The fight is expected to be tougher on the Maryland recruiting trail moving forward.
New Terrapins coach Mike Locksley managed to land the state’s top overall recruit a week after February’s signing day, nabbing safety Nick Cross away from Florida State and Penn State.
Cross hails from state powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School, with Locksley hiring the program’s head coach to join his staff.
Penn State managed to counter with a recruiting win of its own at DeMatha on Tuesday.
Junior offensive lineman Golden Achumba verbally committed to the Nittany Lions, choosing them over the Terps after taking recent visits to Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Pitt since the start of February.
“I’m honored to have been able to experience the recruitment process,” Achumba wrote on Twitter. “With that being said, I am 100% committed to The Pennsylvania State University! With this off my chest I’m ready to finish senior year on a great note.”
The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Achumba becomes the sixth member of Penn State’s 2020 recruiting class. He has a three-star rating as the nation’s No. 24 guard and the No. 16 prospect overall in Maryland according to the 247Sports Composite and also holds scholarship offers from the likes of Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.
While still early in the 2020 cycle, Achumba is rated as the top interior line prospect in Maryland and the state’s No. 2 offensive lineman behind tackle Aaryn Parks, another Penn State target.
DeMatha a strong program: DeMatha annually produces a handful of Division I talent. Current Lions defensive end Shane Simmons also hails from DeMatha and figures to be in the mix for a starting job in the summer. Recently departed running back Mark Allen also played for the Stags in high school.
For 2020, DeMatha also boasts a five-star running back prospect in MarShawn Lloyd, a four-star defensive lineman in Coziah Izzard. Both players have made visits to Penn State, with Izzard on campus in March.
The Lions have made an early push in the state, as half of their first six verbal commitments for 2020 are from Maryland as Achumba joins McDonogh linebacker Curtis Jacobs and National Christian Academy corner Joshuah Moten. Penn State also has a 2021 pledge from Mount Saint Joseph wideout Dont’e Thornton.
Maryland will continue to be a major recruiting battleground throughout the year as it also has produced the country’s consensus No. 1 recruit in Bryan Bresee a defensive lineman from Damascus High School. Bresee has made several trips to Penn State but reigning national champion Clemson is the favorite in 247Sports’ Crystal Ball feature.