Bill Bride - Section 19
Maryland defensive end Isaiah Ross, who would have been a fifth-year senior in 2013, has been suspended from the football team for one year because he violated university policy, the school announced late Friday afternoon. He will remain enrolled at Maryland.
In addition, offensive lineman Pete White is leaving the team for personal reasons but will remain in school. White also would have been a fifth-year senior in 2013.
White, once a four-star and highly regarded as the future of Maryland's line, rarely saw the field, and while he'd fit in a mauling line, the more technical, athletic profile the Terrapins were crafting didn't fit him. He was heading into his last year in the program regardless, and was unlikely to be anywhere above the second- or maybe even third-string on the depth chart. With Silvano Altamirano likely slotting in at guard immediately, there shouldn't be too big of an issue with depth.
Ross is more painful. It's somewhat unclear here, but if he's a fifth-year senior (and he is), it'd seem like his eligibility is expired here then. That's not a great way to go out, especially because he stood a great shot at starting next year at one of the vacated defensive end spots, or standing up and playing WILL. His versatility, experience, and ability to move around was really attractive, and he'd have been an asset to a rebuilding defense.
There's plenty of options on the line still, thankfully; Justin Anderson will likely man one end spot, and Keith Bowers and Andre Monroe will almost certainly man the other, with the third serving as quality depth. Throw in Quinton Jefferson and Roman Braglio, and there should be enough depth to get away without needing to burn a redshirt of either Malik Jones or Chandler Burkett, neither of which is truly ready. But Ross' size - he was 270 - will be missed, especially with few players able to fill in that traditionally bigger weakside end spot.
One thing this does unquestionably do, though, is reduce the experience of what was already a very young team. There are only a handful of scholarship seniors - 14 by my last count - and that's down to 12 now. They're not younger than they were last year, but they're not much more experienced, either, and that might cost them in a few games.
After losing crucial contributors both of the last two years, let's just hope this is all there is in the way of big spring defections.