It wouldn’t be an early signing day for Maryland football without a few last-minute splashes. That’s what coach Michael Locksley provided Wednesday, securing commitments from three local products who were previously committed to other schools.
Four-star cornerback Braydon Lee headlined that group, flipping his commitment from South Carolina to Maryland at his high school’s signing day ceremony.
“Braydon was a guy that was recruited by everybody,” Locksley said. “From the time he committed [to South Carolina], he always said, ‘Hey, I’m willing to keep some options open. We were respectful of his decision, but we continued to show him why Maryland could help him reach the goals that he has for himself.”
Lee, hailing from nearby Charles Herbert Flowers High School, is one of three four-star recruits the Terps signed in their 2024 class alongside Florida native Brandon Jacob and St. Frances Academy running back DeJuan Williams.
Maryland emphasized a need along the offensive line this recruiting cycle. Though Locksley signed six recruits at that position in 2022, he signed eight this year, all rated as three-star prospects. In-state products Ryan Howerton and Terez Davis headline this year’s group. Davis was an all-WCAC first team selection in his senior season at DeMatha.
“[Offensive line] was a major priority,” Locksley said. “Depth has been an issue, so what we’ve tried to do now is fill that depth issue with high school kids … and then we’ve used the transfer portal to be able to plug and play some guys that will allow these guys the necessary time to develop.”
Needs were also addressed in the secondary. With defensive backs Tarheeb Still, Beau Brade and Ja’Quan Sheppard set to depart, Locksley secured recruits from Florida, Georgia and Maryland.
While Jacob, the 27th-ranked safety in the nation per 247Sports, headlines the group, the list continues with Lee, Good Counsel’s Judah Jenkins, Flowers’ Lloyd Irvin III, La’khi Roland and Shamar McIntosh.
Jenkins was previously an Indiana commit but backed off his pledge on Dec. 3. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound cornerback is the 30th-ranked recruit in Maryland, according to 247Sports. McIntosh did not sign his letter of intent Wednesday.
The Terps’ class also features wide receivers Mekhai White and Jahmari Powell-Wonson, quarterback Khristian Martin and linebacker Keyshawn Flowers. Martin and White rank first and second at their positions in the state of Virginia, respectively, and Flowers is the third-ranked linebacker in Maryland, according to 247Sports.
Nine signees are expected to enroll early for the spring semester.
“I think the players see the value of being able to get in and get a spring ball under their belt,” Locksley said.
While Maryland’s 2024 high school class is all but wrapped up, one decision looms large for Locksley and company: five-star offensive lineman Jordan Seaton, who committed to Colorado on Dec. 7 but hasn’t signed his letter of intent with the Buffaloes. 247Sports reported Seaton visited College Park last weekend, and the Washington, D.C., native and former St. John’s standout has a long-standing relationship with Locksley.
Seaton would be a massive addition in a class that lacks a true cornerstone talent. The last time Locksley secured a five-star commitment was Chop Robinson in 2021.