The Maryland football program held their annual Red-White Spring Game on Saturday.
Quarterback Caleb Henderson was held out due to an ankle injury, so not a whole lot was learned about the position. However, the wide receiver picture became a little bit clearer in the scrimmage.
The position certainly was going to look a lot different. Levern Jacobs and Teldrick Morgan are both gone and junior D.J. Moore is the only consistent producer that remains.
On Saturday, Moore only recorded one catch for two yards. However, it was a very nifty one-handed touchdown reception in the back of the end zone from Tyrrell Pigrome.
The main question throughout the offseason is always going to be what kind of depth Maryland has behind Moore.
There are six freshmen wideouts that were part of coach D.J. Durkin’s 2017 recruiting class. However, none of them will be on campus until the summer rolls around.
Jacquille Veii is back after playing one year at Towson. Veii transferred back to Maryland and sat out the 2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Veii figures to be a big part of the offense due to his versatility. However, the former Avalon School (Md.) standout didn’t record any offensive statistics on Saturday.
Taivon Jacobs and DJ Turner certainly did manage to stand out.
Turner led all Maryland wideouts with six receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. Jacobs added five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Jacobs has always been a player that has possessed a ton of potential. However, injuries have dominated a majority of Jacobs’ four years in College Park.
On Saturday, Jacobs donned the gold jersey just like the quarterbacks. That way, defensive players wouldn’t make the mistake of roughing him up.
Jacobs appeared to excel in a variety of ways against the defense this past weekend.
He was able to work between the hash marks quite a bit.
For example, early in the game, Pigrome faked a handoff to running back Jake Funk before rifling a beautiful throw to Jacobs at the 36-yard line. Jacobs was able to catch the ball in stride and took it up to the 29-yard line before ducking out of bounds.
Jacobs is a receiver that relies on his speed to get him where he needs to be. That oftentimes means down the field, which is how he got into the end zone.
On his touchdown reception, Pigrome took the ball out of the shotgun formation, looked to his left, and fired a missile to Jacobs in the back of the end zone. Jacobs was able to get a foot down in front of safety Qwuantrezz Knight.
On the other hand, Turner was just as impressive as Jacobs on Saturday.
Turner missed a good portion of the 2016 season due to suspension. He only recorded two catches for 19 yards when he did see the field.
Much like Jacobs, Turner is a player with a boatload of athleticism and is as quick as they come. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how Turner’s abilities are utilized in offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s high-octane offense.
Turner was lined up in the backfield in addition to out at wide receiver during Saturday’s game.
On nearly every play where he had the ball in his hands, his speed was clearly a factor. Towards the end of the contest, Turner made arguably his most spectacular play of the afternoon.
Quarterback Max Bortenschlager took the snap out of the shotgun and released a quick pass on a slant pattern to Turner. Turner caught the ball just shy of midfielder, turned on the afterburners, and was knocked out of bounds around the five-yard line.
Turner caught the ball in stride and his acceleration was tremendous on this effort. Until the end of the play, no defender really had a chance of bringing him down or even slowing his progress.
His touchdown was certainly an impressive play as he got separation from the secondary and made it a much easier throw for Bortenschlager. However, this catch-and-run is a highlight reel play that Maryland fans usually see from Moore.
While it was only a glorified scrimmage, Jacobs and Turner look to be in midseason form already. Whether it’s Henderson, Pigrome, or Bortenschlager under center, there appears to be several wideouts that they can sling the football to.