Testudo Times Roundtable
Week of 11/30
Q: Let's get the big one out of the way. Maryland is hiring Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin as its head football coach. What do you think of the hire?
Thomas: It's ambitious. Durkin is young and accomplished, and has the potential to quickly become a fantastic head coach. But he's a blank slate, and we don't know. Maryland wasn't about to lock down a surefire superstar for this position. I think the next best thing is a guy like Durkin: an unproven commodity with tremendous upside.
Carson: From everything I've heard, I think he will be a good coach for Maryland. Getting a guy like Richt would have been awesome but I don't know how realistic that was. Just because Maryland was "planning" to meet with him doesn't mean he was ever a plausible option. When people from Michigan and Florida, two schools with storied football programs, are saying how much they like Durkin, I think Maryland should be fortunate to land him. Now let's see if he can get the right coaches around him to help him be successful.
Brian B: Initial reactions from people who know the sport of football much more than I ever will seem positive. It may not be the offensive minded "splash" of a hire some Terps fans were hopeful for, but the potential for success under Durkin is there.
Todd: When I first heard the news, I wondered if I was dead or alive because it had me spinning right ‘round, baby right ‘round like a record. Even as I slowly returned to equilibrium I thought someone might be Durkin my chain and wondered what a pickle Kevin Anderson had gotten himself into. Okay, I'll stop.
Some of the things I've heard about Durkin lead me to believe he could well be the right fit for Maryland. He's supposed to be a very high energy guy and I think we'll get a sense of that fairly quickly. As I wrote in a comment in another post, someone like Steve Aird walked into the situation with Maryland volleyball and knew he had a daunting task in front of him. But he had a vision and a plan and while we've seen incremental progress on the court, he's built the level of excitement around the program to a truly unprecedented level. Durkin's challenge might not be as steep but if he comes in with a vision and a plan and we see some immediate improvement on the field, followed by regular success people (including me) will be very happy with this hire.
Justin: It might not have been the splash fans were looking for, but I think this is a solid hire. Durkin's track record has been great everywhere he has been, and, as a young guy, he should bring a lot of energy to the program. I don't think fans should expect a quick turn around next year, since it will take a few recruiting classes for him to bring in the guys he wants in his system.
Noah: I really like the hire for a couple of reasons. One, he has a proven track record as a great defensive coach and recruiter. Two, he has learned from some of the best in the business in Meyer and Harbaugh. I do think that Durkin was a steal because he was a very underrated coaching candidate. I think Kevin Anderson and President Loh shouldn't have painted themselves into a corner early on by both saying they were looking for an offensive-minded coach. That set them up for disappointment from fans who were looking for a splashy hire. Make no mistake, Durkin has the potential to be a great head football coach for Maryland. Very nice hire.
Q: No. 2 Maryland lost at No. 9 UNC on Tuesday night in the Big 10/ACC Challenge. What were your overall thoughts on the game?
Todd: The team looked nervous at the start (see 13 first-half turnovers). This surprised me given the experience they have. They fought back with the sort of effort you'd expect from a good team. Overall, I'm not too disturbed or distressed by the game. It's early and this game should be good preparation for some of the strength Maryland will face in conference play.
FlaTerp: It kinda was what it was: A competitive loss on the road against an elite team and certainly nothing to panic about. On the upside, the backcourt is awesome and there's a lot of offensive talent all around. On the downside, the team can not figure out how to come out of the gate and play really good basketball. The defense is pretty bad right now too. There's too much talent, too many good basketball players to have the team defense be this cruddy. Coach ‘em up better.
Brian B: With Paige back in the line-up, the Terps were essentially battling with the preseason No.1 on their home court. While a victory would have been the obviously preferred result, a loss is not anything to be particularly concerned about. The Heels played lights out, and Maryland would have had to played damn near perfect to get out of there with a win. Their 22 turnovers did them in. Additionally, Jake Layman needs to find his stride.
