Terps head coach Michael Locksley only had roughly a month and a half to assemble a 2019 recruiting class after returning back home to Maryland football. To supplement, he's focussed heavily on the NCAA transfer portal, bringing in five high-impact transfers, each of which has now been cleared to play immediately.
Locksley announced Friday morning that former Ohio State linebacker Keandre Jones has been cleared to play immediately after transferring back home to Maryland before spring practice. The Bullis High School graduate was committed to the Terps in the Class of 2016, the last time Locksley was on the staff in College Park. But when DJ Durkin was named head coach instead of Locksley, Jones and high school teammate and current Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins signed with Ohio State instead.
Despite signing back-to-back top-30 classes in 2017 and 2018, Maryland is still struggling to compete in high school recruiting, especially in the DMV, where nearly all of the top 25 prospects in the Class of 2020 are committed elsewhere. Hiring Locksley is supposed to come with the added bonus that he's the best DMV recruiter in the business. While he works on the Classes of 2020 and beyond, he's quickly focussed his attention on the NCAA transfer portal to bring in viable options at key positions.
Of the five high-profile transfers Maryland has brought in this offseason, Jones is the third to have grown up in the DMV. Sean Savoy, a wide receiver from Wilson High School in the District transferred back from Virginia Tech and Shaq Smith, a linebacker from Baltimore came home after winning a pair of national championships at Clemson. The trio of locals joins Virginia Tech transfer quarterback Josh Jackson, the favorite to start for the Terps heading into camp, and former Buffalo tight end Tyler Mabry, who was a First-Team All-MAC selection last season. Between Jackson, Jones, Mabry and Smith, the Terps have four bonafide starters, and Savoy should see plenty of time in the slot. This is just a year after former No. 1 overall recruit Byron Cowart transferred to Maryland after struggling at Auburn and turned himself into a fifth-round draft pick for the New England Patriots.
There's also Eyabi Anoma, a former No. 4 overall recruit, whom Locksley recruited to Alabama. After a season in Tuscaloosa, Anoma has entered the transfer portal (for a second time), with Maryland looking like the favorite to land him. It remains to be seen if he'd be cleared to play immediately or have to sit out a year, but either way, he'd be considered a massive re-recruiting win for Locksley and the Terps.
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