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 former four-star defensive line prospect who entered spring ball as a starting offensive guard.
De'Onte Arnett, Junior (RS), Offensive Guard, #70
Major: American Studies
Collegiate Stats: Seven games (one start)
High School Stats (Senior Year): 59 tackles, 13 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries
Recruiting Ratings: Four stars by Rivals (#93 nationally, #2 in Maryland, #6 SDE), Scout (#22 DE), ESPN (#53 DE)
High School: Forestville Military Academy
Hometown: Capitol Heights, Md.
High School Highlights:
None that we could find.
How'd He Get to College Park?
In his second stint as a Maryland coach, James Franklin brought in nine four-star recruits – Pete White, Caleb Porzel, Devonte Campbell, Nate Clarke, Javarie Johnson, David Mackall, Titus Till, Adrian Coxson, and De’Onte Arnett. Five of them (Coxson, Till, Porzel, Mackall and Johnson) have already transferred. Four of them (Campbell, Clarke, White and Arnett) are in competition for a starting spot or serious playing time.
Arnett is closest to Clarke out of any of those career paths, with the position change, but even that's a tough comparison due to Clarke's youth. There are two main takeaways from this - don't read too much into recruiting rankings (of those four, only one should realistically start), and De'Onte Arnett has had one strange career path.
Arnett came out of high school as one of the top defensive linemen in the country, trailing only super-stud linebacker and current Florida Gator Jelani Jenkins among prospects in the state of Maryland. He chose Maryland over Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State, and Tennessee, among many others. He was all-state in 2008 and was named the most valuable lineman at the 2008 Crab Bowl.
In college, he hasn’t been able to find anywhere near the kind of success that was predicted for him. He redshirted his first year, and was named defensive scout player of the week three times (tops on the team). After that, there was still a lot of hope for Arnett’s future on Maryland’s D-Line that died out significantly once Arnett stopped, you know, being a member of Maryland’s D-Line.
After playing in one game on special teams in 2010, he moved over to the offensive line to help out with depth issues there, and played in only one game there. Last season was his first as a full-time offensive lineman, playing in five games at guard, including a start in the season finale against NC State.
There’s still promise for Arnett – he was listed as the starter at right guard going into spring practice – but this is not exactly the career path one would expect from a guy who was one of the top defensive end prospects in the nation and who Rivals has compared to former South Florida standout Jason Pierre-Paul.
De'Onte "G.O.B." Arnett
Starting against North Carolina State.
Really everything else about his career.
Arnett holds on to the starting job, finishing off his Maryland career with two years of quality production.
Pete White takes back the starting job, and Arnett continues as a reserve offensive guard.
This one could go either way. On the spring depth chart (a reminder, released in early March), Arnett is the starter at left guard, in front of walk-on Gary Harraka and redshirt freshman Stephen Grommer. Grommer has since moved to center, leaving Arnett, Harraka and Josh Cary as the only guards on the depth chart.
Luckily, there is some relief coming. Pete White was injured for spring practice, and should be a favorite to grab a starting spot come fall. Nick Brigham is a talented incoming freshman who should challenge for playing time.
Arnett's likely ultimate role on this team is as a third guard, subbing in for Cary or White at right or left. Randy Edsall won't want to play the walk-on Harraka too much, and ideally Brigham will be able to redshirt.
This situation makes the move of Grommer to center all the more puzzling. Excluding walk-ons and true freshmen (who, now that we think about it, will probably play), there are three guards on Maryland's roster. Awesome.
Our next player shares his last name with a federal judge appointed by Jimmy Carter.
Colli Park, bubbasparks.
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