For the first time in years for both the Maryland Basketball and football programs, a player has been selected in the first round.
Back in April, former Maryland WR DJ Moore was selected to the Carolina Panthers in the first round, the first to be drafted in that round since Darrius Heyward-Bey in 2009.
Last night, former guard Kevin Huerter was drafted 19th overall to the Atlanta Hawks, the first in Maryland basketball since Alex Len in 2013. Kevin was not even projected to stay in the draft or even get drafted, but his combine workouts impressed many. It was an offer too hard to pass up.
Another Terp was selected as Justin Jackson was drafted in the second round by the Denver Nuggets, but ultimately traded to the Orlando Magic.
Maryland is one of five schools this year to have a first round pick in football and basketball. They join Alabama, Boise State, Oklahoma and UCLA.
Now, the Terps basketball team failed to make the NCAA tournament and even the NIT. The Maryland football team won only 4 games after a strong 51-41 win over Texas on the road. However, this is progress for both teams moving forward to at least have first round draft picks in sports that failed during the regular season.
How does this play in Maryland’s favor? It is starting to become a trend to draft more Maryland players and draft these Maryland players a little higher. Maryland is starting to become more recognizable and looked at as that they have some gems in their athletic programs. More exposure means a possibility of more athletes committing to Maryland and thus producing more talent in the pros in the future. It might be a long shot and may take a while for that to actually happen, but it’s not far off that it could happen and be successful.