Fall practice started for Maryland football with the news of several high-profile players choosing to opt-out of the 2020 season.
Quarterback Josh Jackson and offensive linemen Johnny Jordan and Austin Fontaine are the biggest names who have all chosen to sit out this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tight End Chigoziem Okonkwo will also be out for the 2020 season due to a medical issue.
These losses on the offensive side of the ball are all notable, as Jackson was the main starter at quarterback in 2019, Okonkwo was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List and Jordan and Fontaine were two key pieces to an already struggling offensive line that is looking to make strides in 2020.
At quarterback, the Terps are awaiting word on Alabama transfer Taulia Tagovailoa’s waiver request despite the season starting in less than a month. Head coach Mike Locksley said the program should hear from the NCAA on this within the next few days. With Jackson out and Taulia still not fully in the picture, redshirt sophomore Lance LeGendre is the lone scholarship quarterback eligible.
Maryland also was looking light at tight end already this season, with redshirt freshman Malik Jackson as the lone scholarship player behind Okonkwo, but has made changes to add depth. Defensive end Tyler Baylor and linebacker Kameron Blount have been moved to the position to start camp, with Blount having experience as an offensive threat in high school.
Other players opting out of the 2020 season include defensive lineman Jalen Alexander, linebacker TJ Kautai and defensive back Vincent Flythe.