Terps Post-Spring Depth Chart
Image Credit: Maryland Terrapins
The Maryland Terrapins football team released their post-spring depth chart last Tuesday, and it includes some hints as to which players will play where and when in the 2013 season. There are a few position battles that will be going on this fall, especially when the 2013 recruits arrive.
Link to Official Post-Spring Depth Chart
Quarterback – Though he missed all of spring practice, redshirt junior C.J. Brown is the Terps’ starting quarterback this season. The backup quarterback job is up for grabs, with sophomores Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe competing with junior transfer Ricardo Young. Young may have the edge on this battle since Hills and Rowe will be limited in their practicing abilities due to their continuing rehab from torn ACLs.
Running Back – This is the most interesting and intriguing camp battle that will go on this fall in College Park. Three running backs will be competing mightily for snaps this season, and all three of them deserve them. Brandon Ross and Albert Reid shared first-team snaps throughout the spring while Wes Brown is recovering from injury. There is no clear front-runner at the position, and fans should expect a running back by committee approach taken by the coaching staff this season.
Fullback – Junior fullback Tyler Cierski returns as the starter this season, and is backed up by redshirt freshman Kenneth Goins out of Gilman. Cierski is one of the more underrated Terps players, and might be the best fullback in the conference.
Wide Receiver – This is also a very interesting position to watch for this fall. The Terps have a ton of extremely talented wide receivers, led by sophomore Stefon Diggs. Junior Marcus Leak and junior college transfer Deon Long expect to compete for snaps as the #2 wide receiver. Redshirt sophomores Nigel King and Levern Jacobs will compete with incoming freshman Taivon Jacobs (brother of Levern) for snaps as backups.
Tight End – The Terps lost their top 3 tight ends to graduation last season, and enter 2013 with a position that is basically up for grabs. Redshirt senior Dave Stinebaugh took first team snaps throughout the spring, but the player to watch out for is incoming 4-star recruit Andrew Isaacs. Isaacs has the skills to start immediately for the Terps in 2013. It is likely that Stinebaugh will see significant playing time as well, since the Terps want to run more power sets to help the offensive line.
Offensive Line – If there is a weak spot on this 2013 Terps football team, it is the offensive line. The left tackle spot is locked down by true sophomore Mike Madaras, who was a rare true freshman starter last season in that spot. Right tackle will be manned by redshirt senior Nick Klemm, who was Madaras’ backup at left tackle last season. The guard positions are very shaky, and look to be the weakest spots on the offensive line. The Terps lost Bennett Fulper to graduation last season, and look to be going with senior De’Onte Arnett at left guard and sophomore Andrew Zeller at right guard. Both Arnett and Zeller were very inconsistent at right guard last season, so they will have to improve their game this season. Junior college transfer Silvano Altamirano is listed as Arnett’s backup at left guard, so don’t be surprised if he gets a chance there this season. Sal Conaboy looks to be the Terps’ starting center this season, though Evan Mulrooney could overtake him as the season goes on if he stays healthy.
Defensive Line – The Terps’ defensive line was very good in 2012. But they lost seniors A.J. Francis and Joe Vellano to graduation, and will be forced to replace their great production. Nose tackle Darius Kilgo returns, and looks to have a big year as a junior on defense this season. Quinton Jefferson will take one defensive end spot, and Keith Bowers and Andre Monroe will split time at the other. None of the players that will be plugged in to replace Francis and Vellano are freshman, so they all have experience playing in this system before. Nate Clarke and Alex Walker will compete for the backup nose tackle spot. Don’t be surprised to see redshirt freshman Roman Braglio see significant playing time this season. He is listed as Quinton Jefferson’s backup at defensive end.
Linebacker – The Terps are losing 3 of their 4 starters at linebacker from 2012 this season, and will rely on younger players to step up and fill those holes. Matt Robinson will take Kenneth Tate’s spot at outside linebacker. Robinson was the Terps’ starting strong safety last season, but his body and playing style fit better at linebacker. The other outside linebacker spot will be a competition in fall camp between senior Marcus Whitfield, junior Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil, and incoming 4-star recruit Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue may not win the job right out of fall camp, but is expected to take the starting job at some point this season. Cole Farrand is the lone returning starter amongst the linebackers, and will stay in his spot at inside linebacker. The other inside linebacker position will probably be a competition between junior L.A. Goree and freshman Abner Logan, who redshirted last season.
Cornerback – The Terps return all of their cornerbacks from 2012. The group is led by senior Dexter McDougle, who will start opposite junior Jeremiah Johnson. Senior Isaac Goins will see a lot of playing time this season as the team’s nickel back, and 4-star recruit William Likely will also see a lot of the field. This is a very strong unit that should be one of the strongest areas on the team.
Safety – Both of last season’s starters at safety are gone. Eric Franklin has graduated and Matt Robinson has moved to linebacker. But the players who will be replacing them are more than capable. Sophomore Sean Davis and junior A.J. Hendy will compete for Franklin’s free safety spot in 2013. Davis may have the upper hand, as he saw more of the field in 2012. Sophomore Anthony Nixon will start in Robinson’s place, and has valuable experience of his own. This is a unit that is not lacking in playing experience, which should definitely help them make a seamless transition to starting roles.
Special Teams – Sophomore Brad Craddock looks to be much improved as a kicker from last season, which should put him on the fast track to a good season as the Terps’ kicker in 2013. Sophomore Nathan Renfro was inconsistent at punter last season, but should be improved for 2013. Stefon Diggs made huge plays as the Terps’ returner in 2012, but will not see himself in that role as much this season. The returning duties will be split between Diggs, Deon Long, and William Likely. Having three talented returners takes some heat off of Diggs, and allows all three players to stay fresh. Incoming freshman DeAndre Lane could also make an impact in the return game at some point this season.
There is a lot to look forward to in regards to Terps football in 2013. There are a lot of talented, young players that will impact games in a big way this season. The offense’s success will hinge on the ability of the offensive line to create holes to the three talented running backs, and to give C.J. Brown enough time to deliver the ball to his playmakers at wide receiver. The defense is losing a lot of key starters, but has enough talented younger players to fill the holes left by those that departed. Defensive coordinator Brian Stewart was able to drastically improve the Terps’ defense in 2012, and looks to continue that success in 2013.
Zack is a financial analyst for a defense contractor in Washington, DC. The Owings Mills native focuses most of his efforts on Maryland Football recruiting and individual coach and player pieces; but also covers Terps Basketball. He has established relationships with Big Ten beat reporters across the conference, which he utilizes in his game previews. Now a Sr. Terps Analyst for BSL, Zack can be reached at: [email protected]