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MM 7.11: Maryland football receives a pair of weekend commitments

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Photos courtesy of DJ Samuels (@thereal_dj2x) and Nolan Ray (@nolannray) on Instagram.

Maryland head football coach Mike Locksley secured two verbal commitments over the weekend as three-star class of 2023 prospects DJ Samuels and Nolan Ray announced their intentions to play for the Terps.

Just minutes after three-star wide receiver Nasir Addison decommitted from Maryland on Friday night, Samuels made his commitment to the Terps public with an elaborate video posted to his personal Instagram account.

Samuels is a defensive end out of Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, New Jersey, which finished ranked No. 4 in the nation by MaxPreps’ composite high school football rankings. He had a record-setting season in 2021, breaking the school’s sack record previously held by NFL All-Pro linebacker Brian Cushing. He is ranked as the 91st-best edge rusher in the nation and the 18th-best player in New Jersey by the 247Sports Composite.

Listed at six-foot-two, 240 pounds, Samuels’ size could allow him to easily transition to linebacker at the collegiate level if needed. He also held offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Penn State, among others. He took an official visit to Maryland just before the dead period on June 24.

On Saturday, Ray made himself the Terps’ 16th commit in the class of 2023 by announcing his plans to play college football in College Park on Twitter.

A running back from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Ray is ranked as the nation’s 75th-best running back by the 247Sports Composite. He also holds offers from Iowa, Stanford and Army — all three of which are known for evaluating high-level talent in the backfield. He was last on Maryland’s campus in April for an unofficial visit.

Ray had a monster junior season for Brother Rice High School, averaging over 7.5 yards per carry for a total of 1,097 yards and 14 touchdowns en route to a 7A state semifinal appearance. He will join a crowded and talented running back room at Maryland led by running backs coach Elijah Brooks.

In other news

Terps wrestler Jaxon Smith won gold for Team USA in the under-20 92 kilogram event at the 2022 Pan-Am Championships.

Maryland women’s lacrosse had a number of former stars medal at the 2022 World Lacrosse Women’s Championship, including four winning gold with the United States. Taylor Cummings was named the event’s Most Valuable Player.

Terps fans were asked which old logo was their favorite, sparking a debate online.

Maryland women’s track & field and cross country athlete Mackenzie Morgan won the Charles H. Beebe Award for having the highest GPA of any female senior student-athlete at Maryland. Men’s golfer Will Koras won the Geary F. Eppley Award for having the highest GPA of any male senior student-athlete.

Aaron Wiggins has been playing well for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first few games of the NBA Summer League.

Former Terps wide receiver Stefon Diggs graced the cover of a variety of magazines.

Two of new Maryland men’s golf coach John Phillips’ former colleagues offered words of encouragement.

Former Maryland men’s soccer star Ben Bender continued to show why he’s one of the MLS’ brightest young stars with another assist for Charlotte FC.

Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas represented the Terps at the WNBA All-Star Game.