Freshman Linebacker Makes Pair of Freshmen All-American Teams

Maryland freshman linebacker Jaishawn Barham was a longtime target in the 2022 class and head coach Mike Locksley finalized the flip on the morning of the early signing period to close the cycle. Heading into the season, the former DeMatha and St. Frances linebacker was honored among the best in the nation.

Barham was named to the freshmen All-American teams by both ESPN and 247Sports on Thursday. Maryland returns a trio of experienced inside linebackers with Ruben Hyppolite, Fa’Najae Gotay and Gereme Spraggins but Barham has been a consistent standout since enrolling back in January.

“We had to teach guys what to do, how to do it and understand why it’s important. He’s in that phase of learning those things but while he’s doing it, he’s showing instincts, he’s showing toughness, he’s showing athleticism. A lot of the things he showed in high school,” defensive coordinator Brian Williams said earlier this month. Even Hyppolite has taken notice of Barham’s play during his short time on campus.

“The way he dissects plays, how he moves in the box and how he makes plays. He’s always around the ball, he’s very special with that.”

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Barham was one of two last-minute flips from St. Frances as Maryland flipped four-star offensive tackle Andre Roye with Penn State and USC in pursuit. While Roye is already making a strong push ahead of Maryland’s first two-deep, the in-state duo became the fifth and sixth players signed out of the Baltimore powerhouse since Locksley took over the program back in 2018.

“I can’t tell you that I had any idea that it would happen or you know, none of our coaches could say that we knew this would happen,” Locksley said as he recapped his 2022 class last December. “But as with all our recruiting, our coaches just continued to remain very diligent in selling the Maryland brand and you know, we’ve recruited those guys for two, three years now. There’s some deep-rooted relationships that were already established. You know, guy like Elijah Brooks who…recruited him to DeMatha and has known him since you know, sixth grade. I’ve always told you guys about third party validation and for us here locally, to have people that would stand in the gap for us to sell what great things we’ve done when we’ve been associated with some of these third-party individuals really, I think, is what pushed it over the edge,” Locksley said of his prized recruit. “I know both sets of parents would have loved to see their kids stay close to home.”

Barham’s father also went in-depth with Inside the Black and Gold about the decision for Jaishawn to suit up at Maryland instead of South Carolina, where he verbally committed just days before.

“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,” Barham’s father said last December.

Maryland kicks off the 2022 season in 17 days when they host Buffalo for a noon kickoff.

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