Receivers Week is winding down here at Testudo Times. We’ve looked at the top option in Taivon Jacobs, the small group of vets behind him and the young and unproven. The last batch of wideouts we’ll look at are the true freshmen.
After taking six receivers (carrying five) in its 2017 cycle, the Terps followed up with four more in 2018. Size was the emphasis on the outside, with the entire group clocking in above 6’2. Of the four, only one enrolled early, but he’s already seen time with the starters this spring. The rest of the group will look to make an impact in a position group looking to help mitigate some of the loss of DJ Moore.
It’s a crowded room ahead of them, with all but one of last year’s freshmen redshirting, but there’s a lot of potential in this group. Three members come to College Park by way of the DMV-to-UMD movement, with two hailing from Virginia and the other from Washington, D.C. The other was one of the last to join the class, and hails from Florida, one of head coach DJ Durkin’s hot spots.
Jeshaun Jones, No. 22
Weight: 173 lbs
Hometown: Fort Myers, Florida
High School: South Fort Myers
Jones was the second-to-last Maryland commit for the 2018 cycle, but one of the first to step on campus. As one of 11 early enrollees, the Fort Myers native has already started to integrate himself in Matt Canada’s offense. He spent some time with the starters in the spring, and in a passing attack losing a lot of production, the early looks may be indicative of a potential starring role for the rookie.
Weight: 180 lbs
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
High School: Princess Anne
As the other Jones, Darryl was actually the highest-rated of the bunch. He put pen to paper as a three-star during the early signing period, but would finish the cycle as a four-star prospect, according to the 247Sports composite. He’s seen as the most all-around skilled of the group, but will have to stand out in a crowded room.
Weight: 205 lbs
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
High School: Friendship Collegiate
The tallest of the 2018 group, Demus has the potential to be a red zone threat. Fast and athletic, having run a reported 4.58 40-yard dash with a 37-inch vertical, he should give whichever quarterback wins the starting gig a big target around the goal line. He stands the same height as redshirt freshman Carlos Carriere, and with his speed has the ability to go deep as well.
Weight: 200 lbs
Hometown: Quantico, Virginia
High School: Hayfield
In Cobbs, the Terps found a big receiver with well-regarded route running. He should have the size to fend off the press at the line of scrimmage and the ability to handle Canada’s most complex plays. There’s a lot of players hovering around the same experience level, but if Cobbs can go out and distinguish himself, there’s a path to early playing time.
Due to the NCAA’s new redshirt rules, freshmen can play up to four games and not lose their tag. So there’s a possibility we see some of these receivers early, but watch some get phased out to preserve eligibility if they’re not ready. Jeshaun Jones has already carved out some familiarity with Canada’s offense, but the quickest way to see the field will always be on special teams. All of these receivers have speed and size, so Durkin should find a way to get them involved somewhere.
It’s always hard for freshmen to earn early playing time, and there’s about 10 receivers competing for two starting spots. However, due to the overall lack of certainty about receivers not named Taivon Jacobs, each will also have the opportunity to earn snaps early.