A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against William & Mary on September 1. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we profile Maryland's top cornerback.
Dexter McDougle, Junior (RS), Cornerback, #25
Major: Criminal Justice
Collegiate Stats: 66 tackles (23 assisted), two and a half for a loss, one fumble forced, one fumble recovered for a touchdown, nine pass break ups, three interceptions, five kickoff returns for 71 yards
High School Stats (Senior Year): 97 tackles, six interceptions, 48 receptions for 885 yards and 11 touchdowns, 76 carries for 457 yards and nine touchdowns, three returns (two kickoff, one punt) for touchdowns
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals (#76 ATH), Scout (#63 S), ESPN (#28 ATH)
High School: Stafford
Hometown: Falmouth, Va.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Alright, so the most impressive senior high school campaign for any Terp secondary player goes to Dexter McDougle in a landslide. I mean, those stats...that's just incredible. McDougle was teammates with Torrey Smith for two years in high school, and was the definition of a late bloomer in the recruiting process. He broke two of his knuckles in a freak injury during practice as a junior, missing a good portion of the year and entering his senior campaign as a relatively unknown prospect. Halfway through his incredible senior season, McDougle's coach sent out a hastily made highlight tape to some major schools, and Maryland, South Carolina and Virginia Tech responded with scholarship offers.
McDougle redshirted his first season, although he almost played - he was on the travel squad for every road trip for the year. As a redshirt freshman, he played in eleven games as a reserve corner, before breaking his collarbone in a scooter accident, finishing the season with 22 tackles, including six against Navy.
Last season, McDougle actually started all twelve games at cornerback. Cameron Chism and Trenton Hughes were thought of as the two starting corners for the Terps last year, but McDougle was the only one to start every game at the position (Chism started nine, Hughes started three). He led the team with six pass breakups and tied for the lead with three interceptions, and was an Academic All-ACC selection.
The fumble recovered for a touchdown against NC State.
Breaking his collarbone.
McDougle expands on his playmaking abilities from last year, causing at least six turnovers.
McDougle doesn't get rid of the lapses that haunted him at times last season, giving up some big plays.
Dexter McDougle's job as the number one cornerback for Maryland is pretty safe - there's a competition for one of the starting corner jobs, but it's not for his. He's shown loads of potential in his time at Maryland, and is a prototypical playmaker at the corner spot.
Where he's run into problems is on the deep ball - he's normally pretty solid in coverage but there were times last year where McDougle got beat deep. He did play as a freshman, but last year was by far the most time he spent on the field, so it's probable that those were growing pains that will be gone this season.
Looking at his high school tape and his production level everywhere he's played, it's not hard to believe Dexter McDougle has the tools necessary to be the anchor this secondary desperately needs. He's proven himself as a playmaker, now it's time to see if he can be a shut-down corner as well.
And yes, he is another likely option at the return spots - actually, one of the more likely ones. McDougle has returned kicks with Maryland before (with not much success, unfortunately), but my money's on him, Justus Pickett or Jeremiah Johnson.
Our next player was second on the team and sixth in the ACC in tackles.