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Maryland football hires Jafar Williams as running backs coach

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The former Terp is coming back home to fill a long-standing vacancy.

Florida State v. Maryland Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Maryland football has finally filled its running backs coaching vacancy, reportedly hiring Terp alumnus and former Rutgers wide receivers coach Jafar Williams on Thursday. NJ Advance Media was first to report the news.

After leaving Maryland in 2003, Williams broke onto the coaching scene at Moravian in 2005 as the passing game coordinator and receivers coach. He has since spent time at Illinois State, Howard, Northwestern, Kent State, Purdue and Rutgers. In his time at Rutgers, Jawaun Harris led all Big Ten freshmen with 39 receptions for 481 yards, while Andre Patton led the group with five touchdowns on 13.9 yards per catch.

With a position group with as much talent as Maryland’s—Ty Johnson, Lorenzo Harrison, Javon Leake, Jake Funk, Anthony McFarland and Tayon Fleet-Davis say hello—his recruiting prowess may be equally as important as his coaching skill. At Rutgers and Purdue, Williams was able to help land four-star receiver Bo Melton and three-stars Daevon Robinson, Isaih Pacheco, Eddie Lewis and Keyante Green, each of whom carries a composite rating of over .8500. The Philadelphia-native can help Maryland continue its expanded effort to recruit more effectively in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The Terps lost Anthony Tucker to UCF right before Christmas, and have since hired Matt Canada to replace Walt Bell, who left for Florida State in the middle of January. DJ Durkin has also replaced offensive line coach Tyler Bowen with Bryan Stinespring, all the while leaving the running backs position open; it took almost six full weeks to fill. The consensus opinion seemed to be that senior defensive analyst Brawley Evans would fill that role, especially since he’d been recruiting more vigorously and the NCAA approved a 10th on-field coaching position this offseason.

Maryland had briefly filled all 10 coaching positions, but tight ends coach Pete Lembo is on his way to Rice to be its special teams coordinator and associate head coach. Canada will likely look to replace him with somebody who’s worked in his offense before, as tight ends have a more specific role.