One of the biggest downfalls of Randy Edsall’s five-year tenure at Maryland was his inability to recruit a prospect with more than a three-star rating to play quarterback.
Going into his second season, DJ Durkin’s quandary might be choosing among the four-star prospects he keeps adding to the roster.
Tyler DeSue, a four-star prospect from Bishop Sullivan Catholic High in Virginia Beach, Va., announced Wednesday he has verbally committed to the Terps.
Desue is rated the No. 327 overall prospect, No. 12 dual-threat quarterback and No. 8 Virginia recruit in the 247Sports.com Composite rankings. He considered playing at North Carolina State and Central Florida and also claimed offers from Virginia, Indiana and West Virginia.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder picked Maryland despite the fact that another four-star prospect, Kasim Hill of St. John’s College High, will be a freshman for the Terps this season.
Maryland also has another former four-star prospect, redshirt junior transfer Caleb Henderson, competing in spring practice for the starting position.
DeSue is the second high school player to commit to Maryland for the class of 2018, joining Paint Branch defensive end-linebacker Durell Nchami.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, DeSue said he was attracted to the system run by offensive coordinator Walt Bell, as well as Durkin’s success as a recruiter and Maryland’s ranking academically.
“It fits what I do now perfectly,” DeSue said of Bell’s system.
“Obviously the coaching staff, they’ve done crazy things with recruiting classes; they’re definitely on the track to being where they want to be. And the school is in the teens as one of the best public schools in the country, you can’t really beat it.”
At Bishop Sullivan Catholic, DeSue was 100-for-174 last season for 1,498 yards passing and 15 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He also rushed for 243 yards and two touchdowns.
Said Bishop Sullivan coach Chris Scott: “He’s not known just as a running quarterback, but he’s able to run enough just to keep defenses honest and make big-time plays with his legs. He also has the arm and the athleticism to get the ball down the field as a playmaker.”
DeSue said is not afraid of the competition he will face in College Park.
“They really preach that the best guy plays,” DeSue said. “So I’m going to come in and compete, if not the first year, I’m certainly going to come in there and try to compete and play every week, practice hard. I think the competition is going to help me play even better than I am right now.”
Said Scott: “He’s gone to camps with a lot of those guys; he wants to be around people who are going to raise his level, kind of an iron-sharpens-iron type mentality. He’s up for that competition. He knows he’ll only be a better player because of it.”
DeSue said that Maryland wide receivers coach Chris Beatty, whose ties to the Tidewater area of Virginia go back to his first job at the college level at Hampton in 2006, has kept tabs on him for a couple of years. Beatty previously served on Mike London’s staff at Virginia.
“He’s like a local guy around here,” DeSue said of Beatty. “Everybody knows him. I like him. I think he knows what he’s talking about.”
His early pledge follows a familiar timetable. Last April, Hill committed to Durkin, setting the table for what became a well-regarded Maryland recruiting haul. The Terps likely won't sign such a big class next February, but DeSue's commitment still could be important, especially in the talent-rich Virginia Beach area.
“He’s always played up to the competition,” Scott said Wednesday. “That showed when we played against IMG last season, one of the best teams in country and he kept us in the ballgame with his legs, with his decision-making, taking care of the ball, not turning it over, which is something he’s always been good at.”
Watch junior-year highlights of DeSue here.