As much as coaches might do everything they can to entice a player to join their program, sometimes it takes something out of their control to convince a recruit to sign.
In the case of future Maryland wide receiver Rakim Jarrett, that something was Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs.
Jarrett idolized the former Terp and connected with him on social media while weighing the decision of where to play in college. Despite initially committing to LSU, the D.C. area native changed his mind and opted to sign with Maryland, surprising even head coach Mike Locksley.
“I got to tell you, I was as shocked as everybody when he sent me a text…saying, ‘Coach, I'm ready to do this,’” Locksley told 247Sports in a video published Wednesday. “And I was like, ready to do what? Because we were all of the opinion he would [decide] in February, and he was like, ‘No. I'm ready to do it now.’ I almost fell out my chair.”
Unsure about his connection with LSU’s coaching staff, Jarrett reached out to Diggs to ask for his thoughts on playing in the same area he grew up in. Needless to say, Diggs’ advice resonated with the St. John’s product.
“I hadn't been real aware that they had been communicating,” Locksley said. “And I know in the end, Stefon's conversation with Rakim played a huge part of it. Because I know Rakim grew up, when I recruited Stefon to Maryland, he was a young, seventh, sixth-grader coming to Maryland games.
“This whole area fell in love with the type of player Stefon Diggs was and what he did for Maryland. So I know that those two had a mutual connections in that, here it is, four or five years later, Rakim is in the same position to do something similar.”
Jarrett highlights a deep 2020 recruiting class for Locksley and the Terps. It’s been a successful offseason for the football program, which also landed transfer quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa from Alabama on Friday.
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