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 profile an incoming safety transfer.
Zach Dancel, Sophomore, Safety
Collegiate Stats: 32 tackles (15 assisted), one interception, one pass breakup
High School Stats (Senior Year): 1,338 yards passing, eight touchdowns, 98 carries for 438 yards and ten touchdowns
Recruiting Ratings: Two stars by Rivals, Scout, 24/7, one star by ESPN (#43 in Maryland, #160 QB)
High School: Good Counsel
Hometown: Ellicott City, Md.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Dancel was a star quarterback at local powerhouse Good Counsel, leading the Falcons to back-to-back conference championships in his last two seasons. After his senior year, he was named second team all-state and honorable mention All-Met by the Post, and was the starting quarterback in both the Crab Bowl and the Chesapeake Bowl. He committed to Mike Locksley's New Mexico over offers from Buffalo, Illinois, Stony Brook and Towson.
Dancel played safety at New Mexico - the same position he will likely play at Maryland. He played in the last nine games of the season last year, starting eight, and ranked tenth on the Lobos in tackles.
Dancel will have to sit out this year due to NCAA transfer rules, but his "commitment" of sorts was big news for two non-Zach related reasons - his dad, Bernie, is a big time "football philanthropist", and Wes Brown, who at the time was a Maryland target and has since committed to the Terps, lives with the Dancel family.
Zach "Hold Me Closer Tiny" Dancel
His lone interception of the season, which came against Nevada.
The whole 1-11 thing.
N/A, he's redshirting.
2012 2013 Prospectus:
Zach Dancel is a guaranteed redshirt this season, so let's look at the future. At safety right now, Matt Robinson is a sophomore, Eric Franklin is a senior, and Undray Clark is a freshman. Coming in are Joe Riddle and Anthony Nixon as true freshmen. So next season, the probable starters are either Robinson and Clark or Robinson and Dancel. Personally, I think the former option is the most likely, with Dancel serving as the primary backup at safety, but there's enough uncertainty around the future of the position that we could reasonably see the former Falcon quarterback as a starting safety in College Park at some point.
New Mexico's program under Mike Locksley was bad - like, historically bad. But there's something to be said about a true freshman who changed positions and was able to start eight games at the FBS level, no matter where he was doing it. Dancel will have three years of eligibility left in College Park, and he certainly has a role in the future of the Terps' secondary.
The subject of our next profile is from the same town as Troy Aikman and the Brothers Giambi.