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 a player who was a surprise contributor last year at outside linebacker.
Alex Twine, Sophomore, Linebacker, #35
Collegiate Stats: 44 tackles (21 assisted), four and a half for a loss, one sack, six passes defended, one fumble recovery
High School Stats (Senior Year): 52 tackles (18 for a loss), four forced fumbles and three interceptions
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by ESPN (#56 OLB), two stars by Rivals, two stars by Scout (#130 OLB), two stars by 24/7
High School: Quince Orchard
Hometown: Gaithersburg, Md.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Alex Twine was a major playmaker in high school, getting in to the backfield and forcing turnovers and negative plays, and he has quickly transferred that to the collegiate level, coming off an extremely successful true freshman campaign. He was one of many sleepers coming into the Terrapin program last year, mostly rated as a two-star prospect, but was the third recent Quince Orchard prospect to come to College Park, following Travis Hawkins and Zachariah Kerr, who have since moved on to other opportunities.
Twine was a consensus all-state selection and was named first team All-Met after his senior year. He was offered by a host of FCS schools, including Delaware, James Madison, and UMass (now in the FBS), and Maryland was his only major offer. He also played basketball in high school.
Twine made the most of his opportunity when injuries opened up a spot on the outside at linebacker, and he put together a season worthy of a freshman All-America nod. After coming off the bench in the first five games of the year, an injury to Demetrius Hartsfield catapulted Twine into a starting position, and he started four of the last seven games of the season. He missed the Wake Forest game due to injury.
Unfortunately, perhaps the biggest news concerning Twine came on his 18th birthday this past December, when the linebacker was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order after allegedly "ranting and punching cars at a shopping center near campus". Sounds like his 18th birthday was a hell of a lot more interesting than mine.
Alex "Twine Time" Twine
Being named a freshman All-American after last season.
The aforementioned arrest.
Twine surprisingly wins out the battle at SAM over Kenny Tate, causing the Maryland coaches to move Tate back to the secondary and world peace to ensue.
Tate wins the SAM battle, and Twine is relegated to bench duty.
Alex Twine certainly looks ready for a starting linebacker spot. He came out of almost nowhere to be an effective force in Maryland's front seven last season, ranking in the top ten in tackles and improving steadily as the season went along.
He's currently listed on top of the depth chart at SAM, in front of Lukas Foreman and Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil, but Foreman is suspended and Kujo has to sit out a year. The players behind Twine at SAM will likely be true freshmen Stefan Houston and Avery Thompson, but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Twine is honestly unlikely to be the starter at SAM come fall. Much to our chagrine, the coaches have been insistent in keeping Kenny Tate at linebacker, despite his all-world status as a safety and his (generously) mediocre performance in the front seven last season.
Instead, expect Twine to spell Tate on the outside, especially if Tate is moved back in special formations (fingers crossed). He'll put himself in a nice position to lock down the starting spot for the next two years, giving Maryland an answer at SAM.
Our next player became one of Maryland's best defensive starters last year after two years of great bench play.