Carson: Maryland turned the ball over 20+ times and lost by eight points in Chapel Hill against the preseason number one ranked team in the country. You can't turn the ball over that many times and expect to win any game, ever. So the fact that they had a chance at all speaks to many things, most of them good. In my opinion, that was Melo's coming out game. Obviously he's had great games before, and yes he contributed his healthy share of turnovers, but for that stretch in the second half when him and Paige were going back and forth, he was playing with this "I'm not going to let my team lose/you are not going to best me" attitude. That was a blast to watch him step up and take over when his team needed it.
Andrew K.: It was Maryland's first game against a rival top-5 team, on the road, with the Tar Heels getting their best player back. It seemed at first that the Terps were either outmatched or extremely nervous. When Maryland was able to cut the halftime deficit to six, and then pull even in the second half, I thought the team showed a lot of fortitude. Unfortunately, it looked like the Terps ran out of gas late. This is the first game where not having Wiley really hurt.
Jake S: UNC's a damn good team when Marcus Paige is on the floor, and that showed Tuesday night. Maryland has struggled early in games all season, and then has found ways to get it done in the second half. Unfortunately, this was not Rider or even Georgetown. Their second half heroics were matched and they could not make up for the ridiculous amount of turnovers they had. Also, the biggest thing to me was that UNC had an answer for every single Maryland punch. There wasn't a moment in the game where I thought Maryland was stealing the momentum and could potentially run away with it. They led for what seemed like less than a minute in the second half because Carolina always had an answer.
Thomas: This game sort of confirmed all my suspicions about the team. The Terps are incredibly talented and can hang with any team in the country, even a UNC team pouring shots in from everywhere on the floor. Melo Trimble can get absolutely scorching hot, even on a big stage. Even after a rough first half, Maryland clawed all the way back. But it was clear as the game wound down that they lacked the cohesion UNC did. They couldn't get an easy basket (or a good bounce) down the stretch. Jake Layman is still struggling as a small forward (I don't think enough people are bringing this up). Diamond Stone is still raw. It was tough to watch them lose to UNC, especially since that was my top school until not getting in, but the Terps will be fine.
Drew: The beginning was reminiscent of the Georgetown game earlier this season. Maryland came out and turned the ball over early, got themselves in a hole and subsequently had to fight from behind all game. That being said, "damn good" like Jake said is a great way to describe UNC this year. Marcus Paige came out as if he had been playing all year and that matchup between him and Melo was a treat between two of the top point guards in the country. Sulaimon also proved, once again, to be the vocal leader for this team and is capable of making the big shot. They fought tooth and nail to get back into the game whenever it appeared they were out of it. The only aspect that troubled me was Jake Layman. As a senior, NBA prospect and potential Wooden Award finalist, you just can't have the type of game that he did when the lights were the brightest. He was a non-factor with no impact on the game. For this team to take the next step, one of the most crucial factors is Jake Layman improving his play.
Bartley: It was a great college basketball game. Turnovers was an obvious issue that I know will be addressed. Maryland will most likely be moved down in the rankings, but that is ok as it might take off some of the pressure that may account for the nervousness of the team.
Justin: Like Thomas said, even though the Terps didn't come out on top, I think the Terps proved they have enough talent to hang with any team in the country. I was also really impressed at how they battled back after an incredibly sloppy first 15 minutes. It's concerning that they keep starting out slow, but they've proved that they have the leadership to fight back. Melo Trimble was on fire and hung Nate Britt out to dry while easily playing his best game of the season. They ran up against a great opponent in North Carolina and a fired up Marcus Paige, which is a tough combination to beat. I thought the defense could have been better, but the Tar Heels were also on fire last night.
Noah: Thomas, believe me, UNC may have won this game but we here at UMD and Testudo Times are the real winners because they let you get away. A lot of great points there. This was a really fun college basketball game to watch. Trimble and Paige were both going at it in the second half, each trying to top the other. Maryland needs to fix a bunch of things. They need to turn the ball over less, attack the basket more and defend better in the post. UNC was knocking down threes at an ungodly rate. Combined with the turnovers and free throw differential, Maryland should consider themselves fortunate that they didn't lose by more. The Terps have a lot of talent, and it does speak volumes that they were competitive in a road game where UNC played really well and Maryland didn't.
