Well at least now we have a grasp of who is going to be playing where for Maryland football this upcoming season. With all the injuries sustained this offseason, the starters at some positions were largely a mystery. But Monday, Maryland released their depth chart (which you can download here) to allay some concerns. If you don’t want to read the whole schedule, here’s a breakdown of some of the surprising factoids gained from this chart:
- Maryland will have to rely on 14 true freshmen in all, which I’m pretty confident is a record for the school. Obviously, Perry Hills is going to be the starting quarterback, but there are other freshmen who could see plenty of time on the field. Stefon Diggs is starting as punt and kick returner, but I’m more surprised with safety Sean Davis. Davis is a true freshman, but managed to beat out senior Clarence Claiborne for the starting safety spot. That’s either a good thing or a very damning indictment on Maryland’s talent pool. It’s worth noting, though, that he is the only freshman starting on defense, where there are 5 senior players, including Demetrius Hartsfield.
- So much for starting the Wes Brown era off right away. He was left off the depth chart completely, which is disappointing considering how coveted he was as a recruit and how much we are likely to run the ball this year. I’m sure he’ll see playing time, but for now he will watch the starter…Brandon Ross! The red shirt freshman got the start over returning #2 back Justus Pickett, which says a lot. Pickett didn’t do that well last year, but he wasn’t so bad that he merited demotion. It tells me that Brandon Ross is a stud, and the coaching staff knows it. So here’s hoping that the two of them can offset one another and stay healthy to help out Perry Hills.
- Sophomore Cole Farrand beat out All-Name candidate L.A. Goree for the starting middle linebacker spot.
- Everyone except the long snapper Greg Parcher on special teams is either a true freshman or a redshirt freshman, including place kicker Brad Craddock, punter/backup place kicker Nathan Renfro, and obviously Diggs as punt/kick returner. Hicksville native Nick Ferrara isn’t even on the roster, which suggests that his offseason hip surgery is taking longer than expected to heal. Hopefully he gets better, because I’m extremely weary of having nothing but young guys on special teams.
So there you have it, the Terrapins are going to be awfully young this year on offense and special teams, which puts the onus squarely on the defense to really kick it up a notch. Am I nervous? Of course I’m nervous, but I’m also excited. Playing all of these young guys means more experience for future seasons, and who knows which player is going to come up huge for the Terrapins. No one was expecting a 12-0 year in 2012, anyway. I still think Maryland can be good, but it’s all contingent on players learning on the fly.