Kenny Powers once graced us with these words of wisdom and I think that they hold great merit when looking at the current Maryland Terrapins football team. Maryland has never had trouble finding quality skill position players: DHB, Vernon Davis, EJ Henderson, Josh Wilson, etc. But there has been a bit of a lack of talent, especially in recent years, on the offensive and defensive lines. Jared Gaither showed promise, but soon fell by the wayside as his grades plummeted. The offensive line was the main culprit of the team's overall woes last year.Luckily, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of some promising talent on both sides of the line. On the defensive line, former three star recruit A.J. Francis has entrenched himself as a starter along the defensive line. At 6'4'', 310 pounds, he is perfectly sized for an NFL defensive tackle. He has also dropped a good amount of weight this off-season and added muscle. He was a solid anchor to the line last year and he only looks to get better over time. If he continues to improve, his natural size and strength should intrigue some NFL scouts.
Joe Vellano has come out of nowhere to be a force on the defensive line. A two star recruit from New Jersey, I had pretty much no idea who he was prior to this year, but he has shown shades of dominance over the first few games of the season. He had 2 and a half sacks against Navy and was literally all over the field. He has a good blend of size and speed off the edge that causes problems for offensive tackles. I'm not sure if he has the athleticism to really succeed at the pro level, but he certainly has the potential to make a name for himself in College Park with 3 years of eligibility left.
Pete White is an absolute monster. This may be a case of me counting my eggs before they hatch, but I anticipate a very good career from White. At about 340 pounds he is very large for a guard, but even at that weight, the strength in his game comes from his athleticism and mobility. If he can get into the weight room and lose a little weight, he could be an absolutely mauling pulling guard. He is already attempting to crack the starting lineup with the lack of depth at the offensive line; he could become the anchor of the line if he can lose a little weight and add a little muscle.
There is hope for the trenches at Maryland. The offensive line has been rather sieve-like in the past few years but Friedgen and crew have done a good job of stocking that line with some talent. Now it is just time for them to develop that talent.