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Three-star athlete Tamarcus Cooley flips from NC State, signs with Maryland football

Cooley changes from the Wolfpack to the Terps just days before the two face off in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.

Photo courtesy of 247Sports

Just nine days before Maryland football takes on North Carolina State in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte, three-star Tamarcus Cooley, one of the Wolfpack’s former commits, has switched gears and signed with Maryland football, the team website announced.

Cooley, a product of Rolesville High School in Rolesville, North Carolina, ranks as the No. 133 wideout in the nation and the No. 23 player in his state, per the 247Sports Composite. He had previously committed to NC State on July 4, but that commitment changed to its former ACC rival 170 days later.

Cooley becomes the second Maryland signee in the class of 2023 from North Carolina, joining four-star edge rusher Rico Walker, who revealed his intentions to be a Terp on Dec. 14. When Walker committed to Maryland via Twitter, Cooley reposted the tweet with the word “Twin” and a heart emoji. Now, the two will get to share the same locker room at Maryland.

Though Cooley is listed as a wide receiver in the 247Sports database, Rivals and ESPN list him as an athlete, and On3 lists him as a safety. Perhaps, Cooley could be coming to Maryland to play the defensive side of the ball and boost the Terps’ secondary. Cooley was also dynamic returning punts and kicks during his senior season. Regardless, standing at six-foot and 195 pounds, it will be interesting to see what Maryland does with a player of Cooley’s caliber.

Cooley had a monster senior year. On the offensive side of the ball, he hauled in 31 receptions for 426 yards and eight touchdowns, according to MaxPreps. He also had an impact in the running game, rushing 19 times for 121 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, he was also a stud, compiling 54 total tackles, 40 solo tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

In addition to NC State and Maryland, Cooley had offers from Minnesota, North Carolina, Penn State, Purdue and several others. Maryland was not in Cooley’s top seven when he first committed to NC State this past summer.