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10 DMV-related things to watch ahead of February's official National Signing Day

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10 DMV-related things to watch ahead of February's official National Signing Day

In just two weeks, a slew of top-rated high school football prospects will rile up fan bases across the country with their college decision announced on National Signing Day. 

Here are 10 DMV-related things to consider as we creep closer to the first Wednesday in February.  

1. Who will join Isaiah Hazel, Deonte Banks, Dino Tomlin, Lavonte Gater, Mason Lunsford, and Malik Jackson to make up the rest of Mike Locksley's first-year recruiting class in College Park? 

Maryland has received verbal commitments from Tayvion Land (CB, Virginia Beach), Jordan Houston (APB, Oakton), Kameron Blount (OLB, Waldorf), David Summers (PRO, Trumbull) and Deshawn Holt (WDE, Waldorf). 

2. Does Virginia Tech add onto its already confirmed list of 19 early signees? 

Head coach Justin Fuente's class is led by five four-star players in offensive lineman Bryan Hudson, Jaden Payoute, defensive back J.R. Walker, wide receiver Tayvion Robinson and running back Keshawn King. The Hokies aren't expected to make any other moves, but be on the lookout for under-the-radar JUCO kids. 

3. Can Bronco Mendenhall and the University of Virginia smoothly turn a page after losing the school's all-time leading receiver Olamide Zaccheaus? 

Filling the shoes of the 2018 Belk Bowl MVP won't be easy but the Cavaliers should be in good position to do so. Zaccheaus is the lone receiver the team is losing from its 2018 roster. Virginia returns its three outside receivers while adding three more from the 2019 class (Dontayvion Wicks, Nathaniel Beal III & Dorien Goddard). 

4. Will West Virginia's focus and commitment to the state of Georgia continue to pay off? 

Four of the current 16 signees in the 2019 class hail from Georgia and it certainly doesn't hurt that several members of first-year head coach Neal Brown's incoming staff have ties to the state. Recruiting from the Peach State has proven to be worth it in the past as names like Bruce Irvin and Pacman Jones both tore it up in Morgantown at one point. Just this year the Mountaineers added four-star cornerback Dreshun Miller (Kennesaw via Eastern Arizona CC), four-star linebacker Jared Bartlett (Suwanee), four-star cornerback Nicktroy Fortune (Roswell), three-star receiver Winston Wright (Pooler) and three-star running back Tony Mathis (Cedartown). Brown did his part to retain each player in the midst of Dana Holgorsen's departure.

5. Will Woodgrove TE Ben Castellano enhance Richmond's passing game?  

Coming off a disappointing 2018 that saw the Spiders go 4-7, Castellano will be a bright spot for head coach Russ Huesman's squad. The 3-star tight end totaled 18 Division I offers while leading Woodgrove High School to the Virginia State Class 4A Championship as a senior, securing the school’s first-ever title. 

6. Can the Good Counsel trio live up to the hype surrounding James Madison's 2019 class under first-year head coach Curt Cignetti? 

Three of nine JMU hard commits hail from Olney, Maryland and join a team that went 9-4 before losing to Colgate in the second round of the 2018 FCS playoffs. Jalen Green (OLB), Julio Ayamel (ILB) and most recently Latrele Palmer (RB) will bring teammate chemistry after a successful high school run in Olney. 

7. Can key members of Old Dominion's 2019 class improve areas on both sides of the ball that led to an eight-loss season for the first time in program history? 

Head coach Bobby Wilder made a slew of coaching changes following the team's second straight losing season. One area in need of improvement is red zone performance which starts with the man under center. JUCO commits Messiah deWeaver and Stone Smartt, freshman Hayden Wolff, and Steven Williams will all compete for the starting QB slot. Another issue for the Monarchs in 2018 was the inability to stop the run. Elonte Jones (WDE) and Elijah Golston (OLB), both three-star signees in their own right, could help clean up last year's shortcomings come 2019. 

8. First-year William & Mary head coach Mike London prepares to solidify his 2019 class. 

With longtime head coach Jimmye Laycock calling it a career after 39 seasons, the Tribe secured London who returns to the CAA where he first led Richmond to the 2008 FCS national championship. London's eight-member incoming class features three offensive linemen, two defensive backs, a quarterback, wide receiver and defensive lineman. London is reportedly bringing his Howard defensive coordinator, Vincent Brown, with him to handle the same duties in Williamsburg. 

9. Hugh Freeze takes the reigns at Liberty University in Season No. 1. 

After a two-year coaching hiatus, Freeze's 2019 early signing class includes four defensive linemen, three wide receivers, two safeties, two defensive backs, kicker/punter and a quarterback. Three-star standouts C.J. Yarbrough (WR), Brayden Monday (WDE), Malik Caper (ILB) and Johnathan Bennett (PRO) headline the group. 

10. This isn't necessarily something to watch for February since he's already signed his National Letter of Intent, but DeMatha Catholic's DeMarco Hellams is Alabama bound to play for the legendary Nick Saban. 

The 2018 All-Met Offensive Player of the Year hauled in 78 receptions for well over 1,000 yards and 21 touchdowns. But don't forget: he's committed to play defensive back at Alabama. The two-way player had 12 interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns, and 91 tackles. 

Maryland basketball surprises walk-on senior Reese Mona with scholarship, quarantine style

Maryland basketball surprises walk-on senior Reese Mona with scholarship, quarantine style

It's become one of the best traditions in all of college sports.

A walk-on member of the sports program is rewarded for his dedication and hard work by being added to the list of scholarships for the team, with the announcement typically coming in a surprising and tear-jerking fashion.

Maryland basketball senior guard Reese Mona became the latest recipient of the honor, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, he found out through a Zoom with all his teammates. The most "2020" way of announcing a scholarship, the moment was still a special one

The Terps had the scholarship to give away due to their struggles in the transfer portal over the last several months. However, it's better to just focus on the positives here.

Mona, a local product from La Plata, Md., has appeared in 32 games during his Terrapin career. Off the court, he's twice been an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Even if he's never filled up the stat sheet, Mona has always been a part of the culture within Maryland's locker room since walked on for the 2017-18 season. That constant positive attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team allowed him to earn a moment he'll never forget.

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Maryland Football 2020 season schedule released

Maryland Football 2020 season schedule released

Monday, news dropped that an amended Big Ten schedule had been completed and was set to release some time this week. That time has finally arrived. 

Take a look at the road ahead for the Maryland Terrapins. 

FULL SCHEDULE

September 5: @ Iowa

September 12: Michigan State

September 19: Rutgers

September 26: @ Northwestern

October 3: Wisconsin

RELATED: BIG TEN COMMISSIONER KEVIN WARREN SAYS 'NO GUARANTEE' OF A FALL SPORTS SEASON

October 10: Bye

October 17: @ Penn State

October 24: @ Indiana

October 31: Ohio State

November 7: @ Michigan

November 14: Bye

November 21: Minnesota

Maryland's on pace to get things started extremely soon as preseason camp begins on Friday. August 7. So far, there have been no noted outbreaks of the coronavirus on campus among athletes. Big 10 rivals Rutgers and Michigan State have not been so lucky. It leaves everything still in a state of uncertainty. But if the football season does begin on time, the Terrapins know who and when they are playing. 

Maryland also announced on Wednesday that it is also preparing to begin the season with no fans in attendance. 

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