Ruben Hyppolite II highlights Maryland football’s freshmen linebackers in 2020

Jacob Steinberg

SB Nation: Testudo Times

Aug 10, 2020

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Our summer profile series is back and we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time.

Though the status of the upcoming season remains up in the air, head coach Mike Locksley has worked to continue his rebuild of the Terrapin program in 2020.

So far, we’ve previewed the 2020 roster position-by-position, and have dedicated the past week to the linebackers. On Friday, Henry took a look at the sophomore linebacker talent, and today we will dive into the freshmen on the roster.

Deshawn Holt, No. 39

Height: 6’4 Weight: 226 Year: Redshirt freshman High School: Westlake HS Hometown: Waldorf, Md.

2019 stats: 2 games, 2 solo tackles

Ruben Hyppolite II, No. 11

Height: 6’0

Weight: 219

Year: Freshman High School: McArthur HS Hometown: Hollywood, Fla.

Frankie Burgess, No. 99

Height: 6’2 Weight: 206 Year: Freshman High School: Pahokee HS Hometown: Pahokee, Fla.

The background

Maryland football has plenty of talent at the linebacker position, and that does not tail off when looking at its freshmen talents.

In 2018, Holt became one of the first commitments in the Terrapins’ 2019 class and ultimately stuck with the program through Jordan McNair’s death, then-head coach DJ Durkin’s firing and the passing of the torch from Matt Canada to Locksley.

As a three-star talent, he was originally slated to utilize his speed as a defensive end, but he’s transitioned to linebacker in the new 3-4 system and could play a role on the outside.

Hyppolite was a three-star recruit out of Florida in the 2020 class who committed to the Terps because he saw Locksley’s vision. With hard work and some key performances, he quickly rose up the boards of many top programs, but ultimately stuck with Maryland as a four-star recruit when signing day came around.

He wanted to be able to make a name for himself and build his own legacy in College Park, and with his blend of all-around talent he could certainly be on his way.

Burgess was a three-star recruit and one of the late adds by Locksley in the 2020 cycle as he worked to shore up loose ends in the class.

As an outside linebacker, the 2019 Sun Sentinel Defensive Player of the Year tallied 60 tackles (39 solo), three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his senior season and provides quality depth in an are the Terps have severely lacked production from.

Hyppolite could push for a starting spot

Without a doubt, Hyppolite was one of the most intriguing freshmen prospects in the 2020 Maryland football class.

During the middle of his high school career, Hyppolite played at powerhouse American Heritage, but he opted to transfer to McArthur High School for his senior season despite having growing success.

He trained with former Auburn star Junior Rosegreen, who quickly turned Hyppolite into a sneaky-good, college-ready prospect.

Even though he continued to add weight and build on his frame, Hyppolite proved that his speed remained unmatched at the linebacker position.

“I can read offenses very well. I can adapt in certain situations,” Hyppolite told Testudo Times in 2019. “I’m well-rounded, can play inside, outside, in any defensive scheme.”

Hyppolite started to gain traction after earning the Defensive MVP award at the Ray Lewis Academy in 2019. That led to a frenzy of offers, including a big one from Alabama head coach Nick Saban, but Locksley and his staff were able to keep him in the fold as the face of his class.

“You got to watch the greats in order to be great,” Hyppolite said. “I want to be the best linebacker in college football. I want to win the Butkus Award, most definitely. I really want to win it in my first year.”

With Shaq Smith, Ayinde “Ace” Eley and Chance Campbell looking to be three of the Terps’ starters, Hyppolite will compete for the fourth spot as he pushes to be one of the best Maryland players to come through College Park.

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