Q: What were two things that you think Maryland did very well against UNC?
Todd: Shoot three pointers and shoot free throws (though they didn't get to the line enough).
FlaTerp: 1) They showed a lot of fight in a hostile environment against a great team even when there were many times they were on the brink of falling out of the game. 2) Melo Trimble is awesome.
Brian B: The distributed the ball well, they shot well, the rebounded reasonably well considering the competition. That's three things...darn.
Carson: I agree wholeheartedly with FlaTerp. They fought. If I'm being honest, when they went down 11 in the first half, I had a bad feeling in my stomach that this game was going to get out of hand. But they fought and were resilient and that's not easy to do, especially in that atmosphere. They definitely also shot the basketball well which is always good to see.
Andrew K.: Hitting treys. The Terps shot deep early and often, and it's what kept them in the game. Second, forcing turnovers. UNC committed 15 of them, and while not as egregious as the number committed by Maryland, it allowed Maryland to make several runs in the second half.
Jake S: I'm with Todd on both.
Thomas: FlaTerp and Carson nailed it. This team fights. After all the turnovers and questionable calls, they were able to draw even against UNC in the Dean Dome. Not a lot of teams have that in them. Also, lost in their own turnover struggles was their ability to force them. UNC won't give the ball away 15 times all too often.
Drew: Like everyone said, they shot the three ball with precision and fought every time UNC looked like they would pull away. Going into the season and even after these earlier games against weak competition, it was not a given that they would have the kind of toughness that it takes to win come tournament time. Last night, they proved that they do.
Justin: Like a lot of people have already said, this team is incredibly resilient. Most teams would fold when digging that big a hole in the first half in the Dean Dome, but Maryland had the will to fight back. They also were incredibly hot from deep, and the only reason they shot under 50 percent from beyond the arc was the forced shots late.
Noah: Resiliency was a big one for me. The Terps were down double digits but didn't crumble. They came back and tied the game. The second one for me was Melo Trimble. This was one of the best games of his career. If only he hadn't turned the ball over so many times.
Q: What are two things that Maryland did poorly against the Tar Heels and need to improve on going forward this season?
Todd: Defend. Protect the ball.
FlaTerp: 1) They didn't play good defense. 2) Also, they didn't play good defense at all.
Brian B: Dare I say that UNC shooting nearly 70% from behind the arc is inherently ‘unlucky' for the Terps, but it also speaks to their lack of perimeter defense, but man even Steph Curry misses every once in awhile. Their interior defense also was lacking. To expand on what Todd said...they need to not turn the ball over 22 freaking times.
Carson: It's hard to pick just two. They cannot turn the ball over like they did, and even like they have at times in the past. They also need to learn to defend the perimeter much better. Yes, UNC will probably not shoot the ball like they did more often than not. But if I watch a Maryland defender go under a screen, allowing the opposing ball-handler to bury an open three one more time, I'm going to lose my mind. Like I said after the Georgetown game, this team is going to take years away from my life.
Andrew K.: Defense. UNC is a very talented team, a better interior defense could have changed the game's outcome. Second, Layman's disappearing act. He's an important piece of the puzzle and he needs to up his game. Too many missed open shots, and on defense he has to move quicker or else opposing players will just be a blur to him.
Jake S: To me, Maryland did a brutal job running the offense at certain points. Yes there were plenty of points scored and Melo had a tremendous game, but there were also a handful of possessions where they tried to isolate big men in the post against a taller UNC line up. I said from the beginning that wasn't going to work and they continued to try and force the ball inside for 1 v 1 post moves. It got to the point where I much rather would've had Melo or Rasheed chuck up a three because the odds of it going in were more in their favor. Then there were the turnovers. They tried to play at UNC's pace early in the game and that just wasn't going to work. Boy did it cost them.
Thomas: Aside from the turnovers and defense, the Terps went stone cold at the end. Nobody could get a shot to fall; the dagger was Trimble missing a layup that would have cut the Tar Heel lead to 87-83 with about a minute left.
