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Maryland safeties Nick Cross, Jordan Mosley declare for 2022 NFL draft

After a bounce-back season, the Maryland football team is losing a pair of defensive leaders to the pros.

Junior safety Nick Cross and senior safety Jordan Mosley, who helped the Terps secure their first winning season since 2014, both announced Wednesday that they will forego their remaining eligibility and declare for the 2022 NFL draft.

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Cross, a three-time All-Big Ten honorable mention, recorded 66 tackles, 3 ½ tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions this season. The Bowie native and former DeMatha Catholic standout was the top ranked player in the state of Maryland and an Army All-American before committing to the Terps over Penn State, Florida State, Alabama and others.

Mosley, a former three-star recruit, put together his best season as a senior, leading the team with 83 tackles while breaking up eight passes and forcing a fumble. An All-Big Ten honorable mention and a second-team All-Big Ten pick by Pro Football Focus this year, Mosley appeared in all but two games in four seasons.

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An All-Big Ten honorable mention and a second-team All-Big Ten pick by Pro Football Focus in 2021, Maryland safety Jordan Mosley appeared in all but two games in four seasons.
An All-Big Ten honorable mention and a second-team All-Big Ten pick by Pro Football Focus in 2021, Maryland safety Jordan Mosley appeared in all but two games in four seasons. (Julio Cortez/AP)

With Cross and Mosley departing, Maryland is facing a defensive makeover entering coach Mike Locksley’s fourth season. On Monday, graduate student defensive lineman Sam Okuayinonu announced that he will declare for the 2022 NFL draft alongside tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo, while redshirt sophomore linebacker Deshawn Holt announced that he is entering the transfer portal.

Freshman linebackers Branden Jennings (Kansas State) and Terrence Lewis (Central Florida) also decided to transfer, while Holt and sophomore linebackers Frankie Burgess and Osita Smith have entered the portal with the intention of leaving the program.

Senior receivers Brian Cobbs, Darryl Jones and Carlos Carriere, junior receiver DeJuan Ellis, backup quarterback Reece Udinski (Richmond), junior offensive lineman Evan Gregory and running backs Isaiah Jacobs and Peny Boone (Toledo) are among notable players who have also entered the portal.

Maryland will get some reinforcements from its incoming recruiting class, which is ranked 29th nationally by 247 Sports. Four-star St. Frances linebacker Jaishawn Barham and West Virginia transfer VanDarius Cowan, a former four-star recruit, will join the program, while junior linebackers Durell Nchami and Fa’Najae Gotay will return from season-ending injuries. Maryland also gets back freshman Demeioun Robinson, junior Ahmad McCullough and sophomores Gereme Spraggins (Arundel) and Ruben Hyppolite II, who had 62 total tackles and a forced fumble this season.

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The Terps have just one true safety in their 2022 recruiting class in three-star prospect Gavin Gibson. Freshmen Dante Trader Jr. (16 tackles) and Corey Coley Jr. (14 tackles), as well as sophomore Beau Brade (14 tackles), are the most likely candidates to step into the starting roles next season.

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