McDougle had offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and Penn State, among others, and is one of seven Terps signees from Florida.
Beau Brade — Clarksville, MD — DB — Three star
Brade is a local safety from River Hill High School, where he broke the school’s record in tackle assists with 184. As a senior, he was named the Howard County Defensive Player of the Year, and he chose Maryland over Michigan, Pittsburgh and Virginia.
Frankie Burgess — Pahokee, FL — LB — Three star
Burgess is another former South Florida commit who flipped when the team parted ways with head coach Charlie Strong. He was named the Sun Sentinel Defensive Player of the Year as a senior after recording 60 tackles and three forced fumbles while also leading Florida high school players with 22 sacks.
Tre Smith — Frostburg, MD — DL — Three star
Smith chose Maryland over Syracuse and Temple. With Keiron Howard and Oluwaseun Oluwatimi set to graduate, the 6-foot-2, 293-pound Smith adds needed depth to a unit that struggled to produce in 2019.
Delmar Glaze — Charlotte, NC — OL — Three star
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound offensive lineman attracted interest from UConn, Appalachian State and Florida International, but ultimately signed with Maryland. The Terps have a thin offensive line unit, particularly after Sean Christie and Ellis McKennie’s departures.
Riyad Wilmot — Fort Lauderdale, FL — DL — Three star
Wilmot had offers from Texas, Pitt, and Purdue, but the 6-foot-3, 248-pound edge rusher wound up with Maryland. He notched five sacks as a senior and 37 total tackles, and he was part of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Florida Class 7A state championship.
Jakorian Bennett — Mobile, AL — DB — Three star
Bennett joins Maryland from Hutchinson Community College after being named First Team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. Bennett did not have a single offer coming out of high school but proved himself at the junior college level, picking off two passes and forcing two fumbles in 2019. He chose Maryland over Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Nebraska, among others.
Zachary Perkins — Tampa, FL — OL — Three star
Perkins brings impressive size with him to College Park, standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 321 pounds. Last year, offensive line depth was a major concern for Maryland, and Locksley addressed it during the 2020 early signing period. Perkins had offers from Kentucky, Marshall and Colorado State, as well.
The final four players all played at Independence Community College, which was featured in the Netflix series Last Chance U. Mike Locksley did not watch the series, but he is excited to bring in JUCO athletes because of their increased experience and maturity.
Johari Branch — Chicago, IL — OL — Three star
Branch started his college career at Eastern Illinois before transferring to Independence, where he worked his way to being named second-best offensive guard in JUCO, according to JCGridiron.com. Branch’s 6-foot-3, 330-pounds frame, experience and Maryland’s lack of offensive line depth will give him an opportunity to play right away.
Ami Finau — Euless, TX — DT — Three star
Finau’s another defensive lineman who will offer Maryland options in an area it struggled to find much success with in 2019. Last year at Independence Community College, Finau recorded 35 tackles, with 7.5 of those coming for a loss. He had interest from Arizona and Illinois but opted to join Maryland.
TJ Kautai — Euless, TX — LB — Three star
Kautai played with Finau in high school and at Independence. Now, they join forces again at Maryland. Kautai went on a two-year mission trip to Argentina that delayed his college career, but Locksley believes his age will provide “a little more maturity.”
Mosiah Nasili-Kite — Puyallup, WA — DL — Three star
Nasili-Kite is another JUCO product with size and experience who will immediately help Maryland in the trenches. The 6-foot-2, 298-pounder chose the Terps over Arizona, Utah State and Oregon State, among others.