Top 5 most important players for Maryland football

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Nov 1, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Maryland Terrapins linebacker Jesse Aniebonam (41) reacts to a sack on Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Jesse Aniebonam

Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, Cole Farrand, Darius Kilgo, and Monroe. Those are just some of the names that will be missing from Maryland’s front seven this fall. Yannick Ngakoue will move down to defensive end to put his hand in the dirt and rush the passer. However, Ngakoue has accumulated eight sacks during his first two years in College Park in limited duty. There’s little doubt that the former Friendship Collegiate Academy star will be the top force coming off the edge for the Terps in 2015.

Aside from Ngakoue, there’s a lot of inexperience in the defensive end group. That’s where Jesse Aniebonam comes in. Aniebonam is a highly touted defensive end (No. 8 SDE according to 247Sports) that could’ve went to just about any school he wanted. The former Good Counsel star had offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, and Ohio State in addition to the Terps. However, Aniebonam decided to stay close to home.

Much like Ngakoue, Aniebonam possesses great speed and athleticism off the edge. With quarterbacks like Connor Cook, Christian Hackenberg, and Braxton Miller/J.T. Barrett/Cardale Jones picking apart the Big Ten, Maryland will need to bring any pressure that they can on opposing signal callers. In a reserve role as a freshman, Aniebonam registered 14 tackles (solo) and half of a sack. With more consistent playing time and a traditional 4-3 scheme, Aniebonam should produce quite a bit for new defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski’s unit