Dwayne Haskins and Keandre Jones were Maryland's two most important commitments in the 2016 recruiting class. Both are now Ohio State Buckeyes.
Four-star offensive guards Terrance Davis and Richard Merritt have been similarly highly rated, but the presence of the other means neither player is indispensable on his own to Maryland's class. At quarterback, Maryland has no such comfort with Haskins gone. At linebacker, there's no silver lining to losing Jones.
The Terps are coming off a 2015 season in which their quarterbacks were less efficient by passer rating than those for any FBS team since 2008. They are coming off a season in which their outside linebackers had 1 total sack and were generally non-factors. Haskins, sooner or later, was Maryland's quarterbacking remedy. Jones was primed to challenge for playing time immediately, either replacing Yannick Ngakoue or Quinton Jefferson at defensive end or, more likely, sliding into Scott Shafer's defense as a versatile linebacker.
If DJ Durkin's staff can't find comparable replacements for Haskins and Jones in the next few weeks, Maryland's recruiting class will lose a great deal of its luster. This is nobody's fault. Haskins and Jones committed to Maryland when Randy Edsall and Mike Locksley were running the show, and no one should be surprised that Durkin opted not to keep Locksley or that Locksley chose not to stay in College Park. No one should blame Haskins or Jones, either, for having second thoughts about the most important decisions of their teenage lives. College football is a carousel.
But, anyway, Maryland's in some trouble.
The Terrapins, at present, can stare into next season with this quarterback situation:
Perhaps they'll add another quarterback, either via transfer or National Signing Day. Either is a possibility. If Durkin can land a transfer, that player might even be better than a true freshman Haskins would've been for Maryland.
At quarterback, the recruiting database at 247Sports has a helpful list of Maryland's potential options. The Terps are deemed "warm" on two prospects: three-star dual threat Lindsey Scott (offered this week), four-star California pro-style QB Devon Modster. Maryland has also offered three-star Tyrrell Pigrome. There's also three-star Bishop McNamara dual threat Ramar Williams, whom receiver commit Tino Ellis evoked in a tweet after the Haskins news, and Louisiana pro-style QB Chase Fourcade, whom Maryland offered Monday night.
(Update: This is kind of funny, but Modster committed to UCLA an hour after Haskins's announcement. So, that's not happening.)
Modster is rated the No. 13 pro-style passer in the class. (Haskins is No. 7.). He'd be a more than suitable consolation prize for the Terps, but he's also drawn heavy interest from UCLA and Oklahoma State. He figures to be a priority.
On defense, the picture is grimmer. Maryland is bleeding front-seven talent, with Ngakoue and Jefferson declaring early for the NFL and only inside linebacker Jermaine Carter and defensive tackle Kingsley Opara remaining as steady contributors from last year's team. There's not a lot here, and the Terps' current recruiting class adds close to nothing to that picture for 2016.
Maryland's coaching staff will work tirelessly to restock the cupboards before signing day, February 3. There's a lot of work to do, as three-star cornerback Travon Stott is the program's only defensive commit.
The Terps are interested in plenty of others, but 247 analysts only peg them as "warm" on a handful: four-star inside linebacker Jaquan Yulee, three-star corner KJ Sails, three-star safety Elijah Daniels, three-star corner Elisha Daniels, three-star safety Daniel Thomas. There's also the whale, four-star defensive end Terrell Hall, who tweeted this on Sunday night:
vs.— Terrell Hall (@_TrillTrell_) January 18, 2016
Yulee, rated the No. 4 player in Virginia and the No. 9 inside linebacker in the class, is probably an enormous priority with Jones out the door. Without him, does Maryland wind up not adding a single defensive lineman or linebacker? That's a scary but uncomfortably possible thought - and surely one Durkin would rather not see come to fruition.
Haskins and Jones were both blue-chip talents at areas of serious need. Getting over their loss is a tall task.