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More on DeSouza: What It Means and Maryland's Replacement Options

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Meet your new LT? via <a href="http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/high-school/norcross-football-2009/13.html">AJC</a>
Meet your new LT? via AJC

So, I'm guessing you've heard by now about Pete DeSouza. The redshirt freshman and starting RT for Maryland was injured in a traffic accident on campus late last night , breaking both of his legs. Unsurprisingly, he's done for the year. Of course, all thoughts and prayers are with Pete and his family, and everyone's hoping for a full, speedy recovery.

There's still the issue of what exactly Maryland will do in DeSouza's absence. It's worth noting that DeSouza wasn't even supposed to be the starter; that job fell to R.J. Dill, who had to move to LT for Justin Gilbert, who was doing a fine job before he tore his ACL. He's also done for the season, meaning Maryland's at Plan C now.

It's a crucial issue; Maryland's line has been inconsistent at best, and it's killed their offense. It was even worse last year, when the Terps had trouble doing anything with the ball because the line would consistently allow a sack or fail to get a push in the running game. DeSouza in particular was shaky at times this year, but it's a good bet that he's better than whoever will come in now.

BC has some pass-rushers, most notably Alex Albright, who has 3.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss on the year. If Albright goes up against a true freshman or even an inexperienced redshirt freshman, I fear for Danny O'Brien a little. Unfortunately, that might be just what he does.

There are a few options, mostly thanks to the flexibility provided by center Paul Pinegar, who has played at every position along the OL at some point or another. The most obvious, and potentially most likely, option would be to simply tap the next guy on the depth chart, namely Nick Klemm.

Klemm, as you may or may not know, was originally committed to Boston College before switching his commitment in all that controversy with Jeff Jagodzinski. He's a redshirt freshman (he was ranked a two-star, if you're into that kind of thing) and stands 6-5, 290. He was pushing Gilbert early on in the spring at LT, if I recall correctly, but was moved to RT and passed over by DeSouza at some point, which isn't a good sign.

Another option would be to burn a redshirt, which Maryland did so liberally last year. Actually, Max Garcia's is nearly a guarantee to get burnt; that was being discussed before the accident, so it's almost certain that it'll happen now. One option, as Eric Prisbell points out, would be moving LT R.J. Dill back to RT and letting Garcia make his debut. That scares me a little, mostly due to the importance of the LT spot - I never want to let a unheralded true freshman see his first time ever at left tackle, if it's avoidable - but it's worth keeping an eye on.

Pinegar could conceivably slide elsewhere, be it at LT or RT (in the former case, Dill moves back to the right side), and Bennett Fulper, who has experience as a center and was supposed to be "the center of the future", could move in behind him.

Friedgen's not tipping his hand here, nor should he. I'm not even sure he's made a decision. No matter which way it goes, we'll see yet another offensive line combo for Maryland.