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Resetting Maryland football’s 2018 recruiting big board

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There are a lot of moving parts. Let’s refresh.

National Signing Day 2016: Photos from DJ Durkin's Maryland presser

Maryland football’s Class of 2018 is coming together rather nicely. With 13 players committed space is filling up quickly. There are still many months until players can officially sign, which is about a month and a half earlier than usual now, but there are likely fewer than 10 spots left to fill in the Terps’ class.

That said, many of Maryland’s highest-rated targets are still on the board, which means we could be in for another exciting winter on the recruiting trail. Here’s who DJ Durkin and his staff are after at each position:

Quarterback

On roster: Max Bortenschlager, Caleb Henderson, Kasim Hill, Tyrrell Pigrome
2018 commits: Tyler DeSue (.8659)

Targets: DeSue should be the only scholarship quarterback Maryland takes in this class.

Running back

On roster: Tayon Fleet-Davis, Jake Funk, Lorenzo Harrison, Ty Johnson, Javon Leake, Anthony McFarland
2018 commits: N/A

Targets: Four-star (.9115) Mychale Salahuddin is the biggest target for Maryland in this cycle, but he committed to USC Monday morning. A year after signing McFarland, Leake and Fleet-Davis, taking a running back in this class was low on the priority list, and if the Terps were going to take one, it would have been Salahuddin. The staff will stay on him until he signs, but he’s likely the only option here.

Wide receiver

On roster: Jalen Browder, Tahj Capehart, Carlos Carriere, Jayden Comma, Jahrvis Davenport, Taivon Jacobs, MJ Jarrell, D.J. Moore, Sean Nelson, DJ Turner, Jacquille Veii
2018 commits: Dontay Demus (.8615), Brian Cobbs (.8402)

Targets: With six signees in the Class of 2017 and two verbal commits in the Class of 2018, Maryland will likely only take one more receiver between now and National Signing Day, unless four-star (.9165) Daniel George wants in after somebody else has already committed; he’s got a spot reserved for him no matter what. Penn State looks like the heavy favorite for George as he eyes a mid-summer decision.

Three-star (.8522) Jeshaun Jones has been on campus several times this spring and summer and could continue the Florida to Maryland pipeline. Three-star (.8893) Darryl Jones is another intriguing option. Maryland has been in the lead group for a while and he was a guy I had on commit watch during the spring game. Three-star (.8696) Ed Hendrix is teammates with new Maryland commit Vincent Flythe and someone the staff would likely take at any time, but would push especially hard for if they miss out on George.

Tight end

On roster: Noah Barnes, Avery Edwards, Derrick Hayward, Andrew Park
2018 commits: Maleak Bryant (.8432)

Targets: After taking only Park in 2017, the Terps are likely looking to fill two tight end spots in 2018. Bryant has one for now, but is also exploring other options. Maryland’s top targets here are The Opening finalist Chigoziem Okonkwo (.8565), St. Frances product Tyree Henry (.8333) and four-star Kyle Pitts (.9035). Of the three, the Terps probably have the best shot with Okonkwo, with Henry a close second and Pitts a distant third.

Offensive line

On roster: Sean Christie, Terrance Davis, Derwin Gray, Tyran Hunt, Johnny Jordan, Will McClain, Ellis McKennie, Jordan McNair, Richard Merritt, Marcus Minor, Brendan Moore, Brian Plummer, Damian Prince
2018 commits: Evan Gregory (.8903), Jaelyn Duncan (.9262), Spencer Anderson (.8466)

Targets: With Duncan and Anderson the most recent additions to the offensive tackle group, Maryland may only take one more offensive lineman in the class, with one spot reserved for four-star (.9467) tackle Rasheed Walker no matter what. As the unquestionable top target, and with three other big wants wrapped up, the staff can throw everything and the kitchen sink at Walker. Penn State looks to be in the lead now, but there’s plenty of time for that to change.

