Maryland football has added its second transfer addition of the offseason, picking up linebacker Jefferson Ashiru from Connecticut, the school announced in a release. Ashiru graduated from UConn with a degree in economics, and will be immediately eligible in College Park for his final year of play as he works on his master's in real estate development.
A former 3-star prospect out of McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) High School, Ashiru was one of the highest-rated players in UConn's 2011 recruiting class. That class was first worked on by Randy Edsall (and current Maryland DBs coach Darrell Perkins), before being finished off by Paul Pasqualoni (who took over when Edsall left for Maryland) prior to Signing Day.
"We are thrilled to welcome Jefferson to the Maryland football family," Edsall said in the release. "Jefferson has experience as a starter and can play multiple positions at linebacker. He has a tremendous work ethic and terrific understanding of the game. During his time at UConn, he played in a similar system and he will make a seamless transition. We are confident he will be a great team leader for our football program."
After redshirting in 2011, Ashiru played in nine games on defense and special teams in 2012, recording eight tackles. He earned a starting linebacker position in each of the past two seasons, recording 105 tackles with 11.5 for a loss in those years combined.
"I'm really excited to join the Maryland football program and have the opportunity to compete in the Big Ten Conference," Ashiru said in the release. "I have known Coach Edsall and was also recruited by (Maryland defensive backs coach) Darrell Perkins, so those relationships played a key role in my decision to come to Maryland. Coach Edsall is a tremendous leader who cares deeply about his players. I'm looking forward to furthering my education and continuing my football career for a great University."
The 6'2, 230-pound Ashiru will likely challenge for one of the starting outside linebacker jobs in Maryland's new 4-3 defense. Cavon Walker and Abner Logan are the likely expected starters, but while both have high ceilings neither has spent much time on the field.
It's an experience boost for a unit that badly needs it, too. Following the losses of Cole Farrand, L.A. Goree, Matt Robinson, Alex Twine and Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil to graduation, Ashiru joins Avery Thompson as just the second senior linebacker on the team.