Maryland sophomore wide receiver Jeshaun Jones tore his ACL at practice Monday and will miss the 2019 season, the school announced Tuesday.
After a standout freshman campaign, Jones entered this season as part of the young group of playmakers who provide promise to Maryland’s offense in the team’s first year under Coach Michael Locksley. The Terrapins have a deep corps of wideouts, but Jones probably would have been a starter. Jones will redshirt this season and is likely to return in time for spring practice.
“Obviously when you first hear the news, it’s hard,” said running back Jake Funk, who is back after tearing his ACL last November. “It’s hard for everybody. You can ask anybody who’s ever gone through it. But I can tell you right now, Jeshaun’s the kind of guy that’s going to come out and attack rehab every single day and have a positive attitude every day. I have no doubt in my mind that Jeshaun will come back better than he was before.”
Jones recorded 288 receiving yards last year, the second-highest mark on the team and the most among returning players. He also had 173 rushing yards, averaging 9.6 per carry; he was a go-to player for interim coach Matt Canada’s jet sweeps.
Maryland’s passing game struggled last year, but it was poised to improve this season with graduate transfer Josh Jackson competing for the quarterback job and after a year of development for a group of mostly young receivers.
Jones burst onto the college scene in Maryland’s 2018 season opener when he accounted for three touchdowns on his first three touches — one rushing, one receiving and one passing. He finished the year with five receiving touchdowns and two rushing.
The day Maryland started preseason camp, Jones said he hoped to improve on his freshman season and felt like he learned meaningful lessons this offseason about the importance of fully understanding the offense. The Fort Myers, Fla., native, started two games last season but appeared in all 12. Now Jones will have to wait an entire year to return to the field for the Terrapins.
To help fill the void, Maryland returns other talented young receivers, including Dontay Demus, Darryl Jones and Brian Cobbs, in addition to senior DJ Turner and Virginia Tech transfer Sean Savoy.
“Specifically at the receiver position, we’ve got a lot talent back there,” Turner said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for the next guy to step up and be able to make plays and things like that. As a team, we’ve all faced a lot of adversity, so this is just another adverse moment that we’ve all got to get over. And I think because of all we’ve already been through, it shouldn’t be as hard.”
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