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From Chase Young to Tom Flacco, meet the 2020 NFL draft prospects with ties to Maryland

Each year, the NFL draft is held as a celebration of the nation’s best young football players, a coronation after years of hard work and sacrifice.

Whether it’s highly touted recruits who turned their potential into production (Chase Young) or the younger brother of a former Super Bowl MVP (Tom Flacco), there’s no shortage of interesting storylines at every draft.

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With that in mind, here’s a look at some of 2020 prospects with ties to Maryland, both big and small:

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young (2) pressures Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Jack Coan (17) during a game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.

Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young

Young, a Hyattsville native, grew up playing quarterback and was just 5 feet 6 and 160 pounds as a high school freshman at St. Vincent Pallotti in Laurel. He had a growth spurt as a sophomore and stood out as a defensive end and tight end before transferring to DeMatha Catholic, where he won a private school state title in 2016 and became a five-star recruit and the No. 1-ranked player in Maryland. He considered attending Maryland before enrolling at Ohio State, where he became a starter as a sophomore and a unanimous first-team All-American as a senior. Young’s father, Greg, played basketball at Bowie State from 1985 to 1989 and set the school record for rebounds.

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Projected round: First (top five)

Trevon Diggs’ older brother, Stefon, is a star with the Buffalo Bills.

Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs

Diggs, the brother of former Maryland star receiver and recent Buffalo Bills trade acquisition Stefon Diggs, grew up in Gaithersburg and attended Wootton in Rockville, where he played as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to The Avalon School, a Catholic all-boys school, to follow former Wootton coach Tyree Spinner. Diggs, playing receiver, defensive back and kick returner, became a four-star recruit and the No. 4 athlete in the country. He chose Alabama over Maryland and other top Southeastern Conference schools. Diggs played both offense and defense as a freshman with the Crimson Tide before moving to cornerback full-time, where he earned second-team All-SEC honors as a senior after suffering a foot injury in 2018.

Projected round: First to second

Rhode Island wide receiver Isaiah Coulter runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

Rhode Island wide receiver Isaiah Coulter

Coulter, a native of Brandywine in Prince George’s County, played his first three high school seasons at Wilde Lake before transferring to Gwynn Park, where he became an all-county selection as a senior. He wasn’t ranked by any recruiting services and didn’t receive any Football Bowl Subdivision offers, but landed at Rhode Island because his cousin Aaron Parker, also a 2020 draft prospect from Gwynn Park, had committed to the Rams a year earlier. He finished 2019 with 72 catches for 1,039 yards and eight touchdowns to earn second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors.

Projected round: Fourth to seventh

Maryland running back Anthony McFarland runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

Maryland running back Anthony McFarland Jr.

A native of Hyattsville, McFarland became a coveted four-star recruit at DeMatha before choosing Maryland over Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Tennessee and others. He was a 2016 Under Armour All-American and ranked the No. 3 running back in the country despite suffering a broken fibula that cost him his senior season. After redshirting his freshman season with the Terps, McFarland broke out in 2018, setting the Maryland freshman rushing record with 1,034 yards and averaging 7.9 yards per carry. He was slowed by injuries in 2019, finishing with 614 yards and eight touchdowns, before forgoing two more seasons of eligibility to declare for the draft.

Projected round: Fourth to seventh

Maryland running back Javon Leake waits to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

Maryland running back Javon Leake

Leake was a three-star prospect and the No. 7 all-purpose running back in the nation out of Page High School in Greensboro, North Carolina. He committed to Maryland over Louisville, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and others. Leake quickly established himself as one of the nation’s best kick returners, winning Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year honors in 2019 after tying the school record with two touchdown returns. He also received All-Big Ten honorable mention at running back after rushing for 736 yards on 102 carries with eight touchdowns last season.

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Projected round: Fourth to seventh

Maryland defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr. runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on March 1, 2020.

Maryland safety Antoine Brooks Jr.

Brooks, a native of Lanham in Prince George’s County, played quarterback and defensive back at DuVal High School and suffered a broken wrist and a compound leg fracture as a senior, nearly ending his football career. After successful surgery, he originally committed to Buffalo, but switched to Maryland after being contacted by Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who had just been hired by DJ Durkin to coach the secondary. After playing special teams as a freshman, he became a standout defensive back, earning All-Big Ten honors as a junior and senior. He finished the 2019 season leading the Terps with 87 tackles, placed second with 8½ tackles for loss and tied for team lead with five pass breakups, earning team MVP honors.

Projected round: Fourth to seventh

Penn State coach James Franklin celebrates with Cam Brown after the Nittany Lions beat Memphis in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Arlington, Texas.

