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Phil Steele Puts Danny O'Brien on All-ACC Second Team, Other Terp Football Notes

On its own, nothing mentioned in those post may be ground-breaking or, really, worth a post. But combined? And considering we really need to move on from Andersongate? And we've all but ignored football in the past two weeks? Yeah, I'm good making this post.

First up, highly-respected college football connoisseur Phil Steele put out his preseason All-ACC team yesterday (PDF link). Kenny Tate was a first-teamer at safety, even though that's not his real position anymore, and Tony Logan took first-team at punt returner.

Other Terps included Joe Vellano and Demetrius Hartsfield on the 2nd team, A.J. Francis (even though he's not a guaranteed starter) on the 3rd team, and Davin Meggett and Cam Chism on the 4th team. Chism's presence was a little unexpected, but the most notable was something else: surprisingly, Danny O'Brien was passed over by FSU's E.J. Manuel for the first-team QB spot, and instead found himself relegated to second-team status.

I'm torn on this. Statistically, O'Brien is the best QB in the conference. He's more proven than Manuel. And he should, theoretically, be getting better. But although Manuel's only played in something like four or five full games, they've been against good teams (VT and South Carolina last year) and he's done well in those games. He's already played in an ACC championship and two bowl games; it's tough to say he's unproven, per se. He's also very obviously talented (former five-star, of course) and, unlike DOB, isn't losing his top wide receiver and switching to a new scheme.

That said, I take Danny, because, well, it's spring and I like to dream. But there are some issues to keep in mind when forecasting next year, the loss of Torrey Smith and the institution of Crowton's offense among them.*

*Actually, Crowton's offense might be a boost, but really it's an unknown right now. It could cut either way.

It's a topic that Heather Dinich hit on earlier in the week. Unlike Steele, she picked O'Brien over Manuel as the best QB in the conference right now.

Considering the turnover at the position, that's a tough question this year. We haven't seen enough of half of these guys, and let's say Russell Wilson isn't an option. I'd probably go with Danny O'Brien right now. ... I thought about EJ, and I think he'll have a great season, but the ACC's Rookie of the Year is only going to get better.

In football news, Randy Edsall did a Q&A session with, and it's worth a read, even though it doesn't introduce too much new or deal in specifics. Most important bit:

On offense, [the biggest question] would be who are the receivers going to be? We have a bunch of guys there but some of them weren't out there in the spring because of some academic situations. ... Defensively, who are going to be our guys up front and especially at defensive end, who is going to step up there and play at a consistent level? Linebackers - we're fine but we don't have a lot of depth. And who's going to be the starting corner with Cameron Chism and who are the back-ups at safety? On special teams, who are the punter and kicker are going to be?

He probably already has answers to some of these, but he's right. Defensive line is a huge concern, as is wide receiver. It'll be interesting to see who steps up there.

Equally vaguely, the Orlando Sentinel did a spring review of the Terps (h/t to umcp96 to getting this in the FanPosts). They don't really take a stance, but it's worth linking. They bring up the same questions about O'Brien building on his success, as well as praising the RB depth.

One last note that we probably should've mentioned earlier: Maryland cracked Andy Staples' post-spring Top 25, getting in at #24. FSU and Virginia Tech are the only ACC teams ahead of the Terrapins, checking in at #9 and #19 respectively. Staples had this to say about the Terps:

Ralph Friedgen's ouster at Maryland upset so many people because the Terrapins were on the upswing. Now it's up to Randy Edsall, who took Connecticut from I-AA to Big East champion, to continue the progress Friedgen made last season.

Yet again, ambiguity reigns. It's a bit of a theme, and with good reason. Maryland obviously has the pieces to compete at a high level, including the most important one: a star QB. But with an entirely new coaching staff, there are way too many questions here to give an adequate assessment of where they're headed. Oh well; I guess I'll settle for an ambiguous top 25 rankings.

Any other notes? This could be a football open-thread of sorts.