Maryland football is bringing in an impressive 2018 recruiting class, but won’t be able to put a five-star stamp on it.
Defensive end Eyabi Anoma, the No. 7 overall player in the country, committed to Alabama on Wednesday afternoon.
Maryland recruited Anoma for longer and harder than any other program, but like countless top local prospects before him, he’ll leave home for a bigger college football stage. Anoma joins an Alabama program that has made the College Football Playoff every year in its four-year history,
Landing Anoma would have been an incredible achievement from the Terps, and he would have filled perhaps Maryland’s most glaring need. The team’s pass rush was nonexistent for most of 2017—Maryland had just 16 sacks and only one player had more than two—and although Jesse Aniebonam is expected to receive a medical redshirt after breaking his ankle in the season opener, bringing in a 6’5, 230-pound monster for three years was a dream scenario.
Instead, he becomes the top recruit in Alabama’s class, which is a difficult chance to pass up. Anoma also considered Michigan, and although he never released a list of top schools, Maryland appeared in the mix until the end. He visited College Park with a bevy of commits over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough.
The Terps’ class still includes a local defensive end in Good Counsel signee Tyler Baylor, and Maryland made a splash Wednesday morning by adding Auburn transfer and former five-star prospect Byron Cowart. Anoma is just the latest elite defensive end to flirt with Maryland before signing elsewhere, but DJ Durkin and the staff will continue to aim high on the recruiting trail going forward.