Ohio State raids Maryland’s recruiting class for two top prospects

Dwayne Haskins Jr. is headed to Columbus.

Ohio State picked up a pair of highly regarded recruits from the state of Maryland on Monday. 

Dwayne Haskins Jr., a quarterback from The Bullis School in Potomac, announced he and Keandre Jones, a linebacker from Olney Our Lady of Good Counsel, have joined Urban Meyer’s class for 2016. 

Both previously committed to their home-state school, and their defections are a huge blow to new Terrapins head coach D.J. Durkin’s efforts to build a strong first class.

Jones, a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com, was a long-time Maryland commit, having joined the Terps’ 2016 class in December 2014. 

Haskins, a consensus four-star, committed to Maryland in May of last year and had been looked at as a major piece of a strong class former Maryland coach Randy Edsall was hoping to build with highly rated in-state prospects. 

Edsall was fired midseason and eventually replaced by Durkin, the former defensive coordinator at Michigan. 

Haskins explained his decision in a web post that reads, in part

I would like to take the time to acknowledge the DMV area, the Bullis school, classmates, Maryland pride and the fans for their support throughout this process. After conversations with my parents, coaches and mentors, I came to the decision that it is in the best interest for me to de-commit from the University of Maryland.

It has been a dream of mine to play for The Ohio State University. This prestigious university best represents my family values and playing under Coach Meyer, Coach Beck and the rest of the coaching staff best exampled strong leadership abilities and people that I can have a relationship with after football was important.

At the age of eight years old, I went to numerous Ohio State camps, loved watching their games and idolized the university. Finally, my dream to attend ​Ohio State will come true. It’s a blessing to say that I will be an Ohio State Buckeye. I hope that my story inspires all that took the time to read it.

He also shared a video taken of him when he was a fifth grader visiting the Ohio State football facility (fast-forward to the 1:45 mark). 

Apparently it was love at first sight. 

Now that Haskins and Jones are headed to Columbus, Hyattsville Dematha Catholic offensive lineman Terrance Davis and teammate Tino Ellis (a wide receiver) are the only four-star prospects from Maryland currently committed to their home-state school. 

One is uncommitted while three are going to Penn State. Houston, Michigan, West Virginia and Alabama have all snagged members of the group as well. 

Before losing Haskins and Jones, Maryland’s class was rated No. 44 nationally and 10th in the Big Ten by Scout. It dropped to 58th and 12th, respectively.

Ohio State’s class moved up from No. 5 in the nation and second in the Big Ten to No. 1 in both after adding Haskins, Jones and four-star receiver Binjimen Victor from Florida.