Penn State linebacker Cam Brown

Brown, a native of Burtonsville in Montgomery County, played his first two high school seasons at James Hubert Blake in Silver Spring before transferring to Bullis School in Potomac. In addition to linebacker, Brown also played receiver, catching passes from quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., a former Maryland commit who became a star at Ohio State and the Washington Redskins’ No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Brown, who also ran track, was a four-star recruit and the No. 19 outside linebacker in the 2016 class. He was named third-team All-Big Ten Conference in 2019 after recording 72 tackles (5½ for loss) and two sacks.

Projected round: Sixth to undrafted

Georgia wide receiver Lawrence Cager runs a route against Arkansas State during a game on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 in Athens, Ga.

Georgia wide receiver Lawrence Cager

Cager, a Baltimore native, played several sports at Calvert Hall, including baseball, basketball, soccer and track before focusing on football. He was an All-Metro second-team selection as a senior and earned an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. A three-star recruit and the No. 45 receiver in the 2015 class, Cager, who also received Division I offers for baseball, basketball and track, committed to Miami, where he struggled to find consistent success. He went to Georgia as a graduate transfer in 2019 and impressed, catching 33 passes for 476 yards and four touchdowns while missing five games because of injuries.

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Projected round: Sixth to undrafted

Navy wide receiver Malcolm Perry runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

Navy wide receiver Malcolm Perry

Perry, who grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee, had a record-setting career as a slotback and quarterback for the Midshipmen, becoming the first quarterback in FBS history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season last year. His 2,017 yards were also the most by any player in Navy history, and he was named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year. At the East-West Shrine Bowl, Perry switched positions to receiver, where he was coached by former NFL star Antwaan Randle El, who also played quarterback in college. If Perry is selected in the draft and chooses to play as a professional, he would graduate from the Naval Academy in late May but not be commissioned as an officer. According to the new Department of Defense order, athletes such as Perry would be commissioned as officers only after their professional playing careers are complete.

Projected round: Seventh to undrafted

James Madison defensive lineman Ron'Dell Carter (5) enters the field before the start of a game, in Harrisonburg, Va., in 2019.

James Madison edge rusher Ron’Dell Carter

Carter, a Baltimore native, played primarily defensive end and tight end at Long Reach in Columbia, but also dabbled at wide receiver, H-back, quarterback, defensive tackle and linebacker. He also threw the shot put and played basketball. In an interview with The Baltimore Sun in 2019, the former three-star recruit said that he got more letters from programs interested in him playing offense than defense. After Carter left Rutgers following his redshirt freshman year in 2016, Baylor, Wake Forest and Morgan State recruited him as a tight end. But at James Madison, he developed into a consensus first-team All-American and was one of three finalists last year for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the Football Championship Subdivision’s top defensive player, after recording 12 sacks in 16 games.

Projected round: Seventh to undrafted

Towson's Tom Flacco looks for a target during the Tigers' regular-season finale against Elon at Johnny Unitas Stadium in 2019.

Towson quarterback Tom Flacco

Flacco, the younger brother of former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, was a two-sport star at Eastern High School in Voorhees, New Jersey. He was picked in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014 but chose to attend Western Michigan to play football. He played sparingly as a freshman and sophomore with the Broncos and transferred to Rutgers but did not see any game action. He landed at Towson as a graduate transfer and blossomed, becoming the school’s first two-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in the FCS. He was also the primary right fielder for the Tigers baseball team in 2019. He finished his Towson career ranked third in school history in passing touchdowns (50) and sixth in passing yards (6,086).

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Projected round: Undrafted

UTEP quarterback Kai Locksley (1) runs for short yards against Southern Mississippi during the first half in Hattiesburg, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019.

UTEP quarterback Kai Locksley

Locksley, the son of Maryland football coach Mike Locksley and a Fort Washington native, was a four-star recruit and a two-time All-State and two-time All-Metro second-team selection at Gilman. He took a long and winding path through college. After redshirting his freshman season at Texas and switching to wide receiver as a sophomore, Locksley left the team and eventually ended up at Iowa Western, where he became the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2018. He transferred to UTEP, starting 15 games over two seasons and completing 53.1% of his passes with nine touchdowns and 14 interceptions while rushing for 875 yards and 11 scores.

