Maryland inks highly rated class, did well in 'own backyard'

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Head coach D.J. Durkin made it clear the day he was hired that Maryland would focus its recruiting efforts on prospects located within a three-hour drive of the College Park campus.

Durkin vowed to lockdown the ''DMV'' - Washington D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region. An unwavering focus on the immediate area helped Maryland put together the highest-rated recruiting class in program history.

On Wednesday, Durkin announced a 28-member class that featured 17 recruits from the DMV. The Terrapins signed eight four-star prospects and every single one hailed from D.C., Maryland or Virginia.

''We did very well in our own backyard. I can't tell you how excited I am about that,'' Durkin said. ''It's no secret that is our framework for building this program. We are going to recruit the DMV very hard because that is our foundation.''

Maryland's recruiting class was rated 11th nationally by Scout.com, No. 16 by Rivals.com and No. 18 by 247 Sports.

''This is a great day for our program. It's going to be hard to wipe the smile off my face,'' Durkin said. ''This is a big class, both in terms of number and quality.

Other things to know:

Top 25 Class: Yes

Best in class: Anthony McFarland, RB, Bowie, Maryland. McFarland is the nation's third-ranked all-purpose back and No. 2 player in Maryland by Rivals.com.

Best of the rest: Markquese Bell, WR, Bridgeton, New Jersey, Breyon Gaddy, DT, Virginia Beach; Deon Jones, DB, Oxon Hill, Maryland, Kasim Hill, QB, Washington, D.C.

Late addition: Four-star wide receiver Tahj Capehart flipped his commitment from Virginia Tech to Maryland. The Virginia Beach resident was one of the first recruits to fax his national letter-of-intent to the coaching staff, doing so at 7:50 on Wednesday morning.

One that got away: Five-star defensive lineman Josh Kaindoh de-committed in late November. Kaindoh, rated the nation's second-best strong-side defensive end by most scouting services, wound up signing with Florida State.

How they'll fit in: Eight of Maryland's recruits enrolled early and began taking classes when the spring term began on Jan. 25. Five of those were defensive backs, a major need position for the Terps. Markquese Bell could contribute right away in the secondary. ''When Markquese walks in the room he looks like an NFL safety,'' Durkin said. Cornerback Alex Woods is a transfer from Lackawanna Community College who was brought in to provide immediate help.

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More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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