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Top 10 Athletes to Come Out of Maryland

| August 27, 2021, 08:00 AM

The state of Maryland has produced some of the best football players, wrestling champions, and basketball players over the years.

Whether they got into the NFL, NBA, or the Olympics, Maryland is home to some of the most talented athletes in the world.

The Arc of Central Maryland

Here’s our breakdown of the best

1. Ronald Darby

Darby was born in  Oxon Hill. He was a football player at Potomac High School before going on to Florida State University.

Darby earned three ACC championship wins and one national championship with Florida State in 2013.

The coaches selected the cornerback in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Darby finished with 61 solo tackles, 21 pass deflections, and two interceptions in his debut season.

He subsequently spent three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before signing a one-year agreement with the Washington Football Team in 2020. Darby signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Denver Broncos due to his excellent play in Washington.

2. Juan Dixon

Dixon is the most decorated basketball player in the history of the University of Maryland. In 2001, he was named MVP of the Final Four after leading Maryland to their first NCAA Championship.

Dixon has impressive individual statistics, as he is the only player in NCAA history to score over 2,000 points, 300 steals, and 200 field goals.

He holds the school’s career scoring (2,269), 3-point field goal attempts (615), 3-point field goal makes (239), field goal attempts (1,713), and consecutive games played in a career (141): Voted first-team All-America and ACC Player of the Year as a senior.

3. Helen Maroulis

Maroulis grew up in Rockville, Maryland. She attended Magruder High School before moving to Marquette, Michigan.

While at Magruder, Maroulis was the first girl to place in the Maryland Wrestling State Championships.

She went on to win four WCWA women’s college national titles while wrestling for Simon Fraser University.

After years of competing in World Championships, Maroulis competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. She made American history by becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling.

4. Kyle Snyder

Snyder was born in  Woodbine. Before being recruited to Ohio State, he wrestled at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Montgomery County.

Snyder is the youngest Olympic gold medalist and World Champion in the history of American wrestling. Snyder was clearly on the fast track to the Olympics in high school, where he racked up a 179-0 record.

Snyder earned three NCAA Championships, two Big Ten crowns, and the Most Outstanding Wrestler honor at the NCAA Championships in 2016.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, he earned a gold medal at 97 kg, and he has also won two Pan American Championships.

5. Len Bias

Bias was a one-of-a-kind basketball player. His ability to score and recover made him an outstanding forward, drawing parallels to basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

He was selected ACC Athlete of the Year in 1986 and ACC Player of the Year in 1985 and 1986, respectively. He tragically died of a heroin overdose the night after the Boston Celtics picked him.

6. Stan Jones

Jones was a vital member of the legendary 1953 Terps football team. During that season, the starting right tackle helped bolster a squad that finished the regular season undefeated at 10-0 and led a defense that allowed only 31 points.

Jones was awarded the Outstanding College Lineman in 1953 and chosen to represent the All-America team.

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7. Renaldo Nehemiah

Nehemiah is a two-time NCAA champion in the 60-yard hurdling, winning in 1978 and 1979 and later inducted into the Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1997.

He was also a five-time All-American in both indoor and outdoor track, an All-American in the 1978 440-yard relay, an ACC Champion in the 60-yard high hurdles (1978 and 1979), and a 60-yard sprint (1979). Nehemiah was the first man to break the 13-second barrier in the 110 high hurdles (12.91).

8. Jen Adams

Adams shattered both the college and NCAA records. She holds the collegiate scoring and assists records (445, 178).

In 2001 Adams had to her credit in the NCAA Division 1 the most career and single-season points, goals, and assists for the Terrapins. The Australian native is now the team’s Associate Head Coach at College Park.

9. Markelle Fultz

Fultz is a Maryland native who grew up in Upper Marlboro. Before being recruited by the University of Washington, he played high school basketball at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville.

Most fans regard Fultz as one of the best prospects in the country coming out of high school.

Fultz became the best player in the country in just one season with the Washington Huskies. He had a 23-point, 5.7-rebound, and 5.9-assist average.

He then declared for the draft and was chosen first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Before being dealt to the Orlando Magic in 2019, Fultz struggled to live up to his draft status in Philadelphia. He’s still rehabbing from an ACL tear he sustained eight games into the 2020-21 season.

10. Crystal Langhorne

Langhorne is the first Terrapin to have her number elevated at the Comcast Center while still active, and she holds the Terrapin scoring and rebounding records (9.4 per game).

She is the only player in Maryland history to earn four All-ACC honors, three ACC Player of the Week awards, score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.

Category: LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Sports

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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