Drew: Defense, but more specifically defensive rotations. UNC was able to use pick and rolls to capitalize on some very poor rotations from Maryland. Second, was Melo Trimble's 8 turnovers. Yes, he was a machine on offense but he had trouble handling the pressure that Marcus Paige and the other guards put on him early which was a prime reason they fell in an early hole.
Bartley: Turnovers and execution when they did force turnovers on the Tar Heels.
Justin: Turnovers killed Maryland in the first half. They just looked lackadaisical on offense, and didn't make strong enough passes. Their defense was also subpar, and even though UNC had a good shooting night they had a lot of wide open looks.
Noah: Turnovers is definitely one of them. The second one for me is probably defense. I didn't like what I saw from Maryland's transition defense. I thought that Maryland could have played better perimeter defense and I think that their post defense still leaves a lot to be desired.
Q: Melo Trimble's performance was ________.
Todd: Three turnovers too many to be incredible. If he goes 23 and 12 with five or fewer turnovers, Maryland probably wins the game.
FlaTerp: Yeah, he's just terrific. We need to enjoy the hell out of that guy for as long as we've' got him, because you don't get ‘em like that that often.
Brian B: Electrifying. (We'll just ignore the whole eight turnovers thing and watch a few more vines to ease the pain)
Carson: Eye opening. Not necessarily for us as Maryland fans, but for the rest of the country. Yes, he has garnered plenty of buzz preseason but most of the talk leading up to the game was about Marcus Paige. I think the rest of the country was put on watch about just how special he is. He also may have killed Nate Britt with that crossover.
Andrew K.: Reminiscent of Vasquez in how he almost willed his team to a victory.
Jake S: Ridiculous. When he settled in, every possession he handled was successful. The man is ridiculous and can flat out ball.
Thomas: Extreme. Both ways. He showcased his range as a shooter and craft as a ball-handler. But eight turnovers is a lot, even against Marcus Paige.
Drew: Chef Curry-esque. RIP Nate Britt.
Justin: I'm gonna have to go with Drew and say Curry-esque. He was on fire from down town.
Noah: The best we've seen in a long time. Maryland basketball's twitter feed said his double-double in points and assists was the first Maryland points/assists double-double since Eric Hayes in an overtime win against Virginia Tech in February 2010 (Greivis Vasquez had 41 points in that game).
Q: Back to football! Maryland football went out not with a whimper, but with a bang against Rutgers in their season finale. The Terrapins came back from down 21 points to beat the Scarlet Knights. What were your overall thoughts on the game?
Todd: It was nice payback for what Rutgers did to Maryland last season. With that said, the Terps struggled to beat a team that's simply not very good and that shows how far their performance had fallen. The team looked to have played harder and more enthusiastically in the final six games so I was happy that they got at least one win for Mike Locksley.
FlaTerp: Maryland won! No matter how dismal the circumstances, I love me some Terp football and conference wins are great. I like Locksley a lot and was thrilled to see the guys show some real fight and then get a chance to celebrate with him. It was a bad football game in a good way -- with lots of big plays and long TDs.
Brian B: I am not sure beating Rutgers can be considered as going out with a "bang", but I suppose winning is better than losing in almost all circumstances (unless you're the Sixers). Overall, I did not watch a whole lot of this game, so I would have to think Rutgers thought they were playing basketball and only sent five men on the field for defense. That is the only fathomable way Maryland football could amass 656 yards of total offense in 23 minutes of possession right?
Carson: The way this season has gone, that was nothing short of awesome. A win to end a brutal season is certainly better than a loss to Rutgers to make a brutal season even worse, so I will certainly rejoice about that.
Andrew K.: It was an entertaining game pitting two, how shall I put this, less than stellar football teams. Maryland had nothing tangible to play for, was without the services of Will Likely, yet somehow managed an incredible comeback in Piscataway. Rowe finally played like we all wanted him to do this year, not making silly mistakes or turning the ball over. Granted it was against one of the nation's worst pass defenses but I'll take it.
