Maryland Commit Named MaxPrep First Team All American

Maryland sits at 19 commitments in the 2023 class but on Monday, one of the current commits drew high praise.

Bergen Catholic (NJ) defensive end DJ Samuels was named to the Maxpreps All-America first team defense after breaking Brian Cushing’s all-time sack record—as a junior. It’s an impressive feat for Samuels, a 6-foot, 240-pound edge rusher, after finishing last season with 39 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks, three forced fumbles while even adding a pair of touchdowns on offense.

Samuels was one of Maryland’s early priority targets out of New Jersey this cycle and the Terps reeled in his commitment just over one month ago after officially visiting Maryland over the final weekend of June. Cornerbacks coach Henry Baker paved the way for Samuels to become a Terp as Rutgers, Nebraska and West Virginia were also in pursuit. Samuels will join the program as a JACK linebacker, a position that “fits me perfect” in his mind.

Maryland’s quarterback commit this cycle, Champ Long, also chipped in to help the Terps reel in Samuels. “Every place I went, I was just comparing to Maryland. Once I got to Maryland and really see what it was about, nothing compared to Maryland and that’s what made me commit and made me feel that was the spot for me,” Samuels added after his commitment. “They told me I was the number one guy on their board and it was the moment of the weekend.”

With Durell Nchami drawing hype as one of the best edge rushers in the country ahead of the season, Samuels could step into a position with early playing time as Maryland restocks the front seven. Meanwhile, Carroll (DC) five-star athlete Nyckoles Harbor was named second team all defense as a defensive lineman while former target and current Miami verbal Malik Bryant was named a second team linebacker.

Samuels is rated a three-star prospect and an 84 overall by On3, sitting as the 22nd-best prospect in New Jersey. The longtime New Jersey priority will also enroll early at Maryland.