With Saturday's season opener against James Madison just days away, Maryland football released their two-deep depth chart Monday -- their first update of the depth chart since early August.
Only four true freshmen managed to make the list, all second-stringers: right tackle Derwin Gray, center Brendan Moore, punter Lee Shrader and long-snapper Nate Adams. Among the notably omitted are WILL linebacker Jesse Aniebonam (who has two experienced players in front of him), wide receiver Juwann Winfree (who has like 20) and Damian Prince (more on him later).
James Madison, of course, has two former Maryland players on their two-deep. They're both in the secondary, as well: safety Titus Till and cornerback Jeremiah Wilson.
Let's break down the units, one-by-one.
|C.J. Brown||Brandon Ross||Kenneth Goins, Jr.|
|Caleb Rowe||Albert Reid||Tyler Cierski|
No surprises here of any sort. Ross, Reid and Wes Brown had been battling for time at running back, but it sounded like there was some clear separation between the three nearing the end of camp. Expect Brown to still receive carries and push Reid for that spot (especially in garbage time against James Madison).
|Stefon Diggs||Deon Long||Levern Jacobs||Andrew Isaacs|
|Taivon Jacobs||Marcus Leak||Jacquille Veii||Derrick Hayward or P.J. Gallo|
Man oh man oh man this unit looks good. Levern Jacobs wins the third starting job, putting 2013's leading receiver alongside two of the best receivers in the conference in what is one of the best receiving units in the nation. Th two-deep is fierce, as well. Taivon Jacobs was step-for-step with his brother throughout camp (if not even better) and should be a tremendous weapon to bring in, while Leak showed what he could do two years ago. We haven't seen much of Veii at wide receiver, but he brought some explosive ability to the running back position.
|Michael Dunn||Silvano Altamirano||Sal Conaboy||Andrew Zeller||Ryan Doyle|
|Jake Wheeler||Mike Minter||Stephen Grommer or Brendan Moore||Stephen Grommer or Maurice Shelton||Derwin Gray|
This is the first legitimate surprise. The starting five is exactly what was expected, but Damian Prince was beat out by walk-on Mike Minter for the back-up left guard spot. In fact, two walk-ons (Minter and Shelton) are on the two deep at guard, with Prince nowhere to be found. He'll still likely play against James Madison and could push for that job in the future, but right now he doesn't even get an "or" mention.
|Quinton Jefferson||Keith Bowers or||Andre Monroe|
|Spencer Myers||Darius Kilgo||Roman Braglio|
There's a lot of talk about the receivers, but this unit might be just as deep. You've got five proven college contributors and Myers, a former wrestler who was one of the more impressive players in camp.
|Matt Robinson||Cole Farrand||L.A. Goree||Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil|
|Cavon Walker||Jermaine Carter, Jr.||Alex Twine||Yannick Ngakoue|
Speaking of units with depth, Maryland has four seniors starting and some talented players behind them. Twine officially makes the move to the inside after playing a lot there next year, and the inside linebacker situation looks considerably more able to handle the losses of Shawn Petty (transfer) and Abner Logan (suspension).
|Will Likely||Sean Davis||Anthony Nixon||Alvin Hill|
|Jeremiah Johnson||A.J. Hendy||Zach Dancel||Jarrett Ross|
No surprises here, either, except for those who expected Jeremiah Johnson to win a starting job by the start of the year.
|Brad Craddock||Nathan Renfro||Stefon Diggs||Will Likely||Christian Carpenter||Michael Tart|
|Adam Greene||Lee Shrader||Taivon Jacobs||Stefon Diggs||Nate Adams||Nathan Renfro|
The returner questions get answered! Diggs will be taking kick-offs (with Taivon Jacobs as support), while Will Likely will run back punts. That'll be a fun duo.