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Cincinnati transfer cornerback Ja’Quan Sheppard commits to Maryland football

Sheppard is Maryland’s first transfer commitment of the cycle and provides a necessary boost to its 2023 secondary.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 USF at Cincinnati Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Maryland football picked up its first commitment of the transfer cycle Sunday afternoon, as Cincinnati transfer cornerback Ja’Quan Sheppard announced his pledge to the Terps via Twitter.

Sheppard — a native of Zephyrhills, Florida — was named to the All-AAC first team on Nov. 30 for his play during his senior season. Sheppard will come to Maryland with one remaining year of eligibility. He committed to the Terps over Central Florida, which was the other school in his top two.

The fourth-year Bearcat made a major impact this fall, leading Cincinnati with 10 pass breakups. Sheppard also had 50 total tackles (33 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack in 12 games. Sheppard filled big shoes in 2022, replacing the void left by Cincinnati great and New York Jets rookie Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner by starting all 12 games.

Sheppard should bring a major boost to a Maryland cornerback room that loses a lot of production following the 2022 season. Deonte Banks has already declared for the NFL Draft and has opted out of the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, and Jakorian Bennett will wrap up his college career with an appearance in the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl in February.

Sheppard visited College Park this past weekend before committing. He should compose a formidable duo with current junior quarterback Tarheeb Still, assuming the latter does not depart from Maryland early.