A day after sophomore running back Anthony McFarland Jr declared for the draft, junior running back Javon Leake announced that he will also be taking the next step in his football career.
Leake was a three-star prospect from Greensboro, North Carolina, and was ranked as the 15th-best recruit in his state. This past season, he set career highs in carries (102), rushing yards (736), and touchdowns (8). He was arguably Maryland's best running back on their roster despite the disappointing 3-9 season.
He was recognized as the 2019 Big Ten Return Specialist of the year. Leake tied Stefon Diggs for most kick return touchdowns in Maryland football history with two, including 799 return yards in the process.
He finished his collegiate football career with the Terrapins with 155 touches, 1203 scrimmage yards, and 17 rushing touchdowns. On special teams, he had 1440 kick return yards and three touchdowns.
Leake has good speed for the position but will need to prove to the NFL that he can hang on to the ball, fumbling three times in Maryland's loss to Nebraska. He has not been thrown to a lot and will need to showcase his versatility to improve his draft stock. His special teams value alone makes him a day three pick.
With the loss of McFarland and Leake to the NFL, Maryland's next man up on the depth chart is Tayon Fleet-Davis. The other running backs on the roster include Lorenzo Harrison III and Jake Funk. The Terrapins have lost quite a few players this season with a combinations of transfers, decommitments, and decisions to go pro. Mike Locksley will have an even bigger challenge in 2020 to fix the Maryland football program.