Football season is right around the corner. In fact, in 31 days, the Terps will take on Delaware to kick off the season. That doesn't leave much time to sort out some of the most important characteristics of the team. That leads to very close, fierce position battles in the month or so leading up to the first game. Here's a quick look at the closest ones.
Favorite - Chris Turner Contender - Jordan Steffy Darkhorse - Josh Portis
Okay, maybe this isn't really a position battle anymore. Turner seems to have finallytaken over the top spot, and dear god it took long enough. Nothing against Jordan Steffy - the kid's a great Terp, he's never complained, and he's been through a lot - but he simply doesn't have the same talent/prescence Turner has throughout the game. If you need proof, simply watch the second half of the Wake Forest game, then watch the Rutgers game. As for Portis: the kid has all the talent in the world, but apparently has trouble grasping the offense. It really wouldn't shock me to see a dual-QB system next year. Turner's not exactly the fastest guy in the world. But this year, Portis has almost no chance of even playing.
Favorite - Da'Rel Scott Contender - Morgan Green
This one probably shouldn't be on the list, either. The "loser" of this battle will almost certainly play as much as the winner. This duo has more talent than the Ball/Lattimore combo, and will likely be used in a similar way. Scott has more experience, and is lightning quick. Green's running style is similar to Ball's. This'll be an entertaining duo, regardless of who "wins."
Favorite - Dan Bonato Contender - Rashad Henry Darkhorse - Gary Douglas/Davin Meggett
RB3 may not be as important as RB or QB, but it's a position battle none the less. Bonato is a scrawny NJ sophomore who wears #82 and looks like a kicker, and Henry is a senior who used to be a reserve wideout. Neither seem overly qualified, but both were impressive in the spring game and in spring practices. I give a slight edge to Bonato simply because the coaches might want him to get experience (at least whatever he could get as a third-stringer). I doubt Douglas or Meggett, the two freshmen running backs, will be anything other than redshirted, but you never really know.
Favorite - Phil Costa Contender - Jack Griffin
I'm slightly biased. I really like Phil Costa because I like it when siblings go to the same school. I think it's cool that Rick and Phil both chose Maryland, and it's kind of endearing, almost. Plus, he has some major experience after filling in for Andrew Crummey when he went down against Georgia Tech. And Griffin, a senior who used to play DL, will likely be expected to fill in a little at RT. It'll be a lot easier if he's not concentrating on two positions.
Favorite - Bemi Otulaja Contender - Dean Muhtadi
If you watch Terrapins Rising - another episode tonight! - as any good Terps fan should, you know some of the backstory behind this "battle". If not, here's a link to the Terrapins Rising #4. (It should open in WMP.) Anyway, I'd put my money on Bemi. He has a lower center of gravity, meaning more leverage. He also seems like a better pass rusher and slightly quicker than Muhtadi. Either way, they'll both play a lot.
Favorite - Antwine Perez Contender - Terrell Skinner
This is a very, very close battle. Perez is a former five-star safety who originally committed to USC. He transferred here after being recruited over. He's incredibly talented, but lacks experience. Skinner is a former WR who moved over to defense last year. He's also very talented, but below Perez. I'd bet Skinner's above Perez right now, mostly due to his slight experience advantage. I don't think Perez will lose out in the end, though.