Maryland Terrapins In The NFL: Henderson Shines, Vellano Rising


Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson (50) celebrates his interception during the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns defeated the Vikings 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Campbell, Carolina Panthers, Terps ’07-’09:

Ole Bruce Bruce has had a rough stretch of an NFL career, and unfortunately there’s not much to report on him as he’s been on injured reserve since August 24th with a damaged left shoulder. Speedy recovery, Bruce.

Nolan Carroll, Miami Dolphins, Terps ’07-’09:

Nolan caught a pretty nice break in week one, as the Dolphins starting CB, Dimitri Patterson, went out with a groin injury. Since then, Carroll has started three straight games at cornerback and played pretty well; he has racked up 15 total tackles and an interception so far. Even after that 38-17 loss against the Saints on MNF, Carroll will still probably be starting next week.

Jon Condo, Oakland Raiders, Terps ’00-’03:

Not many people know this, but Jon Condo may be one of the best Maryland alumni in the NFL. The 31 year old long snapper earned Pro Bowl honors for the second time last season, his teammates voted him the winner of the club’s Commitment to Excellence Award, and signed a three-year contract extension in the offseason. Since then, he’s been doing just fine for himself this year.

Phil Costa, Dallas Cowboys, Terps ’05-’09:

Costa is doing alright on the depth chart for the Dallas Cowboys (2nd string), but he is firmly entrenched behind rookie first rounder Travis Frederick at the center position. That is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers, Terps ’03-’04:

Davis had been poised for a pretty big year with the Niners, but he has unfortunately been more than a little banged up this season. So far, he’s got 11 receptions for 136 yards. He’s been targeted 18 times, and has turned three of those into touchdowns. Hopefully Davis’ hamstring is fully healed and he can get back to dominating (although his chemistry with Kaepernick is so-so).

Kevin Dorsey, Green Bay Packers, Terps ’09–’12:

Dorsey hasn’t played a single snap of in-game professional football, as he’s been on injured reserve from the start and is currently awaiting an injury settlement.

Moise Fokou, Tennessee Titans, Terps ’06-’08:

Fokou has been fantastic for the Titans this season (his first with the team), and is finally starting to come into his own for a 3-1 team. Fokou has racked up 25 total tackles and a fumble recovery this year, and is currently tied for 68th in the NFL in that stat. Keep making noise, Moise.

Erin Henderson, Minnesota Vikings, Terps ’06-’07:

Henderson is having by far his best season in the NFL for the Vikings now that he is finally 100% healthy. So far, Erin has racked up 33 tackles (27 unassisted), two interceptions, and batted away two balls. He did ding up his heel, but appears to be completely healthy and still playing phenomenally for a Vikings team that just isn’t that good. As it stands, he’s tied for 15th in the NFL in total tackles and fourth in interceptions.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Indianapolis Colts, Terps ’06-’08:

Heyward-Bey has been just okay despite playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in a pass happy offense. So far, DHB has racked up 135 yards through four games, but doesn’t have any touchdowns. His best performance came against fellow Terp Vernon Davis in a 27-7 win over the Niners, where he had five receptions for 59 yards. The dropped ball issue is being minimized though, so that’s a start!

Shaun Hill, Detroit Lions, Terps ’00:

Shaun Hill is riding the pine behind the oft-injured Matt Stafford, so keep an eye out for him as he is QB2.

D’Qwell Jackson, Cleveland Browns, Terps ’04-’05:

One of the most prolific tacklers in Terps history has been doing just that in the NFL this season. Scratch that, he’s been phenomenal as usual for the Browns, picking up 37 tackles, a fumble recovery, and a forced fumble. He’s on pace for 148 tackles this year, and might have a Pro Bowl berth coming up if he continues this play.

Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers, Terps ’00-’04:

Novak has been pretty steady for the Chargers, and is currently 8-of-9 on field goals. He’s connected on five field goals in the 40-49 range, and is sitting pretty in the starting position.

Adam Podlesh, Chicago Bears, Terps ’04-’06:

Podlesh is the starting punter for the Chicago Bears, and is currently averaging 38.5 yards per punt. Podlesh isn’t really doing a lot spectacular (he’s 28th out of 33 in average yards per punt), but that’s kind of his job.

Da’Rel Scott, New York Giants, Terps ’07-’10:

My former college classmate is currently playing for arguably the worst team in the NFL right now, but he’s been forced into a small amount of action due to ineffectiveness in the run game. Scott has racked up 56 yards on 16 carries, but hasn’t done enough to warrant more action on despite David Wilson being terrible. There is a chance that he could eventually start to get more action though if things get worse.

Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens, Terps ’08-’10:

Smith, playing for the hometown Baltimore Ravens, is having his best season to date. Smith is coming off a monster performance against the Bills, where he caught 5 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. He has 435 yards on the year, and is on pace to score 1,740 yards. What’s even more impressive is his 20.7 yards per reception.

Randy Starks, Miami Dolphins, Terps ’01-’03:

Starks has been a pretty solid player for the Dolphins this season, racking up eight tackles and two sacks so far on the year. But against New Orleans, he failed to record a single statistic.

Joe Vellano, New England Patriots, Terps ’09-’12:

Vellano may have only racked up 10 tackles and a sack so far despite not starting, but all that may change in the near future with Vince Wilfork being out for the season. Vellano is going to be competing for the job, and could be on the fast track to having a great season should he win the starting position.

Josh Wilson, Washington Redskins, Terps ’04-’06:

Wilson has been relatively decent for the Redskins, but he is playing for one of the worst defensive units in the NFL. On the season, Wilson has 23 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble, but ideally the Redskins want him to do more.

Will Yeatman, Miami Dolphins, Terps Lax

Yeatman is second string on the Miami Dolphins at left tackle behind Jonathan Martin.

Other Terps of note:

  • AJ Francis was signed to the practice squad for the New England Patriots after previously working out with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason.
  • Darin Drakeford is on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad after nearly making their roster.