Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, February 16, 2015
Maryland?s Big Ten debut was a success by many measures, as the Terrapins finished third in the rugged Big Ten East. But Maryland has work to do this spring to build on last year?s momentum-and to keep pace with programs like Ohio State and Michigan State.
There will be a focus on the trenches, where Maryland has work to do. And how will the passing game develop?
MARYLAND SPRING TO-DO LIST
1. Find some receivers. Who will replace Stefon Diggs and Deon Long? Levern Jacobs, Taivon Jacobs, Juwan Winfree and Amba Etta-Tawo will all be competing for catches. Projected starting QB Caleb Rowe is still recovering from a torn ACL. Other QBs are Perry Hills and Shane Cockerille. The passing game must begin to come together.
2. Build the defensive line. This unit suffered a lot of attrition, as Maryland graduated all three of its starting linemen: Andre Monroe, Darius Kilgo and Keith Bowers. Monroe is the all-time sacks leader at Maryland. David Shaw and Kingsley Opara are likely the front-runners to replace Darius Kilgo at nose guard. Roman Braglio looks like the heir to Monroe at defensive end, and Opara also could play end if Shaw wins the nose tackle job.
3. Sort out the offensive line. Highly recruited Damian Prince and Derwin Gray redshirted their freshman campaign. Will they be able to push for playing time and/or a starting spot on the offensive line during spring practice? The o-line was not a strong spot in 2014. It needs to improve.
MARYLAND SPRING INFO
Record: 7-6 overall; 4-4 Big Ten (lost to Stanford in Foster Farms Bowl)
Spring ball starts: March 2
Spring game: April 11
Key players lost: NT Keith Bowers; QB C.J. Brown; LB Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil; WR Stefon Diggs; LB Cole Farrand; LB L.A. Goree; DT Darius Kilgo; WR Deon Long; DT Andre Monroe
Key players back: RB Wes Brown; K Brad Craddock; S Sean Davis; OT Ryan Doyle; OT Michael Dunn; DE Quinton Jefferson; CB Jeremiah Johnson; CB William Likely; LB Yannick Ngakoue; S Anthony Nixon; RB Albert Reid; RB Brandon Ross; QB Caleb Rowe; G Andrew Zeller
|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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