Isaiah Hazel is officially a member of Maryland football’s 2019 recruiting class after signing his National Letter of Intent Wednesday.
The top-rated offensive player in the state of Maryland is the first to sign today! Welcome, @Thats__zay to the #TerpFam! #LOCKedIn | #DMV2UMD pic.twitter.com/0a2keyolnb— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) December 19, 2018
Hazel originally committed to West Virginia in July before becoming Mike Locksley’s first commit when he flipped to the Terps last Wednesday. The Upper Marlboro native is the No. 4 prospect in Maryland and the No. 35 wide receiver in the country (No. 232 player overall) according to the 247Sports Composite. He’s the highest-rated recruit in the Terps’ 2019 class, and was the Mountaineers’ highest-rated commit before flipping to Maryland.
Maryland’s 2019 class includes three wide receivers, as Hazel is joined by Pittsburgh native Dino Tomlin and Avalon School preferred walk-on Todd Simmons. Three-star wide receiver and Florida native Ahmarean Brown committed to Maryland in April before decommitting less than two weeks after DJ Durkin was fired.
Hazel’s signing continues a pattern of building a local pipeline and reestablishing relationships with local football powers. Wise has been one the premier public school teams in Maryland over the past few years, winning the past three 4A state titles and 43 straight games before having both streaks snapped this season. Hazel is the first player from the Pumas to sign with the Terps since Titus Till in 2010.
The 6’1, 190-pound Hazel’s speed and strong hands got him offers from numerous Power 5 schools, but he could face an uphill battle for playing time early in his Maryland career. Jeshaun Jones had a solid freshman season, and fellow rookies Dontay Demus, Darryl Jones and Brian Cobbs all became viable targets as the year went on. Tahj Capehart, who was expected to start but missed his sophomore year with a torn ACL, should also compete for playing time, and DJ Turner is slated to return for his senior season.
Hazel has experience playing defense as well, and could convert to defensive back if that’s the best way for him to make an impact. Tino Ellis and Rayshad Lewis have both switched to cornerback since coming to College Park. and the Terps have some holes to fill in the secondary after RaVon Davis graduated and Marcus Lewis no longer on the roster.