Maryland sophomore cornerback Tarheeb Still was quickly drawn to the school as he navigated the college recruiting process, and he credits his instant connection with the program to head coach Michael Locksley.
The Sicklerville, N.J., native strongly believes Locksley cares deeply about his players, both as players and people. Locksley has also put together talented group of players and coaches who can help the program succeed, according to Still.
“Maryland just felt like home ever since I first came down here,” Still said on Glenn Clark Radio Aug. 11. “Talking to Coach Locks, it’s just a great place. I believed in his vision and the plan he had for the program. I knew it was just something I wanted to be a part of. Coming on visits, those other recruits, those guys felt like family — it all felt right.”
And his choice paid off.
The 6-foot-1, 182-pound Still started four games at cornerback and led the nation with two pass breakups per game. He finished the abbreviated 2020 season with 20 total tackles, including 18 individual and two assisted. Still’s play led him to being recognized as a Freshman All-American by The Athletic. He was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten pick as well.
Still’s accomplishments go beyond those for the Terrapins. Still was named Defensive Back MVP at the 2019 Nike Football Opening Regional-New Jersey. He also caught 124 passes for 2,533 yards and 17 touchdowns as a receiver during his time at Timber Creek Regional High School, and he had a particularly memorable senior season:
But Still was recruited as a defensive back, and he showed why in 2020. Now, he wants to take another step forward in 2021.
“I’m actually very hungry for the world to see [what I’m capable of]. We’re going to take it day-by-day, week-by-week,” Still said. “People are going to see throughout the game, so it’s not really something we’ve got to worry about. We’ve got to win those games and then take advantage of those opportunities.”
Still has the opportunity to continue improving his skills alongside a talented group of players and coaches this upcoming season. Still complimented the Terps’ wide receivers for how they push the defensive backs in practice.
“They work us every day. We have a lot of different stuff to see — we’ve got height, we’ve got speed, strength, everything,” Still said. “Those are very good players to go up against in practice, and then knowing I have my team on Saturday, [it means] a lot. I know those guys are really good and they’re going to do their job to get open.”
Still has grown closer with his teammates since he arrived in College Park. They had to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic together. No fans, with the exception of family members, were allowed at Maryland Stadium during the season.
Still and his teammates are looking forward to returning to Maryland Stadium this fall to play a full schedule with fans in the stands. Although the pandemic created many challenges, Still believes the team is ready for this moment and prepared to tackle the 2021 season.
“[The 2020 season] shows that whatever is being thrown our way that we can actually handle it, and we’re battle-tested,” Still said. “We went through a lot of adversity, but I feel as though that shows that we can handle whatever is thrown our way.”
For more from Still, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maryland Athletics