Father of Jaishawn Barham, Andre Roye explain wild recruitment leading into signing day

Maryland kicked off their early signing period with letters of intent from a pair of highly-rated prospects out of St. Frances in four-star linebacker Jaishawn Barham and three-star offensive tackle Andre Roye. The final hour of both respective recruitments was back-and-forth, but in the end, it was Maryland who came out celebrating.

For Barham, the Terps were in a tightly-contested battle with South Carolina as his recruitment garnered national attention in the final days. Barham announced the week prior to signing day that he planned to make his verbal commitment on December 4 as both Maryland and South Carolina ramped up their final-hour efforts. After initially planning to commit to Maryland that afternoon, Barham’s back-and-forth decision fell on South Carolina in the end as the Gamecocks seemingly expanded their DMV presence.

But his recruitment still wasn’t over as Anthony Barham, Jaishawn’s father, said “a lot of different factors” began taking shape. “We tried not to let one factor determine our decision. There were a multitude of things that worked well together to make the decision and a lot of things came together well. There were a lot of different pluses, high upside with the potential of Maryland and then we get him home.”

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer claimed that a bigger “plan” was in play and reason why Barham ultimately flipped his pledge on the morning of signing day. “About ten minutes later I got a call from someone in the know up there that said ‘just so you know, it’s all a part of the plan. He’s going to flip on Wednesday and go to Maryland,’ so I can’t sit here and tell you that I was shocked,” Beamer added. While head coach Mike Locksley took the sensible approach and cited “a lot of hard work, pretty much a sleepless night,” Anthony admitted that distance to home “played a factor from the beginning.”

“That was always a part of the plusses with Maryland,” he added. So when the family decided between sticking with Jaishawn’s pledge to South Carolina or ultimately signing with Maryland, Anthony revealed it “was never really a second thought.”

It did, however, take until the “final minute.”

“The behind the scenes, it was hectic,” he added.

“Maryland was always in the stakes of possibility where he could go, but a lot of different schools made their last-second pitch. It was more the consistency about Maryland that helped lead us.” A big reason why is the relationship that the family has with running backs coach Elijah Brooks, but head coach Mike Locksley took over Barham’s recruitment in the final hour as Anthony sees “a very good situation” now in place for all parties.

“I think this is a very good situation for not only Jaishawn, not only Maryland but the DMV as a whole. For a long time, we’ve been trying to show the nation that we the DMV produce great athletes so to have the athletes stay home and represent this thing is huge and historical.”

As for three-star offensive tackle Andre Roye, the buzz sat between Penn State and USC. Maryland finished runner-up for Roye leading into his early fall verbal commitment, opting for the Nittany Lions, but a late offer and official visit to the Lincoln Riley-led Trojans had many expecting Roye to sign with USC heading into the early hours of Wednesday morning. It’s a good thing that Maryland head coach Mike Locksley didn’t care about the buzz because his persistence into Wednesday helped seal the deal.

“It definitely was a doozy,” the father of Andre Roye said. “I always told him just make his own decision. Whatever he makes, I’m with it.”

That message mirrored what St. Frances defensive backs coach Justin Winters said following St. Frances’s signing day. Winters, a longtime local trainer and co-founder of Athletic Republic Capitol Region, served as a recruiting analyst for one season at Maryland and was pleased to see his players sign up for the hometown team.

“Maryland is home. I’m from Maryland, 90% of our coaches are from Maryland so we love to feed the hometeam,” Winters added. “Locks is my guy, Brawley, and the other guys. I’m not upset about it—if every one of my kids goes to Maryland, I’ll be happy. I’m a Maryland guy, I’ve got Maryland tatted on me twice.”

Winters also pointed to Locksley’s closing ability to get the elite St. Frances duo locked into Maryland’s 2022 recruiting class.

“No persuasion from me. It was Locksley. He’s a great coach, he’s a hell of a recruiter.”

Maryland’s 20-man signing class finished at 28th nationally in the 247Sports team rankings, sitting at eighth in the Big Ten.