One of the things I love about college football is that players get to choose their own numbers, regardless of position. Are you a defensive end and want to be 83? You can do that. A WR that wants to be 41? That's cool. It allows for a lot of individuality and legacy potential. It should come as no surprise, then, that I love when numbers get unveiled in the spring.
The depth chart at the official Maryland site has all the players on it, and quite a few have new numbers. I'm not going to list them all, but a few are...interesting choices:
1 - Adrian Moten (formerly 54)
4 - Ronnie Tyler (formerly 24)
6 - Kenny Tate (formerly 12)
9 - Clay Belton (formerly 7)
9 - Demetrius Hartsfield (formerly 59)
10 - D.J. Adams (formerly 31)
12 - Kevin Dorsey (formerly 25)
14 - Devin Burns (freshman)
25 - Dexter McDougle (formerly 39)
27 - Avery Graham (formerly 37)
30 - Javarie Johnson (freshman)
59 - David Mackall (freshman)
69 - Zach Kerr (formerly 98)
95 - Justin Anderson (formerly 50)
First off, I love that Moten is rocking the 1 now. It'll be an adjustment, but the 1 (or 42) should just always go to the best linebacker. Maryland produces an absurd amount of LB talent, and it's time we started to sell that.
On the bad end, we lose perhaps the best nickname on the team: Cinquante Neuf. Demetrius Hartsfield wore 59 last year (Cinquante Neuf in French) and adopted that as his Twitter name. It was beautiful. Now what? Neuf? That just sounds terrible.
Other good moves: Justin Anderson (DTs should have numbers in the 90s), Javarie Johnson, Ronnie Tyler, Dexter McDougle, Avery Graham, Kevin Dorsey.
Other not so good moves: Zach Kerr (either immature or puzzling - 98 is an awesome number for a huge DT), David Mackall (way too fast to wear 59, unless he ends up at DE), DJ Adams (iffy, but I thought 31 fit him well), Clay Belton
Oh, there's some actual football stuff in there too, which I should probably mention, including position changes:
DeOnte Arnett is moving from DE to DT. That's good; Brown is really holding his "team speed" promise, as Maryland goes to a smaller, faster starting 11.
David Mackall is at SAM. My guess was that he'd start the year at DE, and he might move there, but he's fast enough to play LB. I get the feeling he'll just be an edge-rusher for the early part of his career anyway, but it's still interesting.
Javarie Johnson, too. Javarie's less surprising, but I did expect at least one of the ultra-fast guys to end up playing with their hand on the ground.
Dexter McDougle is in a dead heat with Trenton Hughes at #2 CB. McDougle's a baller. Hughes is pretty good, but I'm eager to see what McDougle can do out there.
Bennett Fulper is still at guard. That wasn't the plan this time last year - Paul Pinegar is currently the starting center. Yikes.
Caleb Porzel is at the bottom of the depth chart at RB. I don't know if the "seeding" matters too much, but that's a shocker - I expected him to challenge for carries. He's behind Morgan Green - I didn't even think Green was returning this year.
Travis Hawkins is at safety. Shame. I thought Hawkins could've thrived in the bump-n-run. Oh well.
You get the feeling that there's a lot of fluidity on the defensive side. A majority of these guys could play at multiple positions due to athletic ability, and that always makes for exciting ball. For once.