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 Maryland’s starting right tackle.
R.J. Dill, Junior (RS), Offensive Tackle
Ratings: Three stars, #36 in Pennsylvania, #72 offensive tackle by Rivals; two stars, #150 offensive tackle by Scout; three stars, #61 offensive tackle by ESPN, #25 offensive tackle in 2013 draft class by NFL Draft Scout
40-yard dash time: 5.2
High School Stats (Senior Year): 26 tackles, two forced fumbles and four quarterback hurries
High School: Trinity High School (Camp Hill, Pa.)
How’d He Get To College Park?
R.J. Dill was one of the better offensive tackle prospects in Pennsylvania in 2008, using an excellent frame to perform very well on both lines for Trinity. Dill was offered by Akron, Connecticut, Duke and Temple, and ended up choosing the Terps. His lead recruiter was former wide receivers coach Bryan Bossard, who brought in some great players (Da’Rel Scott, Adrian Moten) and some failed ones (Jeremy Ricker, Pha’Terrell Washington).
Dill played in a highly successful Wing T system at Trinity, where the Shamrocks (really) averaged 5.7 yards per rushing attempt in his senior year. The program has produced a multitude of D-1 players, including former UConn quarterback Cody Endres, Penn State wide receiver Christian Kuntz, West Virginia offensive tackle and part-time fat McLovin’ Nick Kindler, and a few others. Dill was also a good basketball player at Trinity, helping him with his footwork on the line.
Coming out of high school, the main question Dill faced was his pass blocking ability, as the Shamrocks rarely passed in the Wing T offense. Dill has put those concerns to rest with a very successful three years in the program. After redshirting his first year as a Terp, he played in all twelve games during his freshman year, starting eight at right tackle. He was named to Rivals’ Freshman All-ACC team, and tied with Phil Costa to grade out as the top offensive lineman in the Duke game.
Last season, he started in all 13 games, beginning the season at right tackle but moving over to left after Justin Gilbert was injured in the third game of the season. Dill now leads all active Maryland offensive players with 18 straight starts.
His brother, Patrick, is Trinity’s current quarterback and was named second team all-conference and all-area last year as well as honorable mention all-state.
More after the jump.
“Babyface”. R.J. is also acceptable.
Starting in 18 straight games.
Having to spend so much time at left tackle last year, an unfamiliar position for him.
Arbitrary Top Five List:
Recent football Alumni from Trinity, by Rivals ranking:
1. Ken Wilkins (Michigan)
2. Chris Crane (Boston College)
3. Andy Miller (Ohio State)
4. R.J. Dill (Maryland)
5. Nick Kindler (West Virginia)
Dill continues his consecutive games started streak through the year, earning All-ACC honors.
Injury or struggles in the pass blocking game.
R.J. Dill gives Maryland a whole ton of experience at right tackle. He has played in every game of his Maryland career, starting in 18 straight, and has performed very well in his time as a Terp. He has two remaining years of eligibility, setting up the table for Pete DeSouza, Max Garcia, or whoever wants to take his spot after he’s gone.
Luckily for Dill, he’s returning to his native right tackle slot. Unlike nearly every offensive line prospect ever, he did not play left tackle in high school. Instead, he was stationed on the right side, where Trinity ran a large chunk of their offense. Now, regardless of Justin Gilbert’s health, Dill will be staying at the right side, where he’s at his most comfortable. If Gilbert remains injured, Max Garcia will be on the opposite side of the line. If he’s healthy, the original starting duo of last season will return in full force.
The right side of the line is much more uncertain for Maryland than the left, and it’s not because of Dill. Next to him at right guard will either be Pete White or Josh Cary, and the winner of that battle will comprise the only starting offensive lineman on the Terps who was not a starter last season. Some of that pressure on the new starter can be relieved by his partner on the right side, Dill, and we’ll see if he can use his experience on that side of the line to help Maryland produce on the right side.
Our next player missed most of last season due to injury.