Our summer profile series is back and we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time. We spent our first week on quarterbacks and last week on running backs, and this week we’re taking a look at wide receivers.
Thomas gave an overview of the group on Monday. Now, we’ll start going through the options at the position, first with Jeshaun Jones — arguably the most promising receiver on the roster.
Jeshaun Jones, WR, No. 6
Hometown: Fort Myers, Fla.
High school: South Fort Myers
2018/career stats: 22 rec, 288 yds, 5 TDs; 18 rush, 173 yards, 2 TDs; 1-1 passing, 20 yds, TD
Jones was a three-star recruit coming out of South Fort Myers High School, with offers from Tennessee, Pitt, Iowa State, Nebraska and Minnesota. He was a four-year starter for his high school team. Jones caught 30 passes for 359 yards in his senior season, and 28 catches for 491 yards as a junior.
He was one of the last players to join Maryland’s 2018 recruiting class, committing on the December signing day in 2017. He then enrolled at the school early and quickly made an impact for the Terps.
Jones showed a lot of potential in his freshman season.
The rookie wowed the entire country in his debut for the Terps against then-No. 23 Texas last season. He helped lead the team to an upset victory with a passing, receiving and rushing touchdown on his first three touches. He’s the the first freshman to score all three ways since Marcus Mariota in 2012, and the first player on record to accomplish the feat in his first three touches. The performance earned him National Freshman of the Week honors.
Though he wasn’t used as much throughout the rest of the season, with 22 receptions and 288 yards on the year, Jones finished with the most receiving touchdowns (5) by a Maryland freshman since Stefon Diggs.
He’ll look to bring the wide receiver group back into the spotlight in 2019.
Maryland didn’t utilize the wide receiver position much last season, running the ball 67 percent of the time. The Terps had the lowest completion total of any non-triple option offense in the nation with just 125 completions in 241 attempts. But now in Mike Locksley’s offensive scheme with a talented quarterback in transfer Josh Jackson, there’s likely to be more of a balance and wide receivers will be able to show off their skills.
Of everyone in the wide receivers room, Jones seems like the best fit for the No. 1 job. He was able to make big plays for the team last season, despite having limited chances, and he’ll look to establish himself as the top receiver and take advantage of a new offense.
Jones practiced with the first team in the spring, and Locksley and players often pointed out his efforts in media sessions following practice. He told reporters he wanted to work more on his consistency this season and has been focusing on the smaller details of his routes to prepare for a successful sophomore campaign. And with Taivon Jacobs gone, Jones has a chance to make a huge impact on the field this fall.