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Profiles In Terpage - A Countdown to the Football Season: Zach Dancel

The series continues with a reserve safety.

Next up is a former local quarterback who came to Maryland by way of New Mexico.

Zach Dancel, Sophomore (RS), Safety, #22



Height: 6'0"

Weight: 195

Twitter: @WhiteBoy_Awesom

Collegiate Stats: 32 tackles (17 solo), one interception, one pass breakup

High School Stats: 1,338 yards passing, eight touchdowns, 98 carries for 438 yards and ten touchdowns

Recruiting Ratings: Two stars by Rivals, Scout, 24/7, one star by ESPN (#43 in Maryland, #160 QB)

High School: Good Counsel

Hometown: Ellicott City, Md.

High School Highlights:

How'd He Get to College Park?

Dancel was a star quarterback at local powerhouse Good Counsel, leading the Falcons to back-to-back conference championships in his last two seasons. After his senior year, he was named second team all-state and honorable mention All-Met by the Post, and was a starting quarterback in both the Crab Bowl and the Chesapeake Bowl. He committed to Mike Locksley's New Mexico over offers from Buffalo, Illinois, Stony Brook and Towson.

Dancel played safety at New Mexico, playing in the last nine games of the season. He started in eight, and ranked tenth on the Lobos in tackles. He sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules, and his transfer was likely a factor in the commitment of Wes Brown to Maryland.


"Hold Me Closer Tiny" Dancel

Career Highlight:

Intercepting a pass against Nevada while with New Mexico.

Dream Season:

Dancel wins the starting job over Anthony Nixon.

2013 Prospectus:

Dancel entered the pre-spring depth chart second at free safety, behind presumptive starter Anthony Nixon. Nixon started a few games last year, with mixed results, and that's his main advantage over Dancel. That being said, it's not fair to say Nixon is more experienced than Dancel - two years ago, Dancel started his fair share of games at New Mexico, and has now had a year in the program at Maryland to adjust.

While this isn't listed on the depth chart as a position battle (while the other safety position is), this is actually one of the more intriguing "battles" per se on the squad. You've got Nixon, a returning starter of sorts (just under half of last year's games), who has the experience with Maryland, and Dancel, another returning starter of sorts (albeit with a different team and two years removed). Nixon's probably the more talented of the two (but it's not that large of a gap), but both have the football smarts from playing on both sides of the ball.

This spot could go either way, but my guess? Dancel plays well as a back-up, but the coaches have shown an affinity for Nixon and keep him as the starter (despite fan's calls for the reverse). It's a pretty specific guess, but I'm feeling lucky.

Up Next:

Our next player shares a last name (but no relation) to a Maryland running back.

Maryland1206 gets number two.


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