Our summer profile series is back and we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time. We’re starting with potentially the most impactful position on this year’s team, the Terps wide receiver group.
Most recently in the series, Mike profiled last year’s pleasant surprise, Dontay Demus Jr. Now it’s time to take a look at five-star freshman Rakim Jarrett.
Rakim Jarrett, WR
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
High school: St. John’s College
2019 Senior Stats: 12 games; 60 rec, 950 yds, 7 tds
Jarrett was a five-star prospect in the 2020 recruiting class. He committed to LSU on April 29, 2019 after an official visit to Baton Rouge and stuck with it through his senior season.
In early December, Jarrett visited the hometown Terps, giving head coach Mike Locksley and his staff the chance to lay out a plan. After reaching out to Stefon Diggs, Jerry Jeudy and others, Jarrett mulled his options ahead of the early signing period. He eventually tweeted that he would sign in February, but later shocked the world on December 18 by flipping his commitment and signing with Maryland.
Not only did the unexpected signing generate buzz nationally, but locking down one of the top local prospects was a key victory for Locksley in his attempt to bring Maryland football back to a positive spotlight.
Jarrett can easily turn short passes into long gains
One of the most consistent parts of Jarrett’s game is his ability to catch short passes and balls across the middle and generate long gains and scores. Once the ball is in his hands, anything can happen.
Route running and top-end speed are also key parts of Jarrett’s skill set, as he can often shake defenders with slick moves and create separation. Despite standing at just 6’0, these attributes allow Jarrett to be a threat at any wide receiver position and not just kept in the slot.
Even with plenty of talent and depth at the wide receiver position in 2020, Jarrett will certainly be given chances to do what he does best — make plays.
There will be big shoes to fill
With a composite rating of 0.9870, Jarrett is the highest rated Maryland signee at any position since fellow wideout Stefon Diggs in the class of 2012. Jarrett used part of the speech Diggs gave when he announced he was staying home in his commitment video, which will undoubtedly draw some comparisons between the two.
While Diggs was the No. 8 player in the nation for his class, Jarrett came in at No. 27. The two were named the No. 2 and No. 4 wide receivers in their class, respectively. Diggs came to College Park as a vertical threat who could stretch the field and eventually became a route-running master, but Jarrett will bring a strong ability to cut and accelerate out of his breaks from day one.
Jarrett’s quarterback options this year will be Josh Jackson, Lance LeGendre and Taulia Tagovailoa, and while that position doesn’t have much depth, it’s likely Jarrett will have an advantage over Diggs in this regard. In Diggs’ freshman season, Maryland was forced to play linebacker Shawn Petty at quarterback for four games (this ultimately accounted for 14.3 percent of Diggs’ Terps career).
With both being the top talent from their local region, Jarrett will certainly be seen in a similar light as Diggs. The stay-at-home movement requires a prominent face to carry the torch. Diggs was that face, and Jarrett has the chance to follow suit.