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 converted defensive end.
Marcus Whitfield, Junior (RS), Linebacker, #41
Major: Letters and Sciences
Collegiate Stats: 11 tackles (five assisted), three and a half for a loss, two and a half sacks, one fumble forced, one pass broken up
High School Stats (Senior Year): 39 tackles, nine for a loss, six quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, 25 receptions for 372 yards and three touchdowns, four carries for 97 yards, 16 punts with a 28.5 yards per punt average
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals (#89 OLB), ESPN (#44 OLB), two stars by Scout (#63 SAM)
High School: Northwest
Hometown: Germantown, Md.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Born in St. Louis, Marcus Whitfield was a stud outside linebacker and tight end at Northwest who also got some carries and additional action at punter, and he had one huge advantage in high school – speed. When watching his highlight tape, he’s just faster than everyone else. Whitfield has pretty good top speed, but the most impressive part of the video is how quick he can accelerate to that level. He’s been clocked at 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, so that apparent speed wasn’t just the result of poor high school competition – the kid can fly.
Whitfield was recruited to Maryland by Dave Sollazzo, choosing the Terps over West Virginia, East Carolina, and Buffalo, among others. He was named first team All-County 4A in 2008.
After redshirting his first season, Whitfield was moved from outside linebacker to defensive end. That’s where he played (somewhat) two years ago, recording two tackles before blowing out his knee in the Morgan State game and missing the rest of the season.
Last year, Whitfield played in eight games at defensive end, including starting the last five at ROCK after David Mackall got hurt. He finished the year with 11 tackles, including three and a half for a loss and two and a half sacks. He's now been moved back to outside linebacker.
Marcus "Aurelius" Whitfield
Filling in well for Mackall, recording two and a half sacks.
Switching positions seemingly ever year.
Whitfield fills in well for Darin Drakeford off the bench at WILL, securing the starting position for next season.
Clarence Murphy beats him out for the second WILL spot, and Whitfield is doomed to the life of a career back-up.
Marcus Whitfield is currently second on Maryland's depth chart at WILL, behind starter Darin Drakeford and ahead of converted defensive end Clarence Murphy. As we talked about yesterday, Murphy is a promising prospect who could realistically beat out Whitfield to become the back-up to Drakeford, and you've got to figure whoever has that spot is that favorite to become the starter once Drake graduates.
Whitfield has moved back and forth between defensive end and linebacker throughout his Maryland career, but assuming Brian Stewart is in College Park for more than one season, it's unlikely we'll see Whitfield move again in his career. With the 3-4 set-up, Whitfield is a perfect fit for Stewart's WILL spot, and the Terps are pretty much set with defensive ends.
While Murphy has a chance of usurping Whitfield and taking over the job next season, I wouldn't count on it. Instead, expect Whitfield to have a good year this season - if he stays healthy. Maryland fans can hope he's finally found a position he can stick with, and knowing what we do about him, it certainly looks that way.
Our next player is another guy who has switched between the defensive line and linebacker multiple times throughout his Maryland career.