The University of Maryland’s season opener at FedEx Field is just days away but the spotlight surrounding the circumstances of Jordan McNair’s death has given the football program a black eye.
However, despite all the negative publicity revolving around the program, there is some good news emerging from College Park.
Maryland running back and kick returner Ty Johnson along with wide receiver Taivon Jacobs have been named to various preseason watch lists.
Johnson, a senior from Cumberland, has been named to the 2018 Paul Hornung Award Watch List.
The Hornung Award, now in its ninth season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend Paul Hornung.
Johnson, a Fort Hill High School product, is one of 43 players selected and one of just five honorees from the Big Ten Conference.
Johnson, who compiled 1,592 all-purpose yards last year, has also been named to the Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award Watch Lists during this preseason.
Meanwhile, Jacobs, a graduate student from Camp Springs, is Maryland’s top returning wide receiver.
The Suitland High School product, who started all 12 games last season, compiled 47 catches, 553 receiving yards and caught five touchdown passes.
Former All-Sentinel quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been named to ESPN’s preseason list of the top 50 college football players.
Haskins, a former Bullis standout, checks in at No. 32.
The redshirt sophomore is poised to become the Buckeyes’ full-time starter at quarterback this season.
During the 2017 campaign, Haskins completed 28-of-40 passes for 388 yards and scored three touchdowns in five games.
“Dwayne Haskins, the position will never change: The expectation is to be the best quarterback in the Big Ten, which is very hard because we have some excellent quarterbacks,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said last month at Big Ten Media Days.
Northwest senior cornerback A.J. Woods is joining Jaguars teammate and classmate Deandre Jules at the University of Pittsburgh.
Woods, who initially committed to James Madison University, opted to make a pledge to Pitt instead.
“First off I would like to thank god, my coaches and parents, the JMU staff and Coach Houston for all they have done for me,” he posted in a statement on Twitter. “I appreciate everyone believing in me. I would also like to thank Coach Narduzzi and all of the coaches at Pitt for giving me this opportunity and I am excited to say I have officially switched my commitment to the University of Pittsburgh.”
Woods, rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports, became Pitt’s first cornerback recruit. The 5-foot-11, 173-pound defensive back also holds offers from Army, Navy, Air Force, Temple, Virginia, Buffalo, Kent State, Morgan State and Towson among others.
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