Javon Leake was one of three running backs to join Maryland football in the 2017 recruiting class, and he entered a backfield that was already filled with playmakers.
But when he’s gotten chances this fall, the freshman has made the most of them.
The Greensboro, North Carolina, native has two touchdowns and 98 rushing yards on just six carries this season. He broke free for a 61-yard score toward the end of Maryland’s win over Towson. Three games later, he ran it in from 20 yards out in the fourth quarter against Ohio State. In a game otherwise filled with negatives, Leake’s breakthrough was somewhat of a silver lining.
It’s still a crowded backfield, led by Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison, but Leake is forcing his way into a bigger role, both on offense and special teams.
“Moving forward, we would like to get him more involved,” Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell said Wednesday, “and I think that’s why you’re gonna see such an increase for him in reps on special teams. He’s one of the best 11 guys that we can put out there in any other phase of the game.”
Maryland’s running backs haven’t practiced specialization much this year; rather, every back is prepared for all aspects of the position. That’ll help Leake become a more complete back in the future, and it’s raised the group’s standards overall.
“We’re very talented in that room, and I just think any of us, you put us in a situation and I think any of us will do well,” sophomore Jake Funk said Tuesday. “It’s just the kind of running back room we have, where we set high standards for ourselves, each and every guy ... and I think [Leake’s production is] a product of the high standards.”
In other news
Two of Maryland basketball’s top 2018 targets—Devon Dotson and Eric Ayala—are announcing their commitments in the next couple days.
The FBI has (but can’t release) documents with Kansas’ name on them. The Jayhawks are Maryland’s remaining competition in the Dotson sweepstakes.
There’s football recruiting news, too! Defensive tackle Jalen Alexander is announcing his commitment tonight, and Maryland is very much in the mix.
Come Support for me at my commitment ceremony tomorrow (changed to cafeteria) pic.twitter.com/OAKjxcsxO8— Jalen Alexander (@GrindHard85) October 11, 2017
We’re a month into the NFL season. Here’s a roundup of how former Maryland players are faring this fall.
Maryland women’s soccer is back in action tonight, but will have its hands full with Ohio State.
Walt Williams, who played at Maryland from 1988-92 and is currently a radio analyst for the Terps, will be inducted into the Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame today.