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Rakim Jarrett declares for NFL draft, will forgo Terps’ bowl game

Jarrett totaled over 1,500 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 28 games played at Maryland.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Northwestern at Maryland Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Maryland star junior wide receiver Rakim Jarrett will forgo Maryland’s bowl game and enter the NFL Draft, he announced at a press conference Tuesday.

“It was an honor to represent Maryland,” Jarrett said. “Of course I came in here and I was a part of the turnaround, the DMV to UMD movement ... with that being said, I will be entering the 2023 NFL Draft. I thank you all again. Thank you to my coaches, mom, dad, everybody that’s helped me get here.”

Coming out of high school, Jarrett was a five-star prospect, ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s fourth-best receiver and 27th-best prospect overall. He committed to LSU in late April 2019, but on signing day months later he flipped his commitment to Maryland, shocking the college football world. At the time of writing, Jarrett is the fifth-highest ranked high school recruit ever to commit to Maryland and the second-highest receiver prospect, trailing only NFL star Stefon Diggs.

In his since-deleted commitment post on Instagram, Jarrett quoted Diggs’ now-famous line from his own announcement that he was going to play for Maryland: “What better place to do it than your city?”

Jarrett played at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. and hails from Palmer Park, Maryland. He has been one of the poster children of head coach Mike Locksley’s efforts to recruit the top talent in the area.

“This young man, not a kid anymore man, did more for our program in the last three years in how he elevated it, not just as a player, but being a local guy that made the decision to stay home,” Locksley said.

In his three years at Maryland, Jarrett totaled over 1,500 receiving yards and had 10 touchdowns in 28 games played. In 2021, Jarrett led the team with 829 receiving yards as a sophomore, his most productive season.

According to multiple reports, Jarrett was offered up six figures in name, image and likeness deals to leave Maryland this past offseason for SEC schools. He opted to stay, though, citing his loyalty to Locksley and Maryland.

While the 2022 season wasn’t Jarrett’s finest — he had 471 yards and three touchdowns — he still has received high grades from NFL experts and is a surefire pick in the 2023 draft. Now, with his college career over, he will wait to see if he earns an invite to the NFL Draft Combine and attempt to continue to further improve his stock before April.

“I was just trying to do everything possible to help the team win,” Jarrett said of his third and final season in College Park. “I mean, I knew going into the year no matter what that this is a high possibility of being my last year here, so I was trying to do as much as possible to really etch my name in history and help the team win.”