Projected round: Undrafted

Manasseh Bailey is earning NFL attention for his play at wide receiver with Morgan State. (Courtesy of Morgan State)

Morgan State wide receiver Manasseh Bailey

Bailey, who was born in New York, was a standout receiver at Suitland in Prince George’s County but needed a push from future Morgan State teammate Wesley Wolfolk to give football a chance. He played linebacker as a freshman in 2016 with the Bears before making the switch to receiver, where he became an All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player. He finished last season with the second-most receiving yards in school history (996) and the third-most touchdown catches in the conference.

Projected round: Undrafted

Maine cornerback Manny Patterson lines up during a game in 2016.

Maine cornerback Manny Patterson

Patterson, a Baltimore native, played cornerback and receiver for Mount Saint Joseph, becoming a two-star recruit. He was also a standout sprinter, posting a 10.83-second mark in the 100-meter dash as a junior and finishing eighth in the state in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.53 seconds. He started for four seasons at Maine and was honored as first-team All-CAA as a junior and senior. He also led the FCS with 25 passes defended as a junior.

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Projected round: Undrafted

Johns Hopkins quaryerback David Tammaro practices with his teammates on August 14, 2019.

Johns Hopkins quarterback David Tammaro

Tammaro, a Chantilly, Virginia, native, comes from an athletic family, as his cousin Tyler Simmons played football at Navy and led the team in tackles as a senior in 2010, and another cousin, Zach Simmons, played basketball at Wichita State. Tammaro, a three-year starter, became the second player in Centennial Conference history to top 1,000 rushing yards and 10,000 passing yards and the second in league history to score 100 touchdowns in his career.

Projected round: Undrafted

Boise State wide receiver John Hightower (16) carries the ball as Utah State defensive end Tipa Galeai (10) defends during a game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Logan, Utah.

Others to watch

Alabama edge rusher Terrell Lewis: The Washington native became a five-star recruit at St. John’s and was the D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015. (Projected round: First to second.)

Boston College running back AJ Dillon: Though he grew up in New London, Connecticut, Dillon was born in Baltimore. (Projected round: Fourth to fifth.)

Boise State wide receiver John Hightower: The Landover native spent his freshman and sophomore years at Largo High School before transferring to Riverdale Baptist. The former track star later enrolled at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, but didn’t make the football team as a freshman. He transferred to Boise State in 2018 and earned second-team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a senior. (Projected round: Fourth to fifth.)

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Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley: The Washington native and former H.D. Woodson star was a three-star wide receiver recruit who originally committed to Maryland but went to Oklahoma after coach Randy Edsall was fired and Locksley wasn’t retained. (Projected round: Seventh to undrafted.)

Illinois running back Reggie Corbin: The Upper Marlboro native was a two-time rugby national champion at Gonzaga College High School in Washington and was the top-ranked running back recruit in D.C. in 2014. (Projected round: Undrafted.)

Wake Forest offensive lineman Justin Herron: The Silver Spring standout didn’t play football until his freshman year at Bullis but grew into a three-star recruit. (Projected round: Seventh to undrafted.)

Maryland tight end Tyler Mabry: The Ypsilanti, Michigan, native and former two-star prospect at IMG Academy joined the Terps from Buffalo and had 13 receptions for 155 yards and three touchdowns in 2019. (Projected round: Undrafted.)

Maryland linebacker Isaiah Davis: A native of Temple Hills in Prince George’s County and a former St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes star, Davis is the brother of former Maryland and current Redskins safety Sean Davis. He finished his Terps career with 242 tackles and two sacks. (Projected round: Undrafted.)

Maryland linebacker Keandre Jones: The Olney native and former Good Counsel standout originally committed to Maryland but flipped to Ohio State along with Haskins, a fellow four-star prospect, in 2016. After receiving little playing time with the Buckeyes, Jones transferred to Maryland and earned All-Big Ten honorable mention after finishing 27th nationally with 15 tackles for loss. (Projected round: Undrafted.)

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Maryland offensive lineman Ellis McKennie: The former McDonogh standout earned All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2019 and became the first Terps offensive lineman to start at four different positions (right guard, center, left tackle and right tackle) in a season since at least 1997. (Projected round: Undrafted.)

Maryland cornerback Tino Ellis: The Reisterstown native and former DeMatha star was a four-star recruit and Under Armour All-American. He earned All-Big Ten honorable mention as a junior in 2018 but suffered an injury after six starts as a senior. (Projected round: Undrafted.)

Maryland cornerback Marcus Lewis: A native of District Heights in Prince George’s County, Lewis was a four-star recruit and rated the second-best recruit in D.C. in 2015 at Gonzaga. After starting his career at Florida State, he transferred to Maryland in 2017 and recorded 33 tackles and two interceptions in 2019. (Projected round: Undrafted.)


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