Today we profile a linebacker with a chance to make a last impression on the program in his senior year.
Marcus Whitfield, Senior (RS), Outside Linebacker, #41
Collegiate Stats: 20 tackles (six assisted), four and a half for a loss, three sacks, one fumble forced, three passes broken up
High School Stats: 39 tackles, nine for a loss, six quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, 25 receptions for 372 yards and three touchdowns, four carries for 97 yards, 16 punts with a 28.5 yards per punt average
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals (#89 OLB), ESPN (#44 OLB), two stars by Scout (#63 SAM)
High School: Northwest
Hometown: Germantown, Md.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Born in St. Louis, Marcus Whitfield was a stud outside linebacker and tight end at Northwest who also got some carries and additional action at punter, and he had one huge advantage in high school – speed. When watching his highlight tape, he’s just faster than everyone else. Whitfield has pretty good top speed, but the most impressive part of the video is how quick he can accelerate to that level. He’s been clocked at 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, so that apparent speed wasn’t just the result of poor high school competition – the kid can fly.
Whitfield was recruited to Maryland by Dave Sollazzo, choosing the Terps over West Virginia, East Carolina, and Buffalo, among others. He was named first team All-County 4A in 2008.
After redshirting his first season, Whitfield was moved from outside linebacker to defensive end. That’s where he played (somewhat) in 2011, recording two tackles before blowing out his knee in the Morgan State game and missing the rest of the season.
In 2012, Whitfield played in eight games at defensive end, including starting the last five at ROCK after David Mackall got hurt. He finished the year with 11 tackles, including three and a half for a loss and two and a half sacks. He's now been moved back to outside linebacker.
Last year was his first playing in all twelve games, and he recorded nine tackles with half a sack and two pass break-ups.
Filling in ably for Mackall two years ago.
Whitfield holds on to the starting job and puts together a productive senior year.
Whitfield is listed as the starter at WILL, with Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil and Clarence Murphy behind him, but as we talked about earlier, his biggest competition may come in the form of incoming freshman Yannick Ngakoue. If the senior can stay healthy, he should have the advantage over the youngster, at least to start, but Ngakoue is a once-in-a-decade kind of talent for the Terps and should look to contribute from the get-go.
As we talked about earlier, Whitfield struggled with injuries early on in his collegiate career - playing in just two games as a freshman and eight as a sophomore - before playing a full twelve last season (let's hope that trend continues with 13 this year). He's got a nice amount of speed for the WILL position, one built mostly on strength (and he's certainly not short on that), and if he stays healthy could be a nice round-out to Maryland's experienced linebacking corps.
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