A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we profile a player who missed most of last season with an injury.
Marcus Whitfield, Sophomore (RS), Defensive End
Ratings: Three stars, #89 outside linebacker by Rivals; two stars, #63 strong-side linebacker by Scout; three stars, #44 outside linebacker by ESPN
40-yard dash time: 4.48
High School Stats (senior season): 39 tackles, nine for a loss, six quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, 25 receptions for 372 yards and three touchdowns, four carries for 97 yards, 16 punts for a 28.5-yard average
College Stats (through one year): Two tackles (one solo)
High School: Northwest High School (Germantown, Md.)
How’d He Get To College Park?
Born in St. Louis, Marcus Whitfield was a stud outside linebacker and tight end at Northwest, who had one huge advantage in high school – speed. When watching his highlight tape, he’s just faster than everyone else. Whitfield has pretty good top speed, but the most impressive part of the video is how quick he can accelerate to that level. He’s currently clocked at 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, so that apparent speed wasn’t just the result of poor high school competition – the kid can fly. He’s been moved to defensive end, so that speed off the edge can potentially be ridiculous. His only limitation will be his size, but now we’re getting too much into his 2011 prospectus before the, ya know, 2011 prospectus.
Whitfield was recruited to Maryland by Dave Sollazzo, choosing the Terps over West Virginia, East Carolina, and Buffalo, among others. He was brought to College Park as an outside linebacker, but switched to defensive end after his redshirt season. That’s where he played (somewhat) last year, recording two tackles before blowing out his knee in the Morgan State game and missing the rest of the year. Whitfield is still recovering from that knee injury, getting limited time in spring practice and being listed lower on the depth chart due to it.
He was named first team All-County 4A honors in 2008.
More after the jump.
“The Fresh Prince of Germantown” – Bel Air is (rightfully) his favorite show, so we’ll pay homage to that.
Those two tackles?
Blowing out his knee in the Morgan State game.
Arbitrary Top Five List:
Nelly albums, by charting position:
2. Country Grammar
5. Brass Knuckles
Whitfield recovers from the injury and Isaiah Ross moves back over to defensive end, clearing the way for him to be the backup to David Mackall at ROCK. He records at least two sacks and four tackles for a loss.
The injury flares up throughout the year, and he never truly recovers enough to get significant playing time.
Marcus Whitfield is currently listed as the co-third backup to David Mackall at ROCK, behind Isaiah Ross and with Alvin Thomas. It is very hard for me to believe that Whitfield is actually fighting for playing time with Thomas, a walk-on transfer, so that tells me the injury is still a problem. Once (or maybe if) he gets fully healthy, he’ll assuredly pass Thomas on the depth chart, but after that it’s a little more up in the air. Ross entered spring as the starting defensive end, but now he’s been moved to ROCK behind Mackall, who was extremely impressive last year and was seemingly born to play this position.
When Ryan Donohue transferred to UConn, we called on the coaches to move Whitfield to Mike to replace him as the backup. That didn’t happen, however, as Lorne Goree moved over from Will. To us, that seems to scream for another opportunity – move Whitfield to Will. They currently have no scholarship players behind Darin Drakeford there, and the ROCK position is so jam-packed with talent Whitfield won’t be able to get the snaps he deserves. Whitfield is undersized for a d-lineman (although ROCK is a hybrid with linebacker), but his incredible burst of speed would be an incredible asset off the edge, either from the defensive line or from the linebacking corps. Maryland just has to find a place where he can get playing time, and I think that’s at Will.
Whitfield has a lot he can contribute to Maryland – he’s one of the faster front seven players on the team and has great pass rushing abilities. We’ll just see come fall if he’s healthy enough and has the opportunity to do so.
Our next player started on the defensive line last year and…didn’t really do much.