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Decision Day for Top Football, Basketball Target

A top 2021 football target will announce his commitment on Sunday while the Terps will hope to kick off the 2022 basketball class shortly after.

It’s decision day for a top football target in the 2021 cycle, while a 2022 Virginia point guard will make his decision shortly after. The latest…

Top Football Target Set to Announce

The four-year recruiting process for Wise (MD) wide receiver Jalil Farooq will come to an end Sunday evening.

The Terps were first to offer the ‘next’ star athlete out of the Prince George’s County product. Head coach Mike Locksley made Farooq a priority since his December 2018 arrival as the emphasis on local talent hit home under the new regime. Countless visits through the years and connections to several players within the program, notably former Wise athlete Isaiah Hazel, kept the Terps entrenched in the conversation.

But the 6-foot-1, 200-pound receiver became a household name early both on the field and on the recruiting scene. Maryland was the first offer three years and four days ago for Farooq before Boston College, Kentucky, Syracuse and Virginia Tech followed suit shortly after. An April 2018 offer from Penn State kept the Nittany Lions under consideration while the Buckeyes offer following his sophomore season held weight. Farooq looked up to former Buckeye Michael Thomas, adding to the allure of Ohio State’s pursuit.

A strong junior season capped with a 4A state championship led to more national elites joining the race as Alabama and Oklahoma offered the same week in mid-February, but a late July offer from Clemson as a defensive back added pause to his recruitment. Of course, the obvious pandemic impacted Farooq’s recruitment as the 2021 class adapted to a dead period that has lasted since mid-March.

The Sooners presented themselves as a big threat to Maryland’s chances and the Caleb Williams summer commitment gave Oklahoma more momentum, but no trip to Norman for himself made Farooq uneasy to finalize a commitment. A prospect-organized trip to Norman gave Farooq that exact chance to see it himself, despite not being able to meet with the Sooners’ staff due to NCAA rules. Shortly afterwards, Farooq set his commitment date for Sunday as the Terps made their final pitch behind a strong voice.

Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs, Denver Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy and Las Vegas Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs connected with Farooq as all three played in the Locksley offense.

“They’ve told me he’s a great coach that you want to have in college. They were saying they have a lot of receivers at the school and everything, but he still shows love all around,” Farooq told All Terrapins last week. “The relationship after college and during college, he makes sure you’re good.”

Farooq is set to announce his decision at 6 P.M. today.

2022 Bishop O'Connell PG Paul Lewis Set to Commit

The Terps have an open scholarship remaining in the 2021 class with the current incoming three-man class, but the Terps will hope to find a replacement to run the offense as point guard Eric Ayala enters his final two years with the program.

A viable possibility for Maryland is 2022 Bishop O’Connell (VA) point guard Paul Lewis, who announced this week that he is set to make his commitment today. Lewis held one offer heading into 2020 from James Madison, home of his older brother Matt Lewis, but a strong showing in the Spalding Hoophall Classic back in January. The subsequent interest from Maryland came as head coach Mark Turgeon hoped to add a second star point guard out of the WCAC contender. Assistant coach DeAndre Haynes led his recruitment as the need for strong guard play was reiterated, while Lewis saw his recruitment expand to seven verbal offers with Georgetown becoming the latest in July.

Lewis spoke fondly of the hometown suitor in a recent update with All Terrapins as Maryland fans will await his 7 P.M. announcement.