Maryland’s 2018 recruiting class received a bump in status when its two previously committed players moved up dramatically in ESPN’s latest Top 100 ranking released Wednesday.
Jalen Smith, a 6-foot-10, 208-pound forward from Mount St. Joseph, jumped to No. 15 and regained his five-star status in the current ESPN ranking. Smith had been ranked No. 37 and was a four-star when he committed to the Terps in late June.
Aaron Wiggins, a 6-6, 180-pound wing from High Point N.C., moved up to No. 39. A four-star prospect, Wiggins was No. 62 in 247Sport’s composite when he committed to the Terps after his official visit in early June.
After briefly losing five-star status in the spring, Smith is now solidly entrenched in that coveted group and would be added to the short list of five stars Mark Turgeon has signed, joining Melo Trimble (2014) and Diamond Stone (2015).
Smith’s surge in the national rankings comes at the end of a dominant summer for a player known as “Sticks,” who was the Baltimore Sun’s co-Player of the Year as a junior last season along with Patterson’s Marvin Price. Smith was the Baltimore Catholic League’s Player of the Year.
He was named first team at the prestigious Nike Peach Jam Invitational in North Augusta, S.C., after leading Team Takeover to the championship game. He followed that up with another strong performance in leading his AAU team to the title in another national AAU event, the Jordan Brand “8” in Las Vegas.
The Terps are seriously involved with a number of other four-and five-star players in ESPN’s Top 100.
Keldon Johnson, a 6-6, 205-pound shooting guard ranked seventh nationally, will make an official visit to College Park next month, according to InsideMDSports.com. He will also visit Florida State and Texas and received an offer from Kentucky earlier this week.
Moses Brown, a 7-1, 210-pound center from Briarwood, N.Y., who is ranked No. 17 overall and the second-best big man in the country, has reportedly set official visits for next month with Maryland and Louisville. He is also reportedly considering St. John’s.
Devon Dotson, a 6-2, 175-pound point guard from Charlotte, N.C., and an AAU teammate of Wiggins, is ranked No. 26 overall and narrowly missed being named a five-star. Dotson was thought to be headed to either Kansas or Florida, but is still being heavily pursued by the Terps.
Silvio DeSousa, a 6-8, 240-pound forward from Angola who is in his second year at the IMG Academy in Florida, is ranked No. 28. He is also expected to visit Maryland next month. DeSousa’s best friend from Angola is Bruno Fernando, who will be a freshman for the Terps this season.
Makhi Mitchell, a 6-9, 225-pound power forward from Forestville who along with his twin brother Makhel committed earlier this month to the Terps for 2019, saw his ranking drop from No. 21 to No. 28, as well as from a five-star to four-star, but remained the No. 1 player in Maryland.