The University of Maryland, hoping to improve offensively, listed 13 players at the skill positions among its 29 players gained yesterday on the NCAA official first day for signing national football letters of intent. Howard landed 24 athletes.

The Terrapins signed two rather tall quarterbacks, 6-foot-6 Joe Cooper of Lykens, Pa., and 6-4 Danny Taylor of Jenkintown, Pa. Also among the signees is former Oxon Hill All-Met quarterback Tom Green, transferring from Arizona State. Green, who must sit out the 1988 season, probably will play running back or defensive back.

Green, Oakland Mills running back Andre Vaughn and Park View tight end Pat Norton were the only area players signed by Maryland, which found most of its recruits in Pennsylvania and New York. Green was one of five who came via the junior college or transfer route. Maryland's largest recruits are 6-6, 285-pound Heston Silbert, from Santa Monica (Calif.) Junior College, and O'Neil Glenn, 6-6, 265, Nassau (N.Y.) Community College.

Terrapins Coach Joe Krivak said he was pleased with the numbers and the overall ability of the group.

"These 29 individuals," he said, "reflect our commitment to recruiting student-athletes who desire to excel on and off the field. Now . . . we are anxiously awaiting the beginning of spring football practice. I believe the staff and student-athletes are already setting their goals for the 1988 season."

Virginia signed only seven, including 6-foot-1, 230-pound All-Met lineman James Pearson of West Potomac; 6-2, 210-pound linebacker Chris Galloway of Gar-Field, and St. Albans tailback/linebacker Yusef Jackson, son of presidential candidate Jesse Jackson.

The Cavaliers also got Terry Tomlin, a wide receiver from Lauderhill, Fla. Coach George Welsh said Tomlin is in the same mold as John Ford, Virginia's record-setting wide receiver who plans to return next fall as a redshirt senior.

Howard's crop includes Fred Mulitalo of South High School in Salt Lake City. It is believed the 6-6, 325-pound Mulitalo will be the first native Samoan to play a varsity sport at Howard. The Bison's best-regarded recruit is Todd White, 6-3, 255, a defensive tackle from Eau Claire of Columbia, S.C.

Howard Coach Willie Jeffries said White has the potential to be in the same class with Harry Carson, who played for Jeffries at South Carolina State before becoming an all-pro linebacker for the New York Giants.

Jeffries was also pleased to sign Chris Smith, a 5-8, 165-pound quarterback from City College High, the Baltimore Sun's player of the year.

The Bison, after enjoying a 10-1 season but being left out of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, went heavy on linemen, bringing in 13. In addition to Mulitalo, the Bison get Brian Roy McLean, 6-8, 275, from South Carroll in Sykesville, Md., and Nigel Green, 6-6, 275, from Douglas in Atlanta.

The Bison also signed six players from the D.C. Interhigh League and three others from Baltimore.

Local players going to Virginia Tech include DeMatha running back Phil Bryant and lineman Don Davis, Bladensburg tailback Tony Kennedy and H.D. Woodson defensive back Damien Russell.

James Madison signed Seneca Valley's Shane Henson, All-Met defensive end and The Washington Post defensive player of the year; Oxon Hill defensive end/running back Kenny Ford, DeMatha linebacker Bubba Chroninger, Osbourn tackle Garrett Potts and McDonough defensive back Vaughn Queen.

Bowie State signed Yorktown All-Met punter Chris Alcott and Fairmont Heights running back Garnell Wilson.

Other All-Met signees include Forestville receiver Leslie Shepherd and Riverdale Baptist tackle Dale London with Miami (Fla.); Madison receiver Joey Jauch and Lake Braddock quarterback Todd Burnett with North Carolina.

Other area players signing include Forestville running back Rico Marshall with South Carolina and linebacker Greg Liberty with Temple; Marshall defensive end Mike McCrary, Wake Forest; McNamara tight end Steve Busky, Alabama; running backs Tim Jones of Oxon Hill, Reggie Shepherd of Churchill, Chuck Fox of Eleanor Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt receiver Denard Tillerson, all with Temple; Damascus receiver Don Caparotti, Massachusetts; H.D. Woodson lineman Kurtland Elliott and receiver Joe Walker, Elizabeth City State; Eastern tackle Elry McKnight and center Derek Brown, Winston-Salem State; DeMatha linebacker Nick Uzelac, Kent State; Eleanor Roosevelt defensive back Tim Jacobs, Delaware.