After committing to Maryland football on Jan. 27, Sam Okuayinonu is officially a part of the Terrapins’ 2019 class after signing his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
The 6’3, 270-pounder is ranked as the No. 6 junior college strong-side defensive end nationally and the nation’s No. 59 overall junior college prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Okuayinonu chose the Terrapins over offers from 20 other schools, including UMass and South Florida.
Okuayinonu has traveled a unique path to get to where he is today. He moved from Liberia to the United States at age 12 and played only one year of high school football. After his one season at Lowell High School in Lowell, Massachusetts, he hopped between junior colleges to progress his football career.
He’ll settle into Maryland with three years to play three seasons. The strong-side defensive end played at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts before leaving to briefly join the army. Okuayinonu then went to Coahoma Community College in Mississippi and just finished up his time at Mesabi Range Community College in Minnesota. With this list of schools behind him, Okuayinonu has only played one year of college football and redshirted for one season.
Okuayinonu joins Deshawn Holt and Anthony “Tank” Booker as the Terps’ three defensive ends in the 2019 class, as Maryland looks to replace Byron Cowart and Jesse Aniebonam in the pass rush. At the time, Okuayinonu’s commitment brought Maryland’s class from No. 86 to No. 74 in the 247Sports Team Rankings.