In December, Maryland football signed what was then a second straight top-20 class. The Terps signed 22 new recruits, including former No. 3 overall prospect Byron Cowart as a junior college transfer and three local blue-chippers in the Class of 2018. With the traditional National Signing Day coming Wednesday, there’s almost no drama left.
Only four-star cornerback Noah Boykin and three-star tight end Maleak Bryant remained unsigned. Bryant decommitted first, ultimately committing to Miami of Ohio later. Boykin waited about a month to officially reopen his recruitment after an official visit to Florida, which is now the favorite to land the D.C. prospect. Maryland seemed content letting Bryant walk, but has pursued four-star Tampa Bay-area cornerback Ken Montgomery with all deliberate speed.
Montgomery took his official visit to College Park last weekend, but left without a commitment. He’ll be in Lincoln, Nebraska, this weekend for an official visit with the Cornhuskers and Scott Frost, who’s been on a recruiting tear since officially leaving UCF. The only question mark Maryland has in any recruiting capacity going into National Signing Day is whether or not Montgomery will be a Terp; he’s scheduled to announce sometime on Wednesday.
There have been other targets, but those ships have all apparently sailed. Three-star defensive end Jonathan King was in town for an official visit as well, but also left town without a decision. Indiana is his leader, and likely where he’ll end up signing. Four-star running back Mychale Salahuddin decommitted from USC shortly before the December signing period while on an unofficial visit to Maryland, which then became the perceived favorite. He posted a picture in a Terps uniform on Christmas Eve with a Christmas tree emoji, perhaps indicating that a commitment was imminent. That clearly wasn’t the case, as he’s since named a top four of USC, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Syracuse; Pitt now seems to be the favorite.
As a result, this year’s February signing day will be significantly less exciting than in years past. Instead of bringing new recruits into the fold, Maryland has revamped his coaching staff. Since December, the Terps have added five new assistant coaches: Matt Canada at offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Jafar Williams at running backs coach, Bryan Stinespring at offensive line coach, Dave Bucar at tight ends coach and Chuck Heater at safeties coach.
This may be the new norm now that there’s an early signing period in late December. About 70 percent of the nation’s top 100 recruits put pen to paper at the earliest time they could, rather than waiting until the traditional first Wednesday in February. Maryland obviously exceeded that mark, signing all but two commits. So while signing day may feel boring come Wednesday, know that it’s because DJ Durkin and the Terps’ staff did an exceptional job locking down almost the entire class in December.
Your move, Mr. Montgomery.