Profiles In Terpage – A Countdown To The Football Season: Walk-On Offensive Linemen


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 move on to the offensive linemen, kicking it off with the transfers and walk-ons.

Gary Harraka, Freshman (RS); Chris Pressley, Freshman


Heights: 6’4″; 6’5″

Weights: 300; 340

Ratings: N/A

High Schools: St. John’s Catholic Prep (Ijamsville, Md.); Forestville Military Academy (Upper Marlboro, Md.)

How’d They Get To College Park?

Gary Harraka played center, guard, and defensive tackle for St. John’s, who play in the MIAA (along with Archbishop Curley, alma mater of starting free safety Eric Franklin and Mount Saint Joseph, former home of Dino Gregory). He was the teammate of defensive end J.R. Ferguson then, one of the top players in Virginia who ended up going to LSU in the 2010 class. Harraka also had this short-lived blog where he kept folks updated with his recruiting status. It looks like home school Maryland was the only FBS school to really recruit him (at least in 2008), but he had a bunch of FCS schools pursuing him, including Towson, Old Dominion, Lehigh and Georgetown. Harraka came to Maryland last year and redshirted.

Here’s the crazy thing with Chris Pressley. He transferred to Maryland from Prince George’s Community College (even though he’s listed as a freshman) – but as far as I can tell, PGCC has no football team. Regardless, Pressley (who shares his name with a fullback formerly of Wisconsin and currently with the Bengals) comes from an impressive Forestville program – he joins Kevin Dorsey, De’Onte Arnett, and Devonte Campbell as Knights now on the Terps. Pressley was named a PG 3A/2A/1A all-league offensive guard in 2009, the same year that Rahsaan Moore, Titus Till and Jeremiah Johnson headlined the 4A first-team defense.

More after the jump.


Gary “G.T.” Harraka (again, his real nickname)

Chris “Big Elvis” Pressley

Dream season:

The Terps decide to redshirt Nate Clarke, and Harraka beats out De’Onte Arnett to become the backup to Andrew Gonnella at left guard. Pressley beats out Sal Conaboy for the #2 center slot.

Nightmare season:

No playing time the entire year, even in the Towson game.

2011 prospectus:

Things just recently got better for Gary Harraka, as the dismissal of Justin Lewis from the team gives him one less guy to fight for playing time with. That said, the road still looks very rough. Andrew Gonnella has the left guard position on lock, and either Pete White or Josh Cary will certainly have the right guard, leaving the other of the two as the primary backup at guard. There’s also Clarke, who is a four-star recruit coming in, Stephen Grommer, another highly touted freshman, and Arnett, a converted defensive linemen. Harraka’s got similar size to Gonnella, Clarke and Cary, so we’ll see if he gets a shot this year or if he has to wait again.

Chris Pressley’s situation is just as complicated. Bennett Fulper is the unquestioned starter at center, and Sal Conaboy is the backup. Conaboy was a 2010 recruit who the coaches were pretty high on, and there’s another good center prospect coming in in Evan Mulrooney. Conaboy already served his redshirt season, so he looks to be assured that No. 2 spot, while Mulrooney will probably sit out this year and gain an extra year of eligibility. That leaves Pressley in the undesirable position of third-string center, with little promise of playing time except for a possibly injury scenario. It’s the life of a college walk-on.

It’s actually interesting that Pressley is playing at center – he’s huge for the position. We’ll see if he stays at the position or moves to guard or maybe even tackle (although the fact that he’s not there already suggests that he’s not fast enough).

Up Next:

Our next player is one of two 2011 commits for Maryland from the state of Delaware.