A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against William & Mary on September 1. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we continue moving through the special teams unit.
Michael Tart, Sophomore (RS), Punter/Kicker, #29
Collegiate Stats: 2/3 PAT's, three punts for 102 yards (34.0 average)
High School Stats: N/A
Recruiting Ratings: #1 punter in North Carolina by prokicker.com
High School: Mallard Creek
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
High School Highlights: N/A
How'd He Get to College Park?
Tart did a great job at Mallard Creek, and was one of the better kicker/punters on the combine circuit. He averaged over 40 net yards per punt as a junior in high school, and was also a good kicker for the Mavericks. He was named to the MECA 7 all-conference team after his junior year, and came to Maryland as a walk-on after being recruited by North Carolina and Duke. Tart entered last season as the presumptive favorite to start at punter, but Randy Edsall and Lyndon Johnson instead chose to have Nick Ferrara kick and punt. He played in the last game of the season, making two of three extra point attempts and punting three times for 102 yards.
Michael "Kick" Tart
Making two of his three extra point attempts last season.
Missing the second of his three attempts.
Tart starts at punter and on kickoffs, playing well enough to allow Nick Ferrara to focus on placekicking.
Tart doesn't play at all. He's surpassed by Nate Renfro, and sees his chances of consistent playing time as a Terp dwindle to next-to-nothing.
Tart entered spring as the starter at placekicker, thanks to an injury to Ferrara. It's incredibly unlikely that he holds on to that spot, as despite Ferrara's inconsistencies he's undoubtedly the best kicker on the team. The real question is whether Tart can win the starting spot at punter or on kickoffs. For those two spots, he's not just fighting against Ferrara - redshirt freshman Nate Renfro is a candidate here as well. Tart is the only one of the three who was a walk-on, and after his decidedly mediocre performance in his only appearance last year, it's not looking likely that he'll see any playing time this season (barring injury).
Our next player chose Maryland over a walk-on opportunity at Florida State.