If Maryland misses on Walker, look for them to push for JuCo three-star (87) lineman TJ Bradley, who goes to Lackawanna Community College, the same school as 2017 signee Alex Woods.

Maryland is also in the mix for four-star (.8942) Qadir White from the Bronx, and likely wouldn’t turn him away if he wanted in. Three-star (.8509) Justin Johnson from Philadelphia was on the verge of committing in late April, but Temple has since emerged as a contender and maybe even the favorite. The Terps also made three-star (.8640) tackle Oyenmwen “Junior” Uzebu’s top five on Monday and are squarely in the mix for him.

Defensive line

On roster: Jesse Aniebonam, Bryce Brand, Chandler Burkett, Brandon and Breyon Gaddy, Dion Goldbourne, Keiron Howard, Melvin Keihn, Brett Kulka, Adam McLean, B’Ahmad Miller, Kingsley Opara, Lawtez Rogers, Oseh Saine, Cam Spence, Mbi Tanyi, Cavon Walker
2018 commits: Austin Fontaine (.9561)

Targets: Two of the Terps’ biggest targets left at any position are a couple Baltimore-area defensive linemen. St. Frances four-star (.9706) defensive end Eyabi Anoma and McDonogh four-star (.9506) defensive tackle PJ Mustipher would each be incredible additions to Maryland’s recruiting class. At the moment, it appears Alabama leads for Anoma, while Penn State leads for Mustipher. The Terps aren’t out of either race by any means, though. Anoma will be on campus this weekend and Mustipher has taken many visits to College Park throughout the spring and summer.

While Maryland pushes for those two, keep an eye on three-star (.8333) defensive end Derrick Eason, three-star (.8381) pass rusher Damir Faison, pass rusher Grant Misch and three-star (.8416) defensive tackle Raiqwon O’Neal.

Linebacker

On roster: Antoine and Jalen Brooks, Jermaine Carter Jr., Shane Cockerille, Isaiah Davis, Nnamdi Egbuaba, Ayinde Eley, Brett Shepherd, Nick Underwood
2018 commits: Nihym Anderson (.8512), Chance Campbell (.8410), Durell Nchami (.8578)

Targets: With three linebackers already committed, space is limited going forward. There should be two spots left, at most, with one seeming more likely. The Terps are still in the mix for three-star (.8422) Juan Wallace, especially now that teammate Flythe is committed to Maryland. The Terps also wouldn’t turn away three-star (.8686) Keshon Artis, who looks like a Virginia Tech lean right now.

Defensive back

On roster: Fofie Bazzie, Markquese Bell, Kenny Bennett, Milan Collins, Denzel Conyers, Elijah and Elisha Daniels, RaVon Davis, Tino Ellis, JC Jackson, Deon Jones, Cal Kee, Quantrezz Knight, Antwaine Richardson, Darnell Savage, Alex and Josh Woods.
2018 commits: Raymond Boone (.8427), Vincent Flythe (.8536)

Targets: Flythe’s teammate, three-star safety Noah Boykin (.8668), is high on Maryland’s wish list and would be a solid addition to the defensive backfield. Beyond Boykin, though, the Terps are after a bunch of already-committed prospects: four-star (.9827) Florida State commit Anthony Lytton, three-star (.8429) Pittsburgh commit Judson Tallandier and three-star Virginia Tech commits DeJuan Ellis (.8610) and Armani Chatman (.8799).

Specialists

On roster: Nate Adams (LS), Adam Greene (K), Wade Lees (P), Matt Oliveira (LS), Nicolas Pritchard (P), Brock Sassler (LS), Mike Shinsky (K), Danny Sutton (K)
2018 commits: N/A

Targets: After missing out on kicker Jonathan Doerer in 2017, Maryland has only offered kicker Joseph Petrino in the class of 2018, but could also push for St. John’s (D.C.) kicker Rafael Checa. Shinsky is the only kicker slated to be on the roster beyond this upcoming season, so expect the Terps to pick up a successor in this class.