There was a clear focus in Maryland football’s recruiting Class of 2017: get bigger receivers, and get a lot of them. Out of 28 total signees, six were receivers. Five of those six are 6’0 or taller.
On the other hand, only two non-freshmen are listed at 6’0 or taller: Michael Cornwell and Chris Jones. If you don’t know who those guys are, that’s OK; neither have caught a pass in a Maryland uniform. But with DJ Durkin’s philosophy that the best players will play regardless of age, as well as Maryland’s lack of depth at receiver, you’d better take a look the six freshmen who now make up over 40 percent of the position group.
We’re here to help.
Jalen Browder (6’1, 180 lbs.)
247Sports Composite ranking: three stars (.8544)
A consensus three-star athlete, Browder (.8544) was the third of four receivers to commit to Maryland from Georgia in the class of 2018. He’s one of the faster, shiftier prospects of the group. He’s got solid hands, can make tough catches in traffic and once the ball is in his hands, he can do things like this:
Tahj Capehart (5’10, 175 lbs.)
247Sports Composite ranking: three stars (.8893)
Though he’s the shortest of the bunch, Capehart may be the crown jewel of this receiver class, if only because of how Maryland got him. He was a National Signing Day flip from regional foe Virginia Tech, and helped solidify the opening of a pipeline from Virginia Beach to College Park.
On the field, Capehart is another speedster who’ll likely line up in the slot where he’s got the capability to take a simple screen to the house from anywhere on the field.
There’s also a chance Maryland ends up with too many receivers and Capehart switches to defensive back (a la Tino Ellis). In that case, he doesn’t just intercept passes, he intercepts option pitches ... and then returns them the length of the field.
Carlos Carriere (6’4, 170 lbs.)
247Sports Composite ranking: three stars (.8534)
The tallest of the bunch, Carriere was the second of the four receivers from Georgia to commit to Maryland. He’s long and figures to be a redzone threat, but is also quick for his size and can be a dynamic playmaker outside the numbers.
Jayden Comma (6’2, 202 lbs.)
247Sports Composite ranking: three stars (.8574)
Comma may be one of the leading candidates to play as a true freshman, not because of his solid route running or dynamic ability with the ball in his hands, but rather for his willingness to block in the running game. He could see the field soon if he continues to punish defenders for trying to tackle his teammates.
MJ Jarrell (6’0, 180 lbs.)
247Sports Composite ranking: three stars (.8375)
Jarrell may only be 6’0, but he’s got the hops and ball skills to go up and bring down a jump ball.
He’s fast as could be and may end up being the steal of the class in the long run. Jarrell is one of the many players Maryland has signed from Florida in Durkin’s short time at the helm.
Sean Nelson (6’0, 178 lbs.)
247Sports Composite ranking: three stars (.8590)
The first of the four Georgia prospects to commit to Maryland, Nelson ended his high school career with an All-Region first team selection. He’s another guy who’s “only” 6’0 but has the hops to go up and pull a ball in over his defender.
When the season finally rolls around, these six will have a few guys to climb over on the depth chart, but it shouldn’t be surprising if any or all of them see the field as true freshmen. Each would do well to be a willing blocker and special teams player to maximize his chances.