Dwayne Haskins, the top uncommitted quarterback recruit in the class of 2016, committed to Maryland on Friday. The Bullis (Md.) School standout chose the Terrapins over Rutgers, Penn State and Florida, among other programs.
A native of New Jersey, Haskins is the No. 4 pro-style quarterback and No. 68 player in the class of 2016, according to Rivals.com. The 6’3,’’ 188-pounder drew scholarship offers from more than 30 programs, including Florida State, Texas and Notre Dame. As a junior last season, he completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 1,936 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions en route to earning second-team All-Met honors from The Washington Post.
Haskins had been viewed as the centerpiece of Maryland’s “The Movement,” a push for local recruits to reject overtures from other programs and stay home with the Terrapins. To further the push, Maryland sent prospects photoshopped images of fake placards bearing the “30 for30” ESPN documentary series logo and the title “The Movement” with the tagline “#DMVtoUMD.”
Before Haskins’s pledge Friday, Maryland had secured a commitment from Keandre Jones, a four-star outside linebacker from Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.) High. Though Jones’s pledge was viewed as significant, Haskins’ decision may be the biggest spark yet for “The Movement” as it seeks to reel in more local prospects. Among the other Maryland targets in the school’s backyard are offensive lineman Terrance Davis and wide receivers Tino Ellis and Trevon Diggs, all four-star recruits, according to Rivals.com.
Haskins is coveted for his arm strength, accuracy and ability to keep plays alive outside of the pocket. Last October, he told Cleveland.com that he should not be considered simply a pocket passer or a dual-threat QB. “I’m a true threat,” he said.
Haskins should be able to compete for playing time early in his career. Senior Caleb Rowe and redshirt junior Perry Hills are scheduled to depart after the 2016 season (Rowe was granted a medical hardship waiver that will allow him to return for the ’16 campaign), and the Terrapins have no proven underclassmen set to take control of the starting job. Sophomore Shane Cockerille has yet to attempt a pass, and the only quarterback Maryland added in its ’15 recruiting class, Gage Shaffer, is a two-star prospect.
The Terrapins now have eight players committed from the class of 2016, all but one from Maryland high schools. Bringing in a high-potential passer like Haskins is critical for a program looking to compete against the top tier of the Big Ten East. Michigan State recently landed Rivals 250 quarterback Messiah DeWeaver, and both Michigan and Ohio State boast plenty of depth at the position.
All other programs still hoping to add a heralded quarterback in this recruiting class will have to hope other prospects decommit. Haskins was the last remaining uncommitted passer in the Rivals100. The top-ranked signal caller who has yet to pledge to a program is Carver (Ga.) High’s Jawon Pass, the No. 5 dual-threat junior QB, according to Rivals.com.