COLLEGE PARK — Maryland's recruiting class received a much-needed boost when two highly rated local prospects signed to play with the Terrapins.
Linebacker Yannick Ngakoue, the Gatorade Player of the Year for the District of Columbia, was undecided going and chose Maryland over Florida State. Wide receiver Taivon Jacobs, who had been committed to Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State since June, pulled a surprise by signing with the Terrapins instead.
Defensive back Jacquille Veii also picked the Terps on Wednesday and the late addition of those three prospects jumped Maryland's class from 50 to No. 31 in the national rankings compiled by Rivals.com.
"I'm very proud that we closed strong. To get three quality players on signing day, that's special," Maryland head coach Randy Edsall said. "I felt good about all three going into it, but you just never know. I'm very, very pleased with what took place today. To go three-for-three (on undecided prospects) on signing day makes a big statement about the direction we're going."
Ngakoue, one of four players from Friendship Collegiate Academy in D.C. to ink with the Terps, had given Edsall a verbal commitment in mid-June, but backed off after telling the coach he wanted to check out other schools. The first team Parade All-American took official visits to Florida State and South Carolina before determining that Maryland was the right fit after all.
Jacobs may have reconsidered late in the process after Ohio State received commitments from two four-star wide receivers in James Clark and Corey Smith. Maryland had continued to recruit the Suitland High (District Heights, Md.) standout and Edsall thought an in-home visit last week may have turned the tide. It didn't hurt that older brother Levern Jacobs is currently a wide receiver with the Terps.