When DJ Durkin took over the head coaching job at Maryland, he mentioned that he and his staff were going to make use of their "recruiting ties" to the the Florida area. He wasn't lying.
Since Durkin grabbed the reins, Maryland has offered a horde of players from the Sunshine State, and secured commitments from five of them. On Tuesday, he earned a surprise pledge from three-star cornerback Antwaine Richardson, who decommitted from Michigan last week.
If these commits all actually end up at Maryland, that would almost double the state's presence in College Park. There are six Terrapins from Florida who still have eligibility remaining for next season: Chandler Burkett, Jahrvis Davenport, Kingsley Opara, Nicholas Rubinowicz, Denzel Conyers and Will Likely.
Durkin's time as Florida's defensive coordinator is paying dividends for the Terps. Florida is the second-most represented state in Maryland football's class of 2016, only trailing...wait for it... Maryland. Florida makes up almost a third of the class, and we still have a week to go before National Signing Day.
|Florida commits in Maryland's class of 2016|
|Aaron Thompson||3 (0.8585)||DT|
|Antwaine Richardson||3 (0.8473)||CB|
|Elijah Daniels||3 (0.8467)||S|
|Laderrien Wilson||3 (0.8389)||RB|
|Elisha Daniels||3 (0.8301)||CB|
The Terps still aren't done filling out their recruiting class, which is no longer ranked lower than Rutgers. They could very well snag a commit from one of these remaining targets, or someone we don't even know about. Here are just a few players Maryland is chasing.
|Known Florida targets for Maryland's class of 2016|
|Name||Rating||247 Crystal Ball||Position|
|KJ Sails||3||North Carolina||CB|
Florida produces the third-most talent per FBS school out of any state in the country. Combining that with the fertile recruiting soil already in the DMV area would go a long way in getting Maryland out of the Big Ten's cellar.
The Terps are also working on 2017 in Florida. Just after this article went up, 2017 guard Cody Bowes announced they'd offer him a scholarship:
Blessed to receive a offer from the University of Maryland #Terrapins pic.twitter.com/LkkUh0Wvky— STATE CHAMPS (@Cody_TheTruth) January 27, 2016
Update: Another hour has gone by, which means there's even more Maryland in Florida news: Durkin is trying to build an all-Florida secondary, we can only ascertain.