Maryland was already carrying the nation's 20th-ranked 2018 recruiting class into the early signing period when they made a surprising acquisition of Auburn transfer Byron Cowart.
COMPARE: CFB Teams | CFB Players
Despite a disappointing, injury-filled four-win season, head coach D.J. Durkin and the Terrapins are luring elite talent to College Park. In addition to three four-star prospects, including the nation's 12th-ranked defensive tackle in Austin Fontaine, Maryland will add the nation's former third-overall recruit in Byron Cowart.
from the Sunshine State!
Byron Cowart is OFFICIALLY a Terp! #FLtoUMD | #Shell18 pic.twitter.com/txv7ZsTajU
— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) December 20, 2017
Cowart was a five-star prospect from Seffner, Fla., in the 2015 class. He picked Auburn over Alabama, Florida and others but never made an impact in the SEC. The 6-foot-3, 283-pounder had just 15 tackles and zero sacks in three years mostly filled with injuries and ineffectiveness. Cowart left Auburn in September, enrolled at Hillsborough Community College in Plant City, Fla., and evaluated potential transfer destinations for his final season of eligibility.
And on Wednesday, the first day of the three-day early signing period, Maryland announced he was joining the Terps. Now rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports, Cowart — who visited Maryland during his initial recruitment — is expected to enroll immediately.
He becomes the 23rd member of their 2018 class but just the second JUCO transfer (T.J. Bradley, Lackawanna Community College).