Maryland football’s 2021 recruiting class started over a year ago when Jayon Venerable became the first player to commit to the Terps. The defensive back from Severn, Maryland was offered a scholarship just one month before committing to the University of Maryland.

“The way that the coaching staff treats me is amazing,” Venerable said. “They treat me like family. They really care about me and take an interest in me, and not just what’s on the field.”


When Venerable first started playing football at age seven, he did not line up as a defensive back. In fact, it was not until he started playing in high school that he was moved to defensive back. Prior to his move, he primarily played as an edge rusher, either lining up at defensive end or outside linebacker. He also featured a bit on the offensive side of the ball, playing some running back. 

Nicknamed “Jackboy” because of his physical playstyle, Venerable touts his aggressiveness as one of his key attributes. Although he is a do-it-all cover corner, when in man coverage, he shines. 

“As a defensive back, my main focus is to cover,” Venerable said. “But when I cover somebody, I’m more hands-on. I’m aggressive and I like to take advantage of my speed. If I’m in man and my guy is close enough for me to get his hands on him, I’m going to play physical.”

With official team practices suspended amidst the pandemic, Venerable has been doing a lot of workouts with teammates. The workouts have aided his physical, man coverage playstyle, as they have primarily been one-on-one. Although it is tough to improve as a player without practice and coach supervision, Venerable feels that he has improved over the course of the offseason. 


Being from Maryland, staying close to home was a key reason for Venerable to commit to Maryland. He talked about how his mom can easily go to all of his home games and continue to watch him play. Staying close to home is also a point that he uses to recruit uncommitted players from Maryland, trying to sway them to the Terps.

“I recruit a lot,” Venerable said. “Anybody who has a Maryland offer who I’ve seen in person, I try to tell them that they should stay home. That’s what you have to do, put on for the city.”

The status of Archbishop Spalding’s football season is still up in the air, but Venerable is focused on winning a state title. As far as when he gets to college, Venerable has a very clear goal.

“National title coming soon,” Venerable said.