Jake S: Good way for the season to end and for the seniors to go out. Losing to Rutgers would've felt a lot worse than we may think, so I'm glad they were able to come out on top.
Thomas: It's the first time I ever felt compelled to sing the UMD fight song alone on my couch. And it felt damn good. To see a team that's been either bad or unlucky all year be neither for the last 30 minutes was special.
Drew: This was a nice way to end the season, mostly because it has been so long since Maryland won that I forgot what it felt like.
Bartley: It was great seeing them come away with this win. It has to be a great feeling for the team to win the way they did and never give up. I was impressed.
Justin: After what the team has been through this season, it was great to see them end the year with a win. Still doesn't seem right that THIS Maryland offense gained 656 yards, or that Caleb Rowe went a whole game without throwing an interception.
Noah: Where did this offense come from? Brandon Ross had his second straight three-touchdown game and Rowe was running for first downs like it was part of some kind of game plan. Maryland was down 21 early and they clawed their way back. It was a nice way to end the season and somewhat poetic considering what Rutgers did to Maryland last season.
Q: Who was your MVP of the game?
Todd: I was on a plane from Atlanta and only skimmed the replay but I'll give a slight edge to Caleb Rowe over Brandon Ross. Rowe wasn't great with his accuracy but had his decision making been at that level all season, the Terps might be looking at an additional win or two. On the other hand, the opponent was Rutgers.
FlaTerp: Ok, then I'll gladly take Ross. I've always liked him - really solid back who I'm not going to be surprised to see in the NFL next year.
Brian B: Caleb Rowe is the fun choice, but Brandon Ross is the right one.
Carson: Ross. What a way to go out. Good for him. Hopefully he continues his career by playing on Sunday's, but if not, it's good to see him end his career on an individual high-note.
Andrew K.: I'll say the whole O-line. Ross, Johnson, and Goins were all able to rip off big runs and Rowe didn't get sacked once. In fact, it seemed that Rowe wasn't under much duress compared to what Maryland had to endure in previous games.
Jake S: Ross for all the reasons stated above.
Thomas: Brandon Ross.
Drew: Yeah, Brandon Ross.
Justin: Brandon Ross.
Noah: Good call Andrew. The offensive linemen were the real MVP's of this game. Rowe and Ross both were able to have great games because of the blocking and protection that the line provided.
Q: Brandon Ross finished his career in fourth place on Maryland's career rushing list. Who does that tell you more about, Ross or all of Maryland's running backs?
Todd: I'm really not sure how to answer this question. Ross has been a productive runner almost from the start of his career. Had he not had a propensity to fumble, he might have finished with more carries and further up the list. So I guess that points to Ross.
FlaTerp: We aren't exactly a RB factory, I guess. Lamont Jordan was good. So was Da'Rel Scott. Are those two of the top 3? I guess it tells you more about Maryland's running backs, although Ross accounted for himself well in a very dysfunctional era of Maryland football with bad teams, bad coaching and really bad quarterback play.
Brian B: Before I read this very question, if you'd have bet me 1,000 dollars that Ross had more career rushing yards for the Terps than Bruce Perry, well...I would be out 1,000 dollars. It speaks more to Ross and his consistency, he played in 43 games over a span of four years here, and got carries in most of those games. (Bruce) Perry played in 36 games, Lance Ball only had 4 rushing attempts his freshman campaign, etc. FYI Jamarr Robinson sits 81st on Maryland's all time rushing list...so what does that say about all of us? And FlaTerp, the top three are Lamont Jordan, Charlie Wysocki and Steve Atkins. Fun Fact: Ross's 418 yards in his final two games moved him from 12th, just ahead of Josh Allen, to where he sits now at fourth.
Carson: I agree with Brian here. He's never really given us many "holy __" moments, but looking back on his career, he has been consistent since he's gotten to College Park. He also split time early in his career with Wes Brown which begs the question, as Todd mentioned, had that not happened, how much higher would he be on that list?
