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 former high profile defensive line recruit.
De’Onte Arnett, Sophomore (RS), Offensive Guard
Ratings: Four stars, #93 prospect in nation, #2 in Maryland, #6 strongside defensive end by Rivals; four stars, #22 defensive end by Scout; #53 defensive end by ESPN
40-yard dash time: 4.8
High School Stats (Senior Year): 59 tackles, 13 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries
High School Stats (Junior Year): 72 tackles, 15 sacks
High School: Forestville Military Academy (Forestville, Md.)
How’d He Get To College Park?
In his second stint as a Maryland coach, James Franklin brought in nine four-star recruits – Pete White, Caleb Porzel, Devonte Campbell, Nate Clarke, Javarie Johnson, David Mackall, Titus Till, Adrian Coxson, and De’Onte Arnett. Two of them (Porzel and Johnson) have already transferred. Four of them (White, Campbell, Mackall, Till and Coxson) are in competition for a starting spot or serious playing time. One of them (Clarke) is a true freshman. And one of them (Arnett) has played in all of two games during his Maryland career, and has now switched positions.
Arnett came out of high school as one of the top defensive linemen in the country, trailing only super-stud linebacker and current Florida Gator Jelani Jenkins among prospects in the state of Maryland. He chose Maryland over Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State, and Tennessee, among many others. He was all-state in 2008 and was named the most valuable lineman at the 2008 Crab Bowl.
In college, he hasn’t been able to find anywhere near the kind of success that was predicted for him. He redshirted his first year, and was named defensive scout player of the week three times (tops on the team). After that, there was still a lot of hope for Arnett’s future on Maryland’s D-Line that died out significantly once Arnett stopped, ya know, being a member of Maryland’s D-Line.
After playing in one game on special teams last year, he moved over to the offensive line to help out with depth issues there, and played in only one game there. There’s still promise for him – he’s pretty high up on the depth chart – but this is not exactly the career path one would expect from a guy who was one of the top defensive end prospects in the nation and who Rivals has compared to former South Florida standout Jason Pierre-Paul.
More after the jump.
De’Onte “Gob” Arnett
Being named the most valuable lineman at the Crab Bowl.
Playing in only two games, including none on the defensive line, in his redshirt freshman season.
Arbitrary Top Five List:
Actors who played one of Lucille and George Bluth’s children in Arrested Development:
1. Jason Bateman
2. Will Arnett
3. Tony Hale
4. Portia de Rossi
5. Justin Lee
There are two possibilities for a dream season for Arnett – getting solid time and performing above expectations as a reserve offensive guard, or moving back to defensive end and excelling like he was expected to.
Arnett struggles at the new position as well, and spends most of his time on the squad team again.
This is a tough one. As fans, there’s only so much we can see – actually there’s only one thing we can see – what’s on the field. So to try and guess why De’Onte Arnett hasn’t really played at all in his time as a Terp and has now switched positions so quickly is something that we’re in no place to do. Naturally, we’re gonna do it anyway.
The most obvious culprit is the weight gain. Arnett, even though his specialty came in stopping the run, was incredibly quick as a defensive lineman with 4.8 speed. However, at 6’4″ and 243 pounds he needed to put on some size to be a viable ACC end (or they could have moved him to a defensive end/linebacker hybrid and watch him destroy yes please why didn’t they do that). So, Arnett has gained 30 pounds, and maybe he doesn’t have the same bounce in his step that he used to, moving him over to offensive guard.
Like we said, we don’t have a clue, that’s just an educated guess. Either way, what a lot of people don’t know (or remember) is that Arnett was a very successful offensive lineman in high school, so while this move may be somewhat puzzling, it doesn’t make it wrong.
Currently, Arnett is second on Maryland’s depth chart at left guard, behind starter and indomitable former walk-on Andrew Gonnella. Gonnella’s job is as safe as any on Maryland’s depth chart, but Arnett’s is not. Right behind him is the highly touted true freshman Nate Clarke, who Maryland will likely want to redshirt, but you never know.
Arnett’s real competition for playing time will come in the form of the loser of the Pete White/Josh Cary battle at right guard. First-guard-off-the-bench duties will likely fall to whoever doesn’t get that starting spot, but if Arnett plays well enough (and his spot on the depth chart dictates that he has done well) he’ll easily insert himself into that conversation, and we could see him with significant playing time this year.
Like Clarke, Arnett may be thrust into play thanks to injuries. Unlike Clarke, Arnett has a chance to see playing time otherwise.
The next player seems to have come through in an apparently weak class from the state of Maryland – Rivals had him as the 19th best prospect in the state, but as a two-star recruit.