Freshman safety Markquese Bell has left Maryland football.
Bell posted on his Instagram story that Monday was his last day in College Park, and Testudo Times was able to independently confirm.
“Markquese is no longer part of the team or the university,” head coach DJ Durkin confirmed Tuesday at his weekly press conference. “I think Markquese is an outstanding young man, and I wish him nothing but the full best moving forward.”
A random Monday in November might seem like a weird time to leave school, but his time of departure may have something to do with Monday being the last day to drop classes with the “withdrawal” designation. Essentially, that just means instead of remaining enrolled and failing for not being there, your transcript reflects that you’ve withdrawn.
Bell and redshirt junior Alex Woods—each early enrollees, arriving in College Park in January—were suspended indefinitely before the season for undisclosed reasons, though it’s unclear if the suspensions were related to one another. On Oct. 9, Woods announced he’d be leaving the program at the end of the semester.
Each was projected to, at minimum, help shore up the Terps’ defensive backfield this season, and reports out of spring camp were that Bell already had an NFL-ready body and could see significant time as a true freshman. The secondary hasn’t suffered too much in his absence, already doubling last year’s interception total with three games remaining, but there’s no telling how much of a boost he could have provided.
Bell was Maryland’s third-highest-rated commit in the Class of 2017, and one of eight four-star commits in one of the Terps’ strongest classes ever.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with Durkin’s quote.