Two more have joined the increasing ranks of Maryland football players to leave the program this year, as backup linebacker Ryan Donohue and backup running back Gary Douglas will not return for their junior seasons.
WaPo says no reason was given for their departures.
In 20 career games as a reserve linebacker and special teams player, Donohue had 12 tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception return for a touchdown in last year’s Wake Forest game. He entered the fall as the player on Maryland’s roster with the most experience at linebacker not named Demetrius Hartsfield, and as the No. 2 to Hartsfield on the depth chart at middle linebacker.
Donohue played as the primary backup at both the Mike and Will positions last year, backing up Alex Wujciak after Avery Murray transferred and Hartsfield after Ben Pooler got hurt.
Douglas played in ten games as a freshman, but only two last year due to injury and the emergence of D.J. Adams. He finishes his Maryland career with 18 rushes for 89 yards and six receptions for 78 yards.
We’ll talk replacements after the jump.
The departure of Donohue really brings to light how weak Maryland’s linebacker depth is up the middle. Going by the spring depth chart, the only backup to Hartsfield right now is walk-on transfer Ray Lynn. While Lynn may have a reputation as one of the funnier guys on the team, he’s not ready to be the primary backup middle linebacker just yet.
That means that either one of the incoming freshmen (read: Cole Farrand) will take over backup Mike duties or someone’s going to have to change positions. There are a few options in the latter category – Lorne Goree (which would leave a hole at Will) or one of the players at the ROCK position (David Mackall, Bradley Johnson and Marcus Whitfield). My money’s on Whitfield, but it’s a completely wide open competition with no clear solution.
In terms of Douglas, he wasn’t expected to contribute much this year anyway. Davin Meggett and D.J. Adams are going to take most all of the carries, but the third running back slot is still one that is important. There are essentially two options here:
- Jeremiah Wilson. The converted cornerback was a star running back in high school and adds a dimension of speed that Maryland’s running back corps needs. He’s the favorite.
- Justus Pickett. The incoming freshman has a whole boatload of talent, but will probably need a little bit of time to adjust to the college game.
Another incoming freshman, Brandon Ross, is a sleeper pick, but that would be a pure shocker.
The official count for players leaving the program this year is now up to ten.