Maryland football brought in its quarterback of the future and a top local running back in its 2017 recruiting class, but the Terps’ refresh at wide receiver is a little more complicated.
Maryland brought in six receiver recruits. None of them are as highly-ranked as four-star quarterback Kasim Hill or four-star running back Anthony McFarland, but each has the physical tools to become an important piece for the Terps.
This is important, because Maryland needs depth and talent at receiver.
Maryland graduated its Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 wideouts from 2016.
The Terps bring back leading receiver D.J. Moore, but they need a whole lot of depth to fill in behind him. Gone are Teldrick Morgan, Levern Jacobs, DeAndre Lane and Malcolm Culmer, all of whom have graduated. Rising sophomore D.J. Turner and rising junior Jahrvis Davenport could be the two underclassmen most ready to contribute, as they were the only ones with receptions last seasons.
Maryland’s two rising seniors are its biggest question marks at the position. Taivon Jacobs missed all of last season with an undisclosed injury, and has only been fully healthy for one of his four seasons with the program. Jaqcuille Veii, who sat out 2016 following his transfer from Towson — the school he left the Terrapins for two years ago — will be eligible next season too. Both have speed when healthy, and could be somewhat deadly in offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense. Transfer Chris Jones, another senior, will be part of the battle as well.
And don't forget about Tino Ellis, who came to Maryland as a receiver but played defensive back as a freshman. He could get more looks at receiver this spring and fall if the coaching staff desires it.
They brought in a whole lot of skill to work with, but it needs development.
Jayden Comma, Sean Nelson, Jalen Browder and MJ Jarrell are at least 6 feet tall. Carlos Carriere is 6’5. Out of the five of them, Comma might be the most ready to see action as a true freshman. He has 202 pounds on his 6’2 frame, while the other guys listed are all 180 pounds or fewer.
All these guys could fit Maryland’s need for big wideouts who can block. Here’s Comma knocking out an opposing defensive back:
In his Facebook Live breakdown on National Signing Day, Bell mentioned numerous guys as having the ability to play inside and outside. Carriere seems like the only guy we can put outside for sure, simply because of his size.
“It’s gonna take him a while for his body to develop, but eventually we’re gonna have a 6’6, 200-pound kid that’s got red zone ability,” Bell said.
Out of this group, it’s tough to project who will get playing time in 2017. A lot of these guys might need more development, and we won’t find out who’s really ready until camp starts in August.
Maryland’s last addition might be its most likely to play right away.
Tahj Capehart was the final receiver to commit to the Terps, flipping from Virginia Tech on Signing Day. He’s a totally different build from the rest of Maryland’s commits. At 5’10, he’s a speedster rather than a physical outside threat.
Bell said Capehart can play “inside, outside, all over the place.” He was the first wideout Maryland’s OC mentioned during his breakdown, and was the highest-rated commit the team has at the position. If the Terps already have Moore penciled in on the outside, Capehart could come right in and contribute in the slot.
Maryland lacks enough experience that some of these guys will likely have to contribute as true freshmen. Capehart and Comma figure to have the best shots, but everyone will get a chance.