Andrew K.: Ross. He had an up and down career, and never seemed to put together a complete year. He had four games over 100 yds this year, yet there were five games in 2015 where he didn't reach fifty. In previous years Ross showed periods of excellence, only to be marred by a proclivity to fumble.
Jake S: I feel I don't know enough about Maryland football to answer this question so I'll just agree with the answer above mine that makes the most sense and sounds the best.
Thomas: Ross. 4 solid years will put you high up on any list like this.
Drew: I suppose it speaks more to the running backs at Maryland than anything else. Ross was an inconsistent back much of the time for reasons all stated above, but there was potential for him to move even higher on the list had circumstances been different.
Justin: Ross. It's hard at any university to be productive all four years, so any time you make a meaningful contribution for four years you'll be high on a list like this one.
Noah: I think it speaks to the lack of quality running backs at Maryland historically. Ross never ran for 1,000 yards in a season. He ran for 958 this season and his best numbers after that in order were 776 yards (sophomore season), 417 yards (junior season) and 390 yards (freshman season). For some perspective, Derrick Henry had 990 yards and 11 touchdowns as a backup running back last year. He had more rushing yards and touchdowns as a backup than Ross did in what was by far his BEST statistical year. He has almost 1,800 yards with another game left to play this season. He has more production in two years than Ross had in four. When one of your top-five running backs all-time never had a 1,000 yard season, it speaks to the lack of quality at the top (and the general lack of an offensive line which I don't hold against him).
Q: Mike Locksley finished 1-5 as interim head coach at Maryland. How would you grade the job Locksley did leading the team?
Todd: I think B-. Locksley inherited a difficult situation and two of the six games were on the road against the teams who are fourth and fifth in the playoff rankings so those two games get booked as losses regardless of the coach. So he started with a dysfunctional team that had a 4-2 ceiling. If Perry Hills only throws one fourth quarter interception instead of two, Maryland might have beaten Penn State. The only real disappointing game for me was against Indiana and even that might have turned out differently had Rowe not suffered the concussion.
FlaTerp: Yeah, I don't want to go worse than B either. Maryland didn't win much, but Locks has the team firmly behind him and he kept a solid recruiting class in tact through great turmoil. Maryland played about as good as could be expected, often as huge underdogs and often with dire circumstances at QB. Like Fridge was, Locks is just a Maryland guy, period. He's one of us, and I'll always root for that. Hate to see him dragged through the mud by a faction of the fans here during this transition because he's done or said nothing wrong, whatsoever. The local recruits like him, and a couple of them have made it clear they want him to be the coach, or at least a coach. That's not his fault.
Brian B: Given the 1-5 record it is tempting to be harsher than my fellow TT cohorts, but I will give him a C+ anyway. I would say his ceiling was 3-3 and once he took over you could see the Terps playing with significantly more heart than they had at the beginning of the season. The only complete and utterly miserable game (to me) was the game against Indiana. MSU and Iowa weren't exactly fun, but they were relatively competitive given how much better those two teams are than the Terps.
Carson: My opinion of Locks changes from a day to day basis. But today, I'll give him a B- as well. The team enjoyed playing for him which counts for something, they seemed to be more competitive or at least wanted to be competitive more often than when RE was head ball coach and like others have mentioned, it wasn't like he was walking into a great situation. But he still went 1-5 which is why I can't give him higher than a B-.
Andrew K.: Locksley had me second guessing a lot of his decisions, especially the almost wanton desire to throw deep. However, he did instill much more energy in the team's play than Edsall. I'd give him a C+.
Jake S: C+. He didn't do anything to blow me away, but he also managed to keep the team somewhat competitive during a very tough season. And, he got them to win a game. That's cool.
Thomas: B-. The team played hard for him and definitely loved having him at the helm. They just weren't as good as their opponents.
Drew: While some of his decisions left me scratching my head, there was a noticeable difference in the energy that the players brought with him compared to Edsall. He was definitely a player's coach and while they may not have won more than one game, they were more enjoyable to watch on a weekly basis with him at the helm.
Bartley: He inherited a team that did not appear to be working as a total team . Portions were team focused, but he had his hands full. Considering this C+.
Justin: I'm gonna have to say B-. Locksley may have only gone 1-5, but the players liked playing for him and the team definitely had more fire when he was a coach. If the team had a little more talent they would've gone 3-3, but he did the best with what he had.
Noah: C+. Locksley didn't get through to his quarterbacks about the importance of taking care of the football. Locksley was supposed to spark the offense but the Terps only averaged 25 points a game over their last six games. I would have liked to have seen better game management from him. His job certainly wasn't easy coming in but there was a lot of room for improvement.
Q: Yannick Ngakoue, Maryland's single-season sacks record holder, announced he will turn pro after garnering First Team All-Big Ten honors as a defensive lineman. He finished in the top-five in the country in sacks this season. Will he go in the first two rounds of the NFL draft?
Todd: I'll answer that with an old joke: "Why do you hang around with that sadist?" The masochist answered, "Beats me."
FlaTerp: I'll say no. But he'll be drafted and be in the NFL, and I'll be watching.
Brian B: My good friend Mel Kiper tried to get me to pay him in order to get my hands on some insider NFL draft information. Myself, not being a draft junkie, respectfully declined his offer, so I am completely in the dark as to where Yannick may go in the draft. It is all speculation at this point, especially with the combine a few months away. So I say he will go somewhere in the second, third, fourth or fifth round.
Carson: I'll play homer optimist and say he gets picked up in the second round, probably towards the end. Wherever he goes, I will certainly be there to remind my buddies that he is in fact a Terp, to which I will probably lose a friend or two.
Andrew K.: It's tough to say. If he had been a bit better against the run then I'd say it's a lock. Perhaps he can be coached up in that area. But there's no doubt that he'd be ferocious in pass rush, and a team may want to use a second round pick to get an edge rusher.
Jake S: I don't think so. He'll be drafted, but I think he'd need to have a ridiculous combine in order to get drafted that early.
Thomas: I don't think so. His size (6'2", 255) would make him undersized as a defensive end, but his speed (4.82 40) would make him a little slow as an outside linebacker. He knows how to rush the passer, though, so someone should give him a chance by the third or fourth round. Best of luck, Yannick.
Drew: It's not likely, but Darrius Heyward-Bey was taken with the seventh overall pick one year so who am I to speculate.
Justin: I like to pay attention to the draft as little as possible but if I have to answer I would say he does seem a little undersized, so he as Jake said he would need a great combine to move up the board.
Noah: I think he goes in the third or fourth round. A guy who is second in the nation in sacks is hard to ignore when he is playing against quality Big Ten linemen week in and week out.
Q: Will Likely was named to the First Team All-Big Ten as a defensive back and return specialist. He also won the first-ever Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year award. Should he go pro?
Todd: I'd say he should consider it. His stock Will Likely not get any higher. On the other hand, he's not going to be a cornerback in the NFL. He might be able to squeeze onto a roster as a Darren Sproles-type running back. This probably means he has to return next season to get more offensive reps. And the new coach could be determinative in that.
FlaTerp: No. He's a college star but fringe-type NFL guy. Come back to Maryland and be the team's headliner for Year 1 of whatever the next era is.
Brian B: I say no. He's not going to be a particularly high draft pick regardless, mostly due to his small stature. Another year of exposure on a Maryland team that has to be better than this year's squad (right?) certainly can't hurt any, so long as he avoids any major injuries.
Carson: No, he shouldn't. He should come back for one more year, be the face of the program (if he wasn't already) and build on his hype from this year. If he were to go to the draft this year, he maybe gets picked up in the last round. Most teams won't draft under-sized return specialists based off of one year. Come back next year, crush it again, and NFL scouts will start to pay closer attention.
Andrew K.: No. I believe his NFL future is as a return specialist and on offense. He's already demonstrated his ability to return kicks, but probably needs a year in which he sees more touches on offense.
Jake S: No no no no no. He's not an NFL defensive back so I don't think there should be any rush. Take another year to get stronger, and maybe work more on offense to boost his draft stock a little more.
Thomas: He's an NFL-caliber return man, but he'll need to improve a lot either as a corner or an offensive weapon if he wants to last in the pros. I think he will likely stay at school.
Drew: No. His role as a player is still up in the air so it's hard to see a team taking a chance on him especially at his size.
Justin: No. Likely is under-sized for a corner and his only real chance to make a sizeable impact in the NFL is in the return game or on offense. He should come back and give teams another chance to see if he can provide enough on offense to be considered by an NFL team. His size at corner really hurts his chances to play cornerback, and on defense he would probably be a number 3 corner at best.
Noah: I believe this is his second-straight season as an All-Big Ten defensive back. Clearly, he has the goods. There will be a spot on an NFL roster for someone with his level of talent, even if it isn't at corner. He can be a game changer on special teams and he can wreak havoc in the open field as well. If he gets interest from teams around the middle (fourth or fifth rounds) of the draft, I think he should leave. Why risk getting hurt trying to play both sides of the ball next year if a team is willing to take you this year? There is enough film out there where a coach can say, "Yeah, I can use this guy."
Q: Dwayne Haskins, who is verbally committed to Maryland, took an official recruiting visit to Florida last weekend. Is that something or nothing?
Todd: When this first appeared on Testudo Times, I posted that I pay little attention to the vagaries and whims of 17 and 18 year old people. I also noted that while the NCAA ivory tower technicality of the NLI is that you sign (in this case read commit) to an institution, real world experience says that the coaches are critical. I had trouble as an adult working for bosses I disliked. As an 18-year old looking at a person who's going to have almost dictatorial control over a period that will possibly represent a fifth of my life, I want to at least think I'll be comfortable with that person. Given the current coaching uncertainty at Maryland I'd have made much the same choice.
FlaTerp: Well, I don't think he's going to Florida, but Maryland definitely would have to weather a potential sh**storm of decommits, including Haskins, if they don't act quickly and assertively enough to rein things in after the hire happens.
Brian B: We're all hoping it's nothing, but we're all worried it's something.
Carson: ^ This
Andrew K.: It's something in that his decision to test the waters is based on the changes in the coaching staff. Will other commits follow suit? That's why the selection of the next coach has to be B1G.
Jake S: I think it's something. I heard somewhere that Florida just got a 2016 QB to commit there, though. So maybe it isn't anything? All this stuff makes my head spin.
Thomas: It's something that he's looking at other programs after embracing his role as the face of the "DMV to UMD" movement. But it won't be Florida, where Will Grier will be back in the middle of next season as only a redshirt sophomore.
Drew: It's something because it is indicative of what could happen to the recruiting class if Durkin can't hold onto him. Losing Haskins would sting for a long time.
Justin: When I saw that he was visiting I thought it was something, but then they got crushed 28-2 and another QB just committed there so I don't think it means much.
Noah: Brian B. is right. I think losing Haskins would be a big blow to a fan base that was relying on him to lead Maryland back to relevance. It would really hurt Durkin because Haskins is his ticket to fast-tracking the rebuild.
Q: The Terps finished with a 3-9 record overall and went 1-7 in Big Ten play. How would you grade Maryland's season?
Todd: I'm feeling generous this morning so I'll go with C-. Most realistic expectations projected the Terps as a four to five win team and they certainly had a chance to finish in that pocket. The early one-sided losses and the generally competitive play late indicate, I think, the depth of the coaching issues. So I'm imagining a possibility that the season might have been a bit better under a different regime.
FlaTerp: F. Unacceptable. I thank the stars that the Edsall era is finally over! The day we finally fired him gets an A. The rest of the season stunk.
Brian B: D: The expectations in College Park were never that high. If they had finished 2-10 than my grade would have certainly been an F. They were a complete dumpster fire at the beginning of the season when they played against a few teams they could have won against and then they made some strides later in the season against competition they really had no chance against in the first place. Thanks Obama!...err, I mean Randy!
Carson: D for me as well. Realistically, we weren't expected to be world beaters this year, but we were also the