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For Maryland, playing Big Ten football just got a lot tougher

Let's start out by keeping this real. Nobody was expecting the Maryland football program to turn on a dime next season under new coach DJ Durkin. Everyone knew when athletic director Kevin Anderson brought in a whole new coaching staff that it was going to take some time for the Terps to develop into a solid Big Ten contender.

It's just going to take longer now that top recruits Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Keandre Jones have decided to decommit and jump to perennial Big Ten power Ohio State.

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Haskins had been viewed as the centerpiece of the Terps football future, and he had helped to create a buzz around the program that allowed fans and boosters to keep hope alive during last year's discouraging 3-9 season. His decision to decommit and take Jones with him to the Buckeyes is a major setback made worse by the fact that he abandoned Maryland for the most dominant team in the conference.

The Terps probably weren't going to have a breakthrough season in 2016, but they were expecting to put a very talented freshman quarterback on the field and give fans a hint of what might be to come.

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Haskins wrote in a blog post, "It has always been a dream of mine to play for The Ohio State University," which had the same ring to it as a similar comment made by local baseball star Mark Teixeira when he shunned a giant contract offer from the Orioles to sign a bigger deal with the New York Yankees.

The young quarterback went on to write that OSU best "represents my family values," which is a curious thing to say in the cutthroat world of college recruiting. Usually, you don't play that card after breaking a long-held promise, but Haskins and Jones clearly felt that they had made their commitments to Terps offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who was not retained on Durkin's new staff.

The Terps are trolling for a couple of three-star quarterback recruits from Alabama and Louisiana, but it looks like they might have to start the season with a couple of holdovers from last year.

Not exactly Plan A, but this was always going to be a long process.

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