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.
Wes recently looked at the group’s newcomer in 5-star freshman Rakim Jarrett, and now we’ll round out things with the four of the biggest unknowns at the position going into 2020: Brian Cobbs, Darryl Jones, Carlos Carriere and Isaiah Hazel.
Hometown: Alexandria, Va.
High school: Hayfield High School
2019 Sophomore Stats: 11 games; 16 rec, 243 yds
Career Stats: 21 games, 19 rec, 293 yards
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.
High school: Princess Anne High School
2019 Sophomore Stats: 12 games; 9 rec, 158 yds
Career Stats: 23 games, 16 rec, 272 yards
Hometown: Alpharetta, Ga.
High school: Alpharetta High School
2019 Sophomore Stats: 12 games; 12 rec, 137 yds, 1 TD
Career Stats: 15 games, 12 rec, 137 yards
Hometown: Upper Marlboro, Md.
High school: Dr. Henry Wise High School
2019 Freshman Stats: 10 games, 4 solo tackles, 5 total tackles, 1 forced fumble
Career Stats: N/A
As a four-star recruit in the class of 2018 per 24/7 Composite, Darryl Jones came to College Park with the potential to be a contributor immediately and for years to come. In his freshman season, Jones appeared in all of the team’s 12 games, but was largely outshined by fellow freshman Jeshaun Jones.
In the following season, Jones once again was a consistent presence on the field, but failed to significantly improve upon his freshman year numbers.
Cobbs, another member of the class of 2018, also managed to find his way on the field quite a bit as a freshman, making 10 appearances and recording three receptions for 50 total yards. But injuries and off-field issues for other players at the position in 2019 yielded Cobbs an opportunity to see significant snaps out wide, making three starts to close the season while finishing second on the team in receiving yards with 243.
Carriere is the lone receiver out of this group of four that has broken the plane of the endzone as a Terp, with his first and only touchdown with the team coming against Syracuse this past September. Prior to that, Carriere had only seen the field on special teams since his arrival in 2017, but he appeared every game in his redshirt sophomore, season including starts against Michigan and Minnesota.
Despite being the highest-rated recruit out of the four per 24/7 Composite, Hazel still has yet to make an offensive impact since signing with Maryland in the class of 2019. With offers from Alabama, Michigan State and Tennessee, Hazel opted to commit to West Virginia in July of 2018. But shortly after Mike Locksley was named head coach in December, Hazel announced he was flipping his commitment to Maryland, marking the first major commitment for the new head coach.
However, Hazel was limited to special teams snaps for most of the 2019 season, and he still has yet to record a reception as a Terp.
There should be still be opportunities for playing time at receiver in 2020
Given the circumstances surrounding last season, players like Cobbs, Jones and Carriere managed to get playing time at receiver without an overwhelming amount of competition. Such isn’t as likely to be the case in 2020, considering the emergence of Dontay Demus Jr., the return of D.J. Turner and Jeshaun Jones, and the arrival of Rakim Jarrett.
However, the variety of skills each of these players possess should make the competition for playing time interesting to follow.
Carriere’s height presents some intriguing mismatch potential on the outside, making him a threat to pull in a jump ball should the quarterback decide to throw it up his way. Turner is close to a lock to be the team’s starter in the slot going into the season, but allowing Hazel to see some snaps at that position could mark the first step toward unlocking the offensive potential of the former highest-rated offensive player in the state of Maryland.
As for Cobbs and Jones, either should challenge for spots on the outside given their skillsets. Considering Cobbs’s ability to salvage a decent season for himself in 2019 given the quarterback play deserves recognition, while Jones’s eight starts last season makes him a trusted option among the coaching staff.
Experience could make the difference
One area where the likes of Cobbs, Jones and Carriere may have a leg up on the competition is experience on the field. With Jeshaun Jones coming off a season-ending injury and Jarrett having to adjust to the speed of the college game, the trio’s background both in Locksley’s offense and on the field could provide an advantage when the coaching staff is deciding who to split out wide on a given down.
The trio have each made starts against opponents like Ohio State, Michigan, and Minnesota over last season under Locksley, which can’t be said for all of Maryland’s receivers entering next season. Talent almost always wins out, but in case of the Terp wide receiver group, experience in the system and on the field could play an important role.