2015 Maryland Football: cornerbacks preview


Over the next few weeks, TerrapinStationMD will previewing each position on the Maryland football team. We continue with the cornerbacks:


Will Likely – Will Likely headlines a secondary that could be one of the better units in the Big Ten this season. This is one of the top players in the conference regardless of position. Likely is a shutdown cornerback that led the Big Ten in interceptions (6) and finished tied for ninth in Division I. Likely came to College Park as a three-star recurit, who chose the Terps over schools like LSU, Miami, and Wake Forest. If not for his size, the Belle Glade, Fla. native would’ve likely received offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, and Florida State.

When Likely is on the field, it’s really astonishing what he is able to accomplish despite not being the biggest defensive back out there. He just reads the ball so well out of the opposing quarterback’s hands and makes great breaks on the ball. It also doesn’t hurt that Likely has great speed and is incredibly versatile. Likely isn’t afraid to make his way towards the line of scrimmage and make a key sack or tackle when the situation arises. It also doesn’t hurt that he is a weapon in the return game, which is evident in his two touchdown returns in 2014.

Likely is one of the most important players for the Terps in 2015. Since breaking into the starting lineup as a freshman, he hasn’t looked back and has been the leader of the Maryland secondary. Teams will be more aware of Likely’s talent after his stellar sophomore campaign, but the Florida native will still make a huge impact on many games this season.

Sean Davis – A position change is sometimes a difficult task for an athlete, but safety-turned-cornerback Sean Davis has made it look easy. Due to injuries at the cornerback position in 2014, Davis ended up sliding down to play cornerback against Penn State (recording a team-high 11 tackles) and stayed there for the duration of the season. Regardless of whether Davis was lined up at safety or corner, the Washington D.C. native remained fundamentally sound as he recorded 115 tackles (80 solo), which was second on the team to linebacker Cole Farrand’s 118. It’s hard to believe that Davis was a three-star recruit with only four total offers.

Davis is a hard guy to miss when he is on the football field. The former Maret School star flies around and is an incredibly sound tackler. He isn’t afraid to lay the big hit on an opposing ball-carrier. Even though Davis spent his first 2.5 years in College Park as a safety, he is still great in pass coverage, especially one-on-one with opposing wide receivers. He’s used to playing up in the box near the line of scrimmage, so playing aggressive isn’t an issue for Davis.

Much like Likely, Davis is going to help solidify a very important position for the Terps. With wideouts like Leonte Carroo (Rutgers), DaeSean Hamilton (Penn State), and Michael Thomas (Ohio State) all on Maryland’s schedule in 2015, having proven corners like Likely and Davis will be essential to how successful defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski’s unit can be as a whole. Davis is a ball-hawk much like Likely and will be a key cog for the Terps in 2015.

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Jarrett Ross – Junior Jarrett Ross may be running Brandon Ross’ younger brother, but he’ll be expected to play valuable snaps in 2015. Ross came to Maryland as a three-star cornerback and saw minimal playing time as a freshman in 2013. In 2014, Ross registered 10 tackles (nine solo) and had his best game against Indiana when he tallied three tackles and defended three passes. Ross will most likely be the fourth or fifth cornerback unless the injury bug hits Maryland.

Alvin Hill – With Davis still manning the safety spot entering last season, senior Alvin Hill beat out Jeremiah Johnson for the starting cornerback spot across from Likely. Hill was having a strong season early on before suffering a torn PCL against Syracuse in just the fourth game of the 2014 season. Before that, Hill registered 13 tackles (eight solo), four passes defended, and even had an interception against South Florida. His best game came against Syracuse when the Georgia native recorded four tackles. Hill is expected to be the team’s nickel cornerback and be the first cornerback off the bench for coach Randy Edsall. Hill will also bring leadership to the secondary with Davis and Likely also being upper classmen.

Daniel Ezeagwu – The injury bug seemed to be contagious throughout the Maryland secondary. Daniel Ezeagwu suffered a season-ending knee injury just four games into the 2014 season, much like Hill. With Hill out for the majority of the season, Ezeagwu likely would’ve seen a lot of playing time. The former three-star cornerback spurned Virginia to come to Maryland, where he’ll definitely see the field as the fourth or fifth corner and a contributor on special teams. Ezeagwu has tremendous size at 6’0/207 lb. and has a lot of potential down the road.

Antwaine Carter – Antwaine Carter was another defensive back that came to College Park in the 2014 recruiting class. The former Westlake (Md.) star only appeared in the Iowa game, but definitely seems to have stepped up his game heading into his second year with the Terps. Carter had a great performance in the Red-White spring game as he intercepted a pass thrown by quarterback Perry Hills and also blocked a field goal. The Maryland native looked more aggressive and as though he really has a grasp on the defensive playbook. Carter may not see the field a ton (aside from special teams), but this two-star recruit may end up being a steal for the program.

Next: Maryland Football Countdown: No. 73, J.D. Marrleveld