About an hour ago, Randy Edsall tweeted Maryland's spring depth chart, as we approach the football team's first practice of the year (Saturday). It doesn't have any incoming freshman (Stefon Diggs/Mike Madaras) or injured players (Kenny Tate/Kevin Dorsey), but it's still worth a look.
Let's take a look at it, position-by-position, starting on offense.
- C.J. Brown - JR
- Ricky Schultz - SR
We all knew Brown was going to be the guy, but Schultz is a wild card here. Troy Jones is no longer listed on Maryland's roster, and Devin Burns moved over to wide receiver last year, so until Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe come to campus this fall it's just the senior transfer behind Brown.
There's an old Scout profile of Schultz up, and we're pretty certain this is the guy. He's from Ellicot City and went to Mt. Hebron (class of '08). He was recruited by Connecticut, Duke, Maryland, Purdue and Rutgers, and apparently ended up at Shepherd University, but there's no record of him playing there.
As we mentioned earlier, though, it really won't matter - one of the incoming freshmen (probably Rowe) will likely be Brown's back-up this year. It's an unfortunate situation because it means a redshirt is probably going to be burnt, but one that's hard to avoid.
This is another position that will definitely change once the freshman class comes in, as Wes Brown and Albert Reid will certainly change for both of those first two spots. With Davin Meggett graduating and D.J. Adams transferring, Pickett was a lock for this spot as the only returning player with collegiate experience. Ross redshirted last year and will have to fight off the two four-star true freshmen for any playing time, while Ofori is a walk-on who likely will not see the field.
- Tyler Cierski - SO
- Jeff Hernandez - SR
Another entirely predictable outcome - Cierski is one of the best fullback prospects of the past two years, and Hernandez is their only other current option. True freshman Kenneth Goins will likely play here as well, but he'll probably redshirt, barring an injury to Cierski.
Wide Receiver 1:
- Kerry Boykins - SR
- Levern Jacobs - FR
- James Bowman - JR
Kevin Dorsey is injured, so Boykins is listed as the top receiver headed into the spring. Jacobs is a three-star recruit from the Milford Academy who enrolled early, and Bowman is a walk-on. Nothing to see here.
Wide Receiver 2:
This is a little more interesting. Leak played as a true freshman last year and played fairly well, with 12 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, but King was a much more hyped prospect coming out of high school. Both are from North Carolina, but King was unable to play last year due to a NCAA clearinghouse issue. Don't be surprised if the starting three are Dorsey, King and Diggs by the end of the year.
Wide Receiver 3:
- Devin Burns - SO
- Regis Whittington - JR
Burns, the converted quarterback, gets a bit of a surprise starting nod here, as King might have been the more natural selection. We don't know much about Whittington, but he's a 5'11", 190 pound junior from Garnet Valley High School in Pennsylvania, and it's safe to assume he's a walk-on.
Furst Down is back for one last season, and is the easy choice here. Campbell isn't a surprise at number two, but Schlothauer over Stinebaugh? It's not a game-changing decision, but a surprise nonetheless.
It is very unlikely that this is the left tackle duo come fall. Justin Gilbert is hurt, and he's almost guaranteed the spot when he comes back help. That's not to say Gilbert can stay healthy - he hasn't for either of the past two years - so expect to see a lot of Klemm protecting C.J. Brown's blindside.
Arnett is a former four-star defensive lineman who has found new life on the other side of the trenches, and he may yet start at left guard this year. Pete White is hurt but should be back in time for the season, and there will almost assuredly be a battle between the two for the job.
A legitimate, significant surprise! Fulper was the starter at center last year and has been one of the most consistent Maryland linemen over the past three seasons, but Conaboy has apparently taken over (at least temporarily) as the starting center. If this holds true, expect Fulper to be the primary backup not only here, but at both guard positions as well.
Cary was the starter at right guard last season, so this isn't a surprise. Clarke is an immensely talented guard with a lot of size, so he could easily challenge for the spot during the spring.
As unlikely as it is for Klemm to start at left tackle, it's even less likely Doyle starts at right tackle. Mike Madaras is coming in strong this fall, and will look to be taking this spot. If he doesn't, Klemm may move over here when Gilbert heals up.
Defensive End 1:
This shouldn't be a surprise, either - with the switch over to Brian Stewart's 3-4, it was rumored that the smaller, quicker Vellano would move over to end. One of the best defensive tackles in the country over the past two years, he'll still be playing an inside game, just from a slightly more outside position. Backing him up are two pure defensive ends in Ross and Jefferson and a hybrid end/tackle in Anderson. All four players at this position are immensely talented, and there could be a lot of movement between the 2-4 spots.
This is the best news we ever could have received. After a fantastic first two seasons, blog-favorite Francis struggled to find consistent playing time last season under Edsall. With the new 3-4, it was thought he would be the perfect fit for the nose tackle spot, but there were rumors of Kilgo taking the starting slot.
Defensive End 2:
Bowers was a starter for a good chunk of his true freshman season, yet it's still a surprise to see him here. He had a good year, but it wasn't better than Monroe's year, who was playing defensive tackle. Don't be surprised if Monroe or any of the three backups at the other end position take this starting spot by fall.
Twine started on the outside for much of his true freshman season, as well, and played very well, so this was a fairly predictable choice. Foreman redshirted last season, and Cudjoe-Virgil is a transfer from Towson.
Another significant surprise! Farrand had some playing time last year, but mostly on special teams, while Goree had a breakout year of sorts as a redshirt freshman playing both inside and outside. This will be a battle to look at in the spring. Dutton is a walk-on from Northwest.
The anchor of this linebacking crew, Hartsfield has had a great three years at Maryland and will finish it off as one of the starters in the middle. Johnson has been quietly explosive off the bench over the past few years, and can play inside or outside. Nothing to see here.
Drakeford turned from a fantastic bench player into a solid starter last year until an injury derailed his season. Whitfield has suffered from his own injury problems throughout his career, and Murphy is a converted defensive end.
- Jeremiah Johnson - SO
- Avery Graham - JR
- Anthony Perry - JR
With Cameron Chism and Trenton Hughes gone, the Terps are really suffering at cornerback. Think about it - Jeremiah Johnson is starting at cornerback, and that's not a surprise. Graham has been a great special teams player in his career, but hasn't been able to transfer that to defensive play yet, and Perry is a transfer.
Robinson was hurt last season and got a medical redshirt, but he's a very talented strong safety. Hendy was a great prospect coming out of high school, and should see time at corner as well.
- Eric Franklin - SR
- Undray Clark - FR
Franklin started at free safety last season and got a handful of picks, but the hope is that Kenny Tate returns here when he gets back from his injury.
- Dexter McDougle - JR
- Isaac Goins - JR
McDougle was largely hit-or-miss last year - he made a lot of big plays and forced a lot of turnovers, but allowed a lot of long touchdowns as well. Goins is a transfer from a community college, and shouldn't be a threat to the job.
- Michael Tart - SO
- Nathan Renfro - FR
Notice something? No Nick Ferrara at either of those spots. No word on whether he's hurt, but you got to assume he is.
- Greg Parcher - JR
Tim Downs had been Maryland's long snapper for seemingly a decade, but now it's Parcher's turn.
Thoughts on the changes? Anything that stood out to you?