It's not been a pretty past few days for Maryland football. No commitments, a decommitment, and a confirmation of one of the programs very few bright young stars leaving the program. (As if Maryland fans needed more pain and struggle).
The most important negative event was Caleb Porzel's departure from the team, which was first reported by IMS. Porzel had the potential to be a game-changer, especially with D.J. Adams - the potential thunder to Porzel's lightning - to be the workhorse and carry the load.
Porzel's time at Maryland wasn't particularly glamorous; his redshirt was burnt on 30-something carries, a decision that was particularly controversial at the time. Looking back on it, it appears that it was better to get one year out of him than none; whether or not that's the rationale Ralph Friedgen used is unknown, but all's well that ends well, I suppose.
When Porzel did see the field last year, he always seemed on the brink of busting a big play. Multiple times he had nothing but green and one defender in front of him, but would unfortunately stumble or trip up. Sadly, I predicted a big run for him just about every single game; of course, it never happened.
Porzel's absence won't have a huge impact this year; as long as Da'Rel Scott is healthy, the speedy home-run threat role has been filled, and probably in a better way than Porzel could've done (yet). He's the fastest player on the team, but with Scott and Davin Meggett ahead of him, he would see little playing time.
The good news is that even in the future, a back like Porzel is more of a luxury than a necessity, considering it's likely he won't start. Adams is a prototypical workhorse back, and Porzel, at his greatest effectiveness, would be a change-of-pace. I'm a big proponent of using him in a Westbrook-ian fashion - as a WR, KR, whatever - but that's never happened and I'm not confident of it with Friedgen and Franklin in charge. Maryland can still have a perfectly functional, even great (as long as the offensive line turns out) offense without Porzel. Losing Adams would actually be the bigger blow, because Porzel would be significantly less effective having to bear the brunt of the load.
That said, it's painfully obvious that losing the most dangerous offensive threat on the team, definitely in the future and perhaps now, is not a good thing. It also leaves Maryland with one RB having entered the program in the past two years, with one more (Brandon Ross) this year. Ross, though, ran a 4.71 40, is a universal two-star, and won't replace the speed or breakaway ability of Porzel. Getting at least one more feature, dangerous back - like Darius Jennings or Dominique Terrell - will become a priority, whether it happens this year or the next.
Can you believe there's only 42 more days until football season? I know, I can wait too.