The Maryland football team will have to wait to find its second class of 2015 recruit, after Gonzaga High School quarterback Nick Johns announced his oral commitment to Virginia on Tuesday through Twitter.
I am committed to play quarterback for the University of Virginia. Again, I want to thank all of the coaches who recruited me. #HOOS— Nick Johns (@nick5johns) May 6, 2014
Ranked as a three-star quarterback by ESPN and Rivals, Johns would have joined offensive lineman E.J. Donahue as future Terrapins, but instead will travel farther south into the Atlantic Coast Conference, becoming Virginia’s third commitment for its upcoming class. He said his father called the coaches at Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina State early Tuesday morning to inform them of his decision before announcing.
Had Johns committed, it could have damaged Maryland’s chances at scoring a pledge from Kai Locksley, the four-star quarterback at Gilman whose father, Mike, is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Terps. While Maryland has made targets aware that it could take two signal-callers this recruiting cycle, only one of them is anticipated to be a highly ranked prospect like Johns or Locksley. Locksley, for his part, has offers from the likes of Florida State, Auburn and Oregon, among others.
Even without Locksley, the Terps have plenty of options under center. According to 247sports.com, they have offered two uncommitted pro-style quarterbacks — four-star Zach Gentry from New Mexico and three-star Joe Burrow from Ohio – and three more dual-threat quarterbacks, Locksley among them.
With incumbent starter C.J. Brown graduating after the 2014 season, the competition figures to be open for his successor. Caleb Rowe, who will be a senior in 2015, figures to have the inside track with his starting and backup experience, but a host of others like Perry Hills, Shane Cockerille, Will Ulmer and whoever commits for this next recruiting class will have ample opportunity to challenge him.
A longer interview with Johns will come later today.