COLLEGE PARK – As the University of Maryland football team prepares for the opening weekend to start the 2019 season on Aug. 31, two players officially announced their decisions to leave the program.
Former Eleanor Roosevelt High School star athlete Raymond Boone announced his plans to transfer out of Maryland in a statement posted on his Twitter account while last year’s starting quarterback Kasim Hill is walking on at the University of Tennessee.
Boone, a standout athlete from Eleanor Roosevelt High School, announced via his Twitter account on Aug. 22 his decision to transfer out of Maryland. He thanked everyone who worked in the Gossett facility and called the timing of his decision a “bleak moment.”
“Since I was in the sixth grade, it has truly been my dream to play for Maryland, there was no greater thought than being able to play college football in my backyard,” Boone said. “When I finally got the chance to make that choice, I never had to second guess my decision and I am so very thankful for everything the University of Maryland has done for me.”
Listed as a defensive back, Boone was a redshirt freshman last season and did not play a game for the Terps. During the 2019 spring game, he recorded six tackles. He arrived after playing both wide receiver and defensive back for Eleanor Roosevelt. He hauled in 346 receiving yards and scored five touchdowns while converting 30 tackles for the Raiders in his final season.
During an offseason workout in February, Boone fell ill and was sent to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, according to a Feb. 7 report by the Baltimore Sun. Boone was kept for observation and then allowed to go home on Feb. 6. In a statement released by the athletic department, Boone said that he was doing better.
“I want to make sure everyone knows that I’m doing just fine,” Boone said. “My blood sugar was low and I went to the hospital just to be cautious. I appreciate all of the support that I’ve received.”
Boone faced a tough battle to start with the addition of former DeMatha Catholic High School star Nick Cross as well as competing with sophomores Deon Jones and Jordan Mosley. He is the third defensive back to transfer out of the program since late 2018.
Meanwhile, Hill, who started 10 games for Maryland last season, finally found a landing spot in Tennessee after announcing his decision to leave College Park in February.
He suffered a second torn ACL on Nov. 10 at Indiana, ending his second straight season with an injury. He finished the season throwing 84 of-170 for 1,083 passing yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
“In my first 18 months at the University of Maryland, I have personally experienced many good moments but also some very challenging ones,” Hill said. “Exploring a transfer will help me make an informed decision about whether a change in venue could benefit my overall recovery, well-being and development.”
Tennessee Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt confirmed Hill’s transfer during his weekly press conference on Aug. 23, stating that the former St. John’s play-caller contacted his coaching staff about coming into their program.
According to Pruitt, because the roster already has three quarterbacks on scholarship, Hill arrived at their campus as a walk-on. He will not be able to play this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
“He’s a guy who wanted to walk-on and have an opportunity to compete and participate,” Pruitt said. “It’s hard to find guys who want to do that who have started games in major college football.”
Hill’s decision to enter the transfer portal allowed Maryland enough time to recruit transfer Josh Jackson and freshman Lance LeGendre. On Aug. 26, the Terrapins formally announced Jackson as the starter, beating out junior Tyrrell Pigrome, who appeared in 12 games last year and started in two for Maryland.
“After an extremely tight camp battle, we felt that Josh earned the starting role,” said Head Coach Mike Locksley. “Josh and (Pigrome) pushed each other throughout the summer and into camp. We are excited about the talent in the quarterback room and strongly feel that we can win with both guys. We’ll find ways to utilize each of their talents but are confident with Josh leading the team.”
Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 218-pound quarterback, started all 13 games for Virginia Tech in 2017, throwing for 2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns during his redshirt freshman season. He also rushed for 324 yards and six touchdowns.
While Boone and Hill’s departures come days before the season begins, Maryland continues to push forward with their plans of rebuilding their culture, a strategy that Locksley expressed multiple times during Media Day on Aug. 2. Fans will get their first glimpse of the rebuilt roster on Aug. 31 vs. Howard at noon.
“I feel really good about the team,” Locksley said. “I think we have been able to make strides but for us, it is going to start with the basic, day-to-day habits and behaviors. And you guys are going to be tired of me saying it but what we are going to be about around here is developing the right attitudes and behaviors to be successful on each side of the Big 10 Conference.”