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 walk-on who is entering his third year as a starter.
Andrew Gonnella, Senior (RS), Offensive Guard
Ratings: Unranked by Rivals; unranked by Scout; unranked by ESPN; #67 offensive guard in 2012 draft by NFL Draft Scout
40-yard dash time: 5.3
High School Stats (Senior Year): N/A
High School: Monroe-Woodberry High School (Monroe, N.Y.)
How’d He Get To College Park?
Remember that absolutely nothing we knew about Josh Cary? At least he had profiles on the recruiting agencies. We know next to nothing about Andrew Gonnella’s career before he came to Maryland, but it’s a great story nonetheless.
In terms of high school, we know Gonnella played in two state title games, winning the 2005 NYS Class AA championship as a junior. After his senior season, he was named second-team section-nine, and graduated with a GPA over 4.0. Gonnella’s uncle is former Maryland consensus All-America offensive tackle J.D. Maarleveld.
After redshirting his first year on campus, he played in only one game as a freshman, but was a key member of the squad team. He then was a surprise starter in 2009 as a sophomore, playing in eleven games and starting eight at right guard. Before the season, the former walk-on earned a scholarship:
"“At the end of spring practice, he’d won the job and I told him that, going into the fall if everything was the same, I’d put him on scholarship,” coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I know Gonnella’s family was struggling, so I kind of wanted to let them know so they could make plans. Andrew responded that no one was going to take his job away.”"
Since that point, no one has been able to take his job away. Last year, he was the only Maryland offensive lineman to start every game at the same position, posting up at left guard for all 13 games.
More after the jump.
Andrew “Rudy” Gonnella
Earning his scholarship.
Only playing in one game in his freshman season.
Arbitrary Top Five List:
Last five Maryland consensus All-Americans:
1. E.J. Henderson
2. J.D. Maarleveld
3. Dale Castro
4. Joe Campbell
5. Randy White
Gonnella stays healthy the whole year, leading a strong Maryland O-Line and being named first-team all-conference.
Gonnella gets hurt, forcing De’Onte Arnett or Pete White to sub in for him.
Andrew Gonnella is the only starting senior on Maryland’s offensive line. He also has the most experience of any of their linemen (by far) and is arguably the most talented. After Kenny Tate, Gonnella is the most likely Terp to be draft next fall.
Gonnella and Danny O’Brien have the safest jobs on Maryland’s offense – there is not a chance that anyone will challenge their starting spot without injury. He’s had a storybook career for the Terps, and will hopefully cap that off with an all-conference senior campaign.
On the depth chart, Gonnella is backed up by De’Onte Arnett and Nate Clarke. His immediate backup, however, is probably Pete White, who is listed over at right guard but will probably sub in for both Gonnella and Josh Cary when necessary.
Gonnella is a great offensive guard and a great story. Appreciate him while you can, folks.
The subject of our next profile is one of only two assistant coaches retained by Randy Edsall from the previous staff.