Former four-star safety Osita Smith announced his commitment to Maryland football in December, but he officially signed with the Terps on Wednesday.
“I felt like I should stay home and be a part of something that’s being rebuilt,” Smith told Testudo Times. “There’s something special being rebuilt, especially with Coach Locksley and all the new coaches. I just felt like I should be a part of it. DMV to UMD.”
Smith, who was a product out of Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland, opted to sign with West Virginia out of high school, but ended up taking a postgraduate season at the Milford Academy in New York.
“Prep school humbled me as a person,” Smith said. “It showed me that there’s more to life than football, but also helped me learn the game at a faster speed with college guys. It made me more mature.”
In his senior season at Wilde Lake, Smith finished with 101 tackles (50 solo), 7.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. He also added 875 all-purpose yards while working primarily as a receiver and returner. He has joined forces with fellow Howard County native Beau Brade, of River Hill High School, in College Park as a safety tandem.
“It’s going to be interesting and pretty cool,” Smith said. “Here you have two of the best players coming out of the county, two years in a row, and now they’re coming together. That’s pretty neat to me.”
At 6’2, 205 pounds, Smith has great size at the safety position, allowing him to move up into a hybrid safety/linebacker position — similar to that of former Terp Antoine Brooks Jr. — and come off the edge in blitzes. His film shows a great nose for the ball and ability to read plays, while also delivering some hard hits.
Maryland was vying with TCU for the services of Smith late in 2019, and each school earned a visit before he ultimately chose the Terps.
“They were similar and they were very different at the same time,” Smith said of his visits to both schools. “They both had their pros and different ways they stood out to me. But going to New York and going to school up there kind of made me appreciate home a lot more.”
As part of the 2019 class, Smith ranked as the No. 24 safety and the No. 284 player overall before signing with West Virginia. He had a 0.903 rating, according to the 247Sports Composite ranking, which would translate him to Maryland’s second-highest rated commitment in the 2020 class.
Maryland signed the bulk of its class during the early signing period, and Smith even enrolled early in College Park ahead of signing on Wednesday. Barring any surprises, the Terps’ 2020 haul includes 27 players, ranking No. 30 in the nation and sixth in the Big Ten.