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 Maryland's walk-on running backs.
Jeff Hernandez, Senior, Fullback, #39; Kwabena Ofori, Senior, Tailback, #46
Heights: 5'10"; 5'9"
Weights: 235; 190
Majors: Family Science; Criminal Justice
Twitters: @JeffHernandez39; None that we could find
Collegiate Stats: N/A
High School Stats (Senior Years): Couldn't find any; 60 tackles, 13 sacks, four forced fumbles
Recruiting Ratings: N/A
High Schools: Kennedy; Kennedy
Hometowns: Silver Spring, Md.; Silver Spring, Md.
High School Highlights:
How'd They Get to College Park?
Yes, both of these guys went to Kennedy, a local "rival" of sorts of my high school (Blair, but both of us are terrible and care more about an even closer rival - Einstein and Northwood, respectively, so I regret even calling this a rivalry but I don't want to press backspace so let's continue), along with senior safety Clarence Claiborne.
Hernandez and Claiborne both went from Kennedy to Bowie State and transferred to Maryland, while Ofori enrolled at Maryland and waited a year before walking on to the team.
Jeff Hernandez was a two-sport star in high school, earning honorable mention all-state honors in football two years in a row and putting together a 73-9 varsity record on the wrestling team. He then spent two years at Bowie State as a defensive tackle, putting together ten tackles in seventeen games.
After transferring to Maryland, Hernandez has spent two seasons on the scout team as a reserve fullback, and was named scout team offensive player of the week once last year.
Ofori was primarily a defensive back and outside linebacker in high school, but played nearly every defensive position and some offensive ones at Kennedy. When Hernandez and Claiborne transferred, he joined them on the team as walk-ons, and has bounced between the secondary and the backfield. He has also spent his entire career on the practice squad.
Claiborne, Ofori and Hernandez are all a part of the "Kennedy Krew". Maybe one of these two will get to play this year (Claiborne did last season).
Making the team.
Not making the field.
Garbage time against William & Mary.
Another year spent on the practice squad.
It would be nice to say that Kwabena Ofori and Jeff Hernandez, two walk-ons hoping to find a glimpse of playing time nearing the end of their collegiate careers, stand a decent chance of playing this year. That would also be incorrect.
Let's start with Hernandez, who has a better chance of the two. He's the backup at fullback, behind Tyler Cierski and in front of Kenneth Goins. Problem is, Goins has a bright future with this program and Cierski is firmly cemented as the starter for the next three years. It's hard to imagine Mike Locksley using a fullback enough for Cierski to need a rest, and if the starter is hurt to the point where he's missing significant time, Maryland will probably burn Goins' redshirt and send him out there.
For Ofori, it's a little more difficult. Sure, he's currently third on the depth chart at tailback, and the Terps used a bunch last year, but there are three talented freshmen behind him, two of whom are almost guaranteed playing time (four-star recruits Wes Brown and Albert Reid). One of them (or both) might even sneak up into those top two spots, putting Justus Pickett and Brandon Ross, the current one-two punch, slightly lower down and burying Ofori in the process.
If Maryland plays well against William & Mary and dominates the game like they should, Ofori and Hernandez should play. It's their best shot, and one they've earned for sticking around for so long. Here's hoping it happens.
Our next player shares his name with a former Australian Senator who served in World War II.
fballplyr92 gets his second.