VIP: Where Roster Stands Following Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Following a big bowl win, Maryland returned back to campus on Friday night with much of the coaching staff expected to return inside the building around January 12. With that, the latest notes heading into the week.

-Heading into the week, the expectation is that quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is returning to College Park. Heading into the season, Maryland had to fend off a potential departure for the NFL but by the bye week, the tide turned to a return for 2023. But skepticism about the future supporting cast raised doubts among other factors with his parents paying close attention to the evolving NIL market across the CFB landscape. While the staff quietly had their eye on a potential name or two in case Taulia departed, retaining its record-breaking quarterback was undoubtedly the top priority down the stretch with Mike Locksley leading the way. While Maryland prepared its own NIL opportunities to keep the star quarterback in College Park, head coach Mike Locksley stayed in constant contact with Taulia and his camp in order to solidify a return. A decision is expected later this week for Taulia but for the first time in nearly a month, a source says that confidence remains high the veteran returns to the program in 2023.

-That’s a big boost for Maryland as it fills a potentially massive void in Mike Locksley’s offense next season. With that, Maryland remains the heavy favorite to land former WVU WR Kaden Prather. I’m hearing that PSU is not as involved in his recruitment, though, and Prather is contemplating another official visit next week but with the latest QB development, Maryland has an opportunity to close.

-Whether Taulia returns changes Jeshaun Jones’s thinking remains to be seen, but the decision is connected. Jones has gone back and forth about a return to College Park with a return for a sixth season the slight favorite. He’s a priority focus for Locksley this offseason and he also isn’t expected to drag out his decision. It also helps that a longtime friend is expected to return…

-A source also added over the weekend that LB Fa’Najae Gotay is expected to return next season to anchor the ILB room alongside Jaishawn Barham and Ruben Hyppolite. With that development, Maryland has just one spot to fill at ILB heading into 2023 with the Harris twins commanding full attention down the stretch.

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