The Maryland football team hasn’t targeted the tight end position very much in recent years.
In 2017, regardless of what quarterback is under center, that is going to need to change.
The Terrapins did about as minimal production from the tight end as a team can last season. Avery Edwards and Derrick Hayward combined to catch just five passes for 40 yards.
Hayward had four of those receptions and did haul in a touchdown against one touchdown.
Some of that can be attributed to the issues that Maryland had at quarterback in 2016. After all, Perry Hills was hurt quite frequently and Max Bortenschlager and Tyrrell Pigrome were true freshmen.
Neither threw the ball down the field a ton. It was a lot of safe throws to the likes of Levern Jacobs, D.J. Moore, and Teldrick Morgan.
However, the tight end, who is usually the security blanket for those underneath throws, didn’t see many targets at all.
Maryland hasn’t had a ton of star power at the position in recent years. The last productive tight end to come through the program was Matt Furstenburg, who caught 31 passes as a senior in 2012.
The Terps do possess a very talented tight end in Edwards.
Edwards came to Maryland after signing with North Carolina, but had an off-the-field incident and left the school. The highly-touted tight end ended up in College Park with a chance to make an impact fairly early.
As a freshman in 2015, the Raleigh native hauled in 14 receptions for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was the team’s leading tight end that season and one of the few bright spots in a lackluster start to the season for the Terps.
The highlight of Edwards’ freshman campaign was a two-touchdown performance against South Florida. Caleb Rowe found Edwards in the red zone on the first touchdown and down the seam on the second touchdown reception.
Edwards has a large frame at 6’4 and 240 pounds, which means he has the potential to be utilized in the red zone quite a bit.
It’s going to be very interesting to see if Edwards used more in 2017. Hayward is more of a blocking tight end and only has eight career receptions in three years.
If Maryland can find a way to get Edwards involved more, it could take a great deal of pressure off of whoever is under center.