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Taking stock of Maryland football’s 2017 recruiting class

The Terps have a lot of guys coming in. What else do they need?

NCAA Football: Maryland at Central Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

As we enter the home stretch of the 2017 recruiting cycle, Maryland football has positioned itself in a good spot. The Terps are No. 17 in the 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings, and shouldn’t slip below No. 25 when it’s all said and done. For a team that finished at No. 49 in Randy Edsall’s last full class, things are trending upward.

With 26 players, Maryland football has a large 2017 recruiting class. Not all these players will end up counting against the team’s 28-player cap for the class, though. Deon Jones, Fofie Bazzie, Nick Underwood and Alex Woods are all enrolling early, which means DJ Durkin and his staff don’t have to count them in the 2017 class and therefore still have some room to work with. But what we’re looking at here will probably be most of the players who will be true freshman for the program next season.

The team does lack some of the star power it had when Joshua Kaindoh was committed, but there’s a tremendous amount of depth here. Attrition is still likely. A few players will probably leave the class due to any number of reasons. That kind of thing happens every year, and staffs plan for it. Maryland’s checked a lot of boxes. We don’t need to go in-depth on all of them, but here’s what we’re looking at:

Restocking the defensive line: check

Committed: Four-stars Breyon Gaddy and Cam Spence; three-stars Brandon Gaddy, B’Ahmad Miller, Lawtez Rogers.

The Gaddy twins’ commitment last weekend is a big one. The Terps had the second-worst run defense in the country this season, and adding some beef on the defensive line should help that. Miller and Rogers might not be ready to do much in year one, so Maryland will have to rely on Jesse Aniebonam, Chandler Burkett, Melvin Keihn and others to improve the pass rush.

Quarterback: big ole’ check

Committed: Four-star Under Armour All-American Kasim Hill.

He looks very promising. The addition of North Carolina transfer Caleb Henderson means Hill won’t necessarily have to start from day one.

Running back depth: check

Committed: Three-stars Javon Leake, Tayon Fleet-Davis.

There’s still a spot here for another big guy (I’ll get to this later), but with Ty Johnson in College Park for two more years and Lorenzo Harrison seeming like he’ll be back (though possibly with a continued suspension), Maryland doesn’t need an impact recruit here.

Adding to an already-young secondary: check

Committed: Four-star corner Deon Jones; three-stars Fofie Bazzie, JuCo recruit Alex Woods, Kenny Bennett and Dazz Newsome.

Jones is the team’s top-rated commit, and with the number of snaps true freshman saw this season, it’s not hard to think he’ll get some playing time next season. Bazzie and Woods are enrolling in January, and could be in line to contribute next year too.

Adding a couple linebackers: check

Committed: JuCo linebacker Nick Underwood and three-star Ayinde Eley.

Neither is an all-star recruit, but both could have roles on this team in 2017 or 2018. Maryland doesn’t necessarily need an impact recruit at this position, as Jermaine Carter Jr. and Shane Cockerille are entrenched as the starters next season.

Restocking the receiving corps: check

Committed: Three-stars Sean Nelson, Jayden Comma, Carlos Carriere, MJ Jarrell and Jalen Browder.

In addition to grabbings some guys who could outperform their three-star rankings due to their size, Walt Bell has some receivers who can do damage in as blockers.

However, it’s unclear if any of the wideouts (all listed at 6’2 or taller) will necessarily be ready to contribute from day one. If they’re not, that could be a problem for a team that’s losing three of its top four receivers to graduation. Maryland will probably target a grad transfer or two to help bolster the position. D.J. Moore will be back to headline the unit and Jacquille Veii should be an exciting piece when he’s eligible again, but that third receiver spot is a mystery. Luckily, Durkin and Co. have some time to figure that out.

Continuing the program’s dominance in offensive line recruiting: check

Committed: four-stars Marcus Minor and Jordan McNair, three-stars Johnny Jordan and Tyran Hunt.

Maryland should be starting a line of at least three blue-chip recruits this year, and this staff has made sure that pipeline isn’t going anywhere.

There’s still some room for a couple star recruits, should they want to come aboard.

The Terps have built a solid foundation with the class they already have committed. However, with most of their class set, the Terps can concentrate on reeling in a couple of big recruits to really put this class over the top. They appear to still be in the mix for four-star running back Anthony McFarland, five-star offensive tackle Calvin Ashley, four-star corner Tariq Castro-Fields and four-star athlete Markquese Bell. The likelihood of Maryland landing all four of them is probably small, but don’t be surprised if at least one or two of these guys do end up committing.