Maryland's recruiting class took a significant hit Monday when two of the state's top high school seniors flipped their commitments to another Big Ten Conference school.
Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Good Counsel outside linebacker Keandre Jones, two cornerstones of "The Movement," the push to keep local talent at home, switched their pledges to Ohio State.
It's a big blow to coach DJ Durkin's first class at Maryland, as the pair of Under Armour All-Americans not only filled a substantial need at quarterback but also added to the depth of the team's young linebacking corps.
Haskins was a consensus four-star prospect in the Class of 2016 and ranked as the No. 42 player and No. 3 pocket passer in the country by 247sports.com. Haskins committed to Maryland on May 15 over Rutgers, Florida and a number of other national powers.
Haskins was regarded as perhaps Maryland's most important commitment since Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs picked the Terps as a five-star recruit out of Good Counsel. Haskins was vocal in his decision and served as the unofficial pitchman for the Terps on Twitter and with other top recruits.
"It has been a dream of mine to play for The Ohio State University," Haskins wrote Monday. "This prestigious university best represents my family values and playing under Coach [Urban] Meyer, Coach [Tim] Beck and the rest of the coaching staff best exampled strong leadership abilities and a people that I can have a relationship with after football was important."
Jones is rated a five-star prospect by Rivals.com and a four-star prospect by the three other major recruiting services. He committed in December 2014 after a junior season at Good Counsel in which he recorded nine sacks. In his senior season, Jones had 119 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions.
After the pair of decommitments, Maryland's recruiting class fell to No. 64 nationally in the 247sports.com Composite rankings. The Terps rank No. 12 — down from No. 8 — in the Big Ten, ahead of only Indiana and Purdue, with their 10-member class. Maryland has only one defensive commitment: three-star defensive back Travon Stott of Good Counsel.
Former Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley was involved in the recruitment of both Haskins and Jones, and after former coach Randy Edsall was fired in October, Haskins and Jones reportedly said their futures at Maryland were tied to that of Locksley, who wasn't retained by Durkin on his staff. In his blog post, Haskins referenced coaching changes as a reason he kept his options open in his recruitment.
Maryland was still regarded as the most likely landing spot for them, but Haskins visited Florida in November and Ohio State in December. Jones took an official visit to Ohio State this weekend, and he reportedly flipped his commitment Sunday night.
Durkin and the Terps don't appear to be lacking in contingency plans, though. Maryland offered four-star quarterback Devon Modster of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. — who announced his commitment to UCLA on Monday evening — and three-star quarterback Ty Pigrome of Pinson, Ala., last week. Pigrome had 62 total touchdowns while finishing as the runner-up in Alabama Sports Writers Association's Mr. Football voting.
Maryland also offered three-star dual-threat quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. of Zachary, La., and offensive coordinator Walt Bell visited him at home on Monday. Scott, the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Football who accounted for 61 touchdowns in the fall, decommitted from Syracuse on Sunday night. He's also being recruited by Rutgers, Tulane and Harvard.
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