Dienhart: Maryland spring football wrap
Maryland is prepping, it’s getting ready for its maiden Big Ten voyage. The ride begins this fall. Randy Edsall is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with the new venture. And Edsall will bring what looks like his best Maryland team yet, as he enters his fourth season in College Park, Md.
Here are some observations from spring practice.
1. The running back slot remains open. Who will win the job? It wasn’t decided in the spring. Brandon Ross (four carries for 90 yards), Albert Reid (14 carries for 79 yards), Jacquille Veii (nine carries for 75 yards) and Joe Riddle (five carries for 48 yards) all saw action in the spring game. Ross has been the starter in the recent past, ripping off a 75-yard scoring run in the spring game. Veii was a spring surprise.
2. The offensive line was an issue when Edsall first arrived in College Park. With three starters back and improved depth, the unit is becoming a strength. The position has a new coach, as Tom Brattan was replaced with Greg Studrawa. He brings a high-energy style after working the past seven seasons at LSU.
3. The secondary looks good. The unit stood out in the spring game, notching four picks. Will Likely picked off two passes. He’s a rising star and one to watch, as he figures to start at one corner spot with Dexter McDougle and Isaac Goins gone. Who will man the other corner spot? Alvin Hill? Jarrett Ross? Former safety Undray Clark?
4. Better depth needs to be developed on defense. Nine starters are back from the unit. Still, a second wave is needed. An influx of talented newcomers should have an impact. Stay tuned. It’s also worth noting that a pass rusher is needed to replace LB Marcus Whitfield.
The quote: “We got the things that we wanted to get done this spring and we are pleased with that. When we get into these situations, we are looking for the guys who can make plays. The great thing about the spring is we now have the chance to evaluate who can make the plays. It’s a chance for us to evaluate our roster and figure out who you can count on.” – Randy Edsall
The number: 292, rushing yards for Maryland in the spring. It was a testament to the depth at running back and emerging offensive line.
Offseason to-do list
1. Get settled at nose guard. Darius Kilgo and Keith Bowers battled in the spring and figure to continue in camp. Kilgo is the bigger of the two. At least the Terps are set at end with Quinton Jefferson and Andre Monroe.
2. Keep sorting through the tight ends. Is there a pass-catching option in P.J. Gallo? Andrew Isaacs is a former touted recruit who could impact. Stay tuned. This could be a position that’s a weapon.
3. Find a third wideout. Maryland is set at the top two spots with Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. Marcus Leak exits spring as the apparent front-runner for the No. 3 spot. But others will be in the mix, including Nigel King, Taivon Jacobs, Amba Etta-Tawo and Levern Jacobs.
4. No doubt, C.J. Brown is the starting quarterback. But, who’s the backup? Caleb Rowe, Perry Hills and Shane Cockerille are in the hunt.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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