This is the first time in a long time Maryland has had a normal, 4-3 style DE, something I think Mack Frost would've been perfect for if he hadn't, y'know, graduated. Instead, there's a position battle of sorts, involving some unproven freshmen and a junior who was unimpressive in his one shot.
The Contenders: Derek Drummond, Masengo Kabongo, DeOnte Arnett
Derek Drummond: A converted TE, Drummond is athletic and quick, meaning he's more of prototypical 4-3 DE. He was pushed into action late last year, and was, well, unimpressive, if not a major liability. By all accounts, he's been improving in the offseason and did well in the spring, which is obviously a good sign. At the same time, he has some great players behind him, and his below-average play last year could make them think twice.
Masengo Kabongo: A highly rated DT from Connecticut, Kabongo is actually a DE stuck in a DT's body. In other words, he's a perfect fit for the 3-4, which we just deimplemented. He's a great talent, though, and if you need proof of that, he had offers fom Florida and Notre Dame, too. He's strong, quick, and can be an offensive lineman's nightmare. In other words, it'll be tough to keep him off the field altogether, even if he doesn't start.
DeOnte Arnett: Arnett is one of the highest ranked recruits in recent memory for Maryland, and is probably a future star. He's big, strong, athletic, and a natural DE. If he's not a starter and All-ACC in four years, I'll be very surprised. That said, the only way I can envision him not redshirting is if he's extremely impressive in the fall or Kabongo and Drummond disappoint.
Prediction: I don't think Kabongo or Drummond will be poor enough for Arnett to play, and I actually think the duo will do quite well. Drummond, the more protoypical DE, will probably end up the starter, but that's not guaranteed for more than two or three games if he doesn't show up. Kabongo will still see the field a lot, and expect Arnett to redshirt.