Over the years, the state of Maryland has produced some great football players. Players like Stefon Diggs, Trevon Diggs, Chase Young, and John Johnson have made a big impact in college. Being the top recruit in the state includes big expectations for them to be a star in college.
St. Frances Linebacker Jaishawn Barham has the honor of being ranked as the number one recruit in Maryland for the 2022 class. Barham is ranked as the 59th best player in the country and the fifth-best linebacker in the 247sports composite. He has offers from over 20 schools, including Florida State, Florida, Penn State, Ohio State, Texas A&M, and Maryland.
Barham is listed on 247sports at 6’3”, 230 pounds, so he has the size of a college linebacker. He plays both inside and outside in high school. Since St. Frances plays a national schedule, he gets to compete against some of the best schools in the country. Barham transferred to St. Frances after spending his first two years at Dematha.
Since St. Frances did not play any games last year because of COVID-19, all highlights of Barham are from his freshman and sophomore years. In the first play of both highlight films, Barham’s instincts are on full display. On his freshman one, he notices that the offense is setting up a screen and runs over to prevent it. The first play of Barham’s sophomore films shows him bypassing the running back and going after the quarterback.
Barham can stop the run, rush the passer, and drop into coverage. There were many times in his highlights Barham came on a blitz and had a free shot at the quarterback. In the running game, he can come up and stop the ball carrier in his tracks. At the 0:49 mark on his sophomore film, he filled the gap that the running back was going through and caused a short gain. On the 0:24 mark of his freshman film, a receiver caught the ball at the 39-yard line, and Barham prevented him from gaining any more yards. Barham also knocked down a pass in his sophomore film at 1:36.
Barham has the speed to play sideline-to-sideline, and two plays from his highlights showcase that. At 2:04 on his freshman film, Barham ran across the field to stop a running back from getting to the edge. A similar thing happened in his sophomore film. At 0:16, the quarterback was trying to reach the outside, and Barham made sure he didn’t get there.
Since Barham didn’t play last year, it’s not fair to say the things he needs to work on. One noticeable thing, however, was that he did have some problems getting off of blocks. It’s something that linebackers have issues with at every level of football. As Barham gets stronger, he should get better at getting off of blocks.
Barham is a prospect that is deserving of the top spot in the state of Maryland. He has the potential to be an All-Conference player and an impact player from day one.