Three Questions for Maryland Football with Offseason in Full Swing

Maryland has been able to move the needle on a key question this offseason, but there are still more to fill with the offseason in full swing. We look at the three biggest questions heading into the rest of the month and where things stand.

Filling the Staff

Maryland has had a longtime vacancy on the offensive side of the ball after Mike Miller became the offensive coordinator at Charlotte. ECU assistant Latrell Scott and VT assistant Fontel Mines are two names still in the mix for the position as head coach Mike Locksley inches towards filling the vacancy, but that hasn’t had an impact on the pursuit of five-star Nyck Harbor. More on him later, but the second departure was more of a surprise after Wes Neighbors accepted the safeties position at Ole Miss. Neighbors was expected to stick around in College Park long-term, but the opportunity to reunite with Lane Kiffin and Pete Golding played a hand in this development unfolding in recent days. Locksley will work to replace the rising star, though a source said that Boston College assistant Aazaar Abdul-Rahim has not been contacted about Maryland’s vacancy.

Filling Cornerback Room

Maryland was all over Florida cornerback Jordan Young when he hit the transfer portal and after managing to secure an official visit, Young opted for Cincinnati over Maryland and Missouri in a surprising move. That left Maryland with a remaining vacancy in the secondary, though not considered as dire as the offensive line was heading into January. Maryland still has a good starting tandem in Tarheeb Still and Ja’Quan Sheppard with Gavin Gibson and Lionell Whitaker back for year two.

Maryland was among the first schools to reach out to Georgia transfer Jaheim Singletary while someone connected to Ole Miss cornerback Davison Igbinosun said the Terps have reached out, which isn’t surprising given the staff recruited him out of high school. But neither have materialized into anything more than a name and with the visit period closing on Thursday, Maryland will scour available names heading into the spring portal window.

Closing Time with Top Targets

Maryland is awaiting an announcement from Frostburg tackle Gottlieb Ayedze following this weekend’s official visit and while the staff is primarily making the local rounds and laying the foundation for its 2024 class, they’re also working on their final high school targets.

That starts with five-star athlete Nyck Harbor, who has a top group of Maryland, Michigan, Oregon and South Carolina. Oregon is the lone school left to officially host him with Harbor now focused on four schools. The track program, NIL opportunities through Nike and offensive style resonate with Harbor like how they did early in his recruitment, but the Ducks and head coach Dan Lanning will have to overcome the newer relationships compared to his competitors. Maryland was in to see Harbor for his track meet over the weekend and will trek back through the school ahead of next week’s in-home visit. Maryland has also established good connections with Harbor’s marketing agency, who also represents a handful of current and former players, as the staff has a quiet confidence down the stretch. Expect schools to stay quiet about formalized in-home plans as schools jockey for the final word, but the Terps are preparing for their final pitch for Harbor next week when Locksley steps into the room.

The final targets in the high school ranks come out of Lake Brantley (FL) where four-star linebackers Andrew and Mike Harris are closing in on their final decision. Maryland went three deep last Friday to check on the four-star duo and while Arkansas was lurking with a potential official visit the last weekend of January, the Harris twins have said ahead of the Polynesian Bowl they’ve wrapped up official visits and are down to Maryland and UCF. Even without TWill, the Knights have been in full pursuit, but confidence isn’t high. The Terps have maintained confidence even through the early signing period fiasco as outside linebacker James Thomas Jr. works to close on yet another top target. Should the Twins plan to not take further visits come to fruition, I envision both landing in College Park and a shift to ‘warmer’ ahead of signing day.

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