Four-star defensive tackle Austin Fontaine committed to Maryland before the team’s spring game Saturday, joining a high school teammate in giving the Terps a huge boost in the trenches.
Fontaine is the highest-rated commit in the Class of 2018 so far for Maryland. His teammate, four-star offensive lineman Evan Gregory committed just minutes earlier.
Fontaine gives Maryland some much-needed talent on the defensive line. He’s the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 4 player in Maryland on the 247Sports Composite. The Terps signed four-star recruits Breyon Gaddy and Cam Spence in the Class of 2017, and Fontaine’s as talented as either. He has the potential to be an impact player early on in his Terrapin career, and that’s exactly what a team that ranked second-to-last in Defensive Rushing S&P+ last season needs.
He also joins the growing DeMatha Catholic pipeline at Maryland. He and Gregory are the first two players to commit from the local powerhouse to stay home in 2018, but the Terps landed blue-chip running back Anthony McFarland and offensive lineman Marcus Minor in 2017, and cashed in big with four players in 2016. All of those 2016 players saw action as true freshmen, and all four — running back Lorenzo Harrison, guard Terrance Davis, cornerback Tino Ellis and wide receiver D.J. Turner — will be important pieces in 2017.