The running back position is one that has been extremely kind to the Maryland football team in recent years.
The Terrapins have rode Brandon Ross over the past four seasons and Ross had a ton of success. Ross finished his collegiate career with 2,543 yards, which is good for fourth on the Maryland all-time rushing list.
Even with Ross graduating, offensive coordinator Walt Bell still will have plenty of talent to work with.
Trey Edmunds – Senior
Ty Johnson – Sophomore
Wes Brown – Senior
Jake Funk – Freshman
Kenneth Goins Jr. (fullback) – Senior
With Ross out of the picture, it’ll likely be an open competition between Brown, Edmunds, and Johnson for the starting job.
Ross received the bulk of the carries last season, but Brown and Johnson did tote the rock at times. Brown totaled 317 yards on 71 carries before being suspended. Johnson did have a pair of games where he had 10 carries apiece, but his strongest performance was Maryland’s season finale in which he ripped of 40-plus yard touchdown runs against Rutgers.
Goins wasn’t used a whole lot in Randy Edsall‘s offense, but it’s unclear how D.J. Durkin and Bell will utilize the versatile fullback. He totaled just nine carries for 60 carries and a touchdown in 2015.
Bell certainly allowed all his backs to get their shot to impress in the annual Red-White Spring Game in April.
Johnson was by far the most dynamic as he rushed 167 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. The former Fort Hill (Md.) standout broke off a 64-yard touchdown run in which he took a draw out of the shotgun and scampered into the secondary. As was mentioned above, Johnson has the flair for the home run play as we saw briefly late last season.
Edmunds didn’t have eye-popping numbers as he gained just 26 yards on eight carries. The former Virginia Tech tailback didn’t announce his intentions to transfer until after the 2015 season, so he hasn’t had a whole lot of time to grasp Maryland’s new up-tempo offense.
Brown had seven carries for 37 yards and will be looking to shock everyone and take the starting job this summer. The former four-star recruit hasn’t really lived up to expectations and this will be the final go-round.
Finally, Funk received the most carries (15), but only finished with 46 yards back on April 16. It’s been discussed that Funk will contribute right away, but with three experienced and talented running backs also on the depth chart, playing time could be scarce.
Projected Depth Chart
1.) Trey Edmunds
2.) Ty Johnson
3.) Wes Brown
4.) Jake Funk
This may be the position on the roster with the most talent. With Edmunds coming to College Park, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that the former Hokie will start and carry the football quite a bit.
During Edmunds’ time in Blacksburg, he showed tremendous vision and the ability to compete against the highest level of competition. Edmunds is also the biggest of the Maryland backs at 6’2 and nearly 225 pounds.
With Edmunds being the bigger and more physical of the tailbacks, Johnson could act as the thunder to Edmunds’ lightning. Johnson has showcased his ability to run between the tackles and take it to the house on any given play. While it’s unclear if he can be a workhorse, he certainly can spell Edmunds and give the Terps another solid option at the position.
Brown could be the back that gets lost in the shuffle in a very crowded backfield. Obviously having three running backs with collegiate experience is never a bad problem to have.
However, Brown hasn’t been the top dog in the Maryland backfield since arriving in College Park. He’s going to have to have a strong summer to be in the conversation to fight for carries in the fall. If he does that, the Terps have another physical back in their rotation.