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 do our first profile on a Terrapin coach.
Andre Powell, Running Backs Coach, Special Teams Coordinator
Date of Birth: 09/29/1966
When he joined Maryland: 2011
Alma Mater: Indiana '89
Hometown: Lockhart, S.C.
How'd He Get to College Park?
Andre Powell was a fullback in his playing days, spending two years at D-II Lees-McRae before transferring to Indiana in 1986. The Hoosiers played in two bowl games during his time there, and during his senior season he was the lead blocker for Anthony Thompson, who ran for over 1,000 yards.
After three years as a Student Assistant and Graduate Assistant at Indiana and South Carolina, Powell coached inside linebackers at Army for a year before going to VMI to coach running backs. After a season there, he spent two years as the running backs coach at Rhode Island and one year as the running backs coach for Army.
After that, Powell got his first long term job. From 1996-2000, he was an assistant coach with Virginia, coaching running backs for two years and receivers for three. He was then hired by North Carolina as a running backs coach, where he remained through 2006, and he was then hired by Clemson, who had him as a running backs coach and special teams coordinator until the Terps snagged him away.
He has coached a number of pro players, including Tiki Barber, Thomas Jones, Willie Parker (although that hardly counts, as he didn’t really ever play at North Carolina), C.J. Spiller, and James Davis.
In his first season with the Terps, he helped them average nearly 170 yards per game on the ground, good for third in the conference and 42nd in the country. While lead rusher Davin Meggett (171 carries, 896 yards, four touchdowns) didn't get drafted, he did sign a free agent contract with the Houston Texans. Now Powell has a group of largely inexperienced, but very talented, running backs to work with. And after a dreadful performance by Maryland's special teams last year, he takes over that unit.
Andre "1000" Powell - We would really, really like a 1,000 yard rusher, and it beats out "Boom Boom" Powell.
That deadly combo of Spiller and Davis.
Throughout his pro career, Willie Parker listed his high school as his school during pre-game introductions.
Somebody in the group of Justus Pickett, Brandon Ross, Wes Brown and Albert Reid breaks out, giving Maryland a consistent ground game threat. The special teams unit also recovers to pre-2011 efficiency.
Special teams is as bad as last year. None of the running backs are any good. Mayans prove to be correct.
Lyndon Johnson's one and only year as special teams coordinator at Maryland was a dreadful one. The Terps ranked 98th in the country in kick returns, 99th in punt returns, 102nd in Special Teams F/+, and 102nd in Special Teams Efficiency. That was with Tony Logan, one of the most explosive punt returners in the country, who has sinced graduated, and with long-snapper extraordinaire Tim Downs.Now Powell takes over, with uncertainty abound - in addition to those two losses, punter/kicker Nick Ferrara is recovering from an injury. Maryland doesn't have a kick returner or punt returner listed on their spring depth charts, and their possible choices are anyone's guess - Dexter McDougle? Jeremiah Johnson? Justus Pickett? Even Stefon Diggs?
No matter who Powell and co. put back to receive kicks, it's hard to imagine they'll do any worse than Maryland's special teams last year. The only hope is that they can do better, not stay at the same level.
In terms of running backs, that's also uncertain. Justus Pickett is listed as the starter right now (and for my money is the favorite), but Brandon Ross is right behind him and there are two talented freshmen in Wes Brown and Albert Reid coming in looking for carries. How Maryland juggles those talents will say a lot about how this season turns out.
Our next two players are a pair of transfers.