After months and months of anxious waiting for Maryland fans, four-star Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins announced his intention to play college football for the Terrapins, choosing the hometown school over Florida, Notre Dame, Alabama, LSU, Penn State, Ohio State and Rutgers, among other national and regional suitors.
For starters, it's the biggest commitment for the Terrapins since Stefon Diggs. But how Haskins' pledge impacts the rest of Maryland's 2016 recruiting class could be just as important.
Haskins is the best quarterback prospect to come out of the state of Maryland in years, and for a program that has struggled to find consistency at the position, landing the fifth-best pro-style quarterback in the country could provide a cure for what has been subpar offensive play for the Terps under head coach Randy Edsall and offensive coordinator Mike Locksley.
A 6'3, 198-pound prospect, Haskins' offer list tells you what you need to know. He can make all the throws, is more polished than your average high school quarterback and could very well be the future of Maryland's program. Watch this exclusive tape from SB Nation recruiting editor Bud Elliott of Haskins's performance at the IMG 7-on-7 competition (with Maryland commit DJ Turner and target Trevon Diggs as his teammates).
Partner Haskins's ability and football smarts with a young offensive line absolutely filled with blue-chip talent (five-star Damian Prince, four-star Derwin Gray, four-star Quarvez Boulware) and a group of talented playmakers around him (four-star Juwann Winfree, former Ohio State commit Taivon Jacobs and high three-stars D.J. Moore and DJ Turner), and the Terps' offense of the future is starting to look pretty dang appealing.
Haskins's on-field bona fides are enough to make any Maryland fan excited, but what he brings to the program off the field may be even more important. He's connected to nearly every major Maryland target in the loaded 2016 local class, and has made it clear that he intends to be a vocal leader for his recruiting class (much like Adam McLean, Maryland's star 2015 signee).
What could that ultimately mean? Haskins's commitment means Maryland's chances with blue-chip prospects Trevon Diggs, Tino Ellis, Naseir Upshur and Terrance Davis likely go significantly up. The Terrapins conceivably could end up with a top 25 class if everything goes their way, setting up the opportunity to turn the movement Stefon Diggs started of local talent staying home into a tradition.
That's where the new state-of-the-art facilities come into play. Construction is projected to finish in 2018, when Haskins and the rest of the 2016 class will be starting their third year on campus. We already knew that the completion of the facilities would allow Maryland to potentially take the next step in the college football landscape, but the addition of Haskins provides them the talent to actually take advantage of that opportunity.
If Maryland is able to build some level of success into that year, things could potentially snowball for the program. The Terrapins will have the facilities to compete with anyone in the country, and seeing players like Diggs, McLean, Haskins and others like Yannick Ngakoue, Damian Prince and Keandre Jones stay at home (and ideally have success while doing it) will only help Maryland's pitch to local recruits.
The only person potentially happier about this than Maryland fans is Randy Edsall. Haskins' commitment (and the potential recruiting fallout over the next few months) should provide the occasionally embattled coach with some extra job security heading into Year 5 of a six-year contract. Don't be surprised if a contract extension comes in soon to help provide some security for that recruiting class.
One thing is for certain: with Dwayne Haskins, Maryland's chance of actually living up to Kevin Anderson's "good to great" promise from four years ago increases exponentially. On the field and off, this is the best news the program has received in years. If Haskins's recruiting prowess and on-field acumen can live up to even half of his potential, expect that good news to continue.