Four-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins has flipped his college commitment from Maryland to Ohio State, he announced in an essay on Monday. Linebacker Keandre Jones has done the same.
After Maryland hired DJ Durkin as its new head football coach, it was expected that some previously committed recruits would decide to take their talents elsewhere. On Monday, those fears have been realized.
Haskins was Maryland's biggest commit since Stefon Diggs, or maybe longer, and initially appeared extremely excited about staying home and becoming a Terp. The No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2016 committed to Maryland in May, and had fans giddy at the prospect of having such a talented quarterback leading the team's offense. He made a list of 20 fellow recruits he wanted to bring with him to College Park, and started recruiting them immediately.
However, after Maryland fired head coach Randy Edsall, all commitments came into question, as they do whenever a program makes a coaching change. Sunday night, Terrapin Sports Report's Scott Greene reported that four-star linebacker Keandre Jones had flipped his commitment from Maryland to Ohio State. The two decisions coming at once makes this one of the worst recruiting moments Maryland has ever had.
Here's Haskins on his decision to leave Maryland:
I verbally committed to the University of Maryland on May 15, 2015, and after committing there is an unwritten rule that you don't engage or visit other schools. I chose Maryland because of the close proximity to my home, academics, the opportunity to do something special and a fond relationship with my recruiters.
It is a great academic school in the Big Ten that is only 35 minutes away from my home. However, as a result of coaching changes, my family and I thought it was best for me to keep my options open and confirm my final decision. I stayed verbally committed to Maryland despite the coaching changes and I believe things happen for a reason. This was God's way of giving me an opportunity to re-evaluate my decision.
I would like to take the time to acknowledge the DMV area, the Bullis school, classmates, Maryland pride and the fans for their support throughout this process. After conversations with my parents, coaches and mentors, I came to the decision that it is in the best interest for me to de-commit from the University of Maryland.
In December, four-star quarterback recruit Tristen Wallace flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Oregon, which neatly opened up a spot for Haskins in Columbus.
Haskins received offers from Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, LSU and just about every other major program in the country. Ohio State and LSU had been among the teams been chasing him the hardest, along with Maryland.
Haskins is known to be close to former Maryland interim head coach Mike Locksley, who was instrumental in recruiting him to the program. A report came out that Locksley is "unlikely to return," to the program, and while Maryland hasn't announced anything on that front, it'd be stunning if Locksley returned at this stage.
It's unclear if Haskins would have started for Maryland from day one as a true freshman, but his decommitment clouds Maryland's quarterback position in extreme uncertainty. Neither Perry Hills nor Caleb Rowe inspired much confidence this past season, and both redshirt juniors will be back in 2016. After that, Maryland is left with sophomore Shane Cockerille and freshman Gage Shaffer.
Four-star California quarterback Devon Modster is the only uncommitted pro-style QB in the class of 2016 ranked on the 247Sports Composite. Last week, Maryland offered him and three-star Alabama dual-threat QB Tyrrell Pigrome. Neither is Haskins.
The biggest priority for Durkin and his staff is to prevent other recruits from following Haskins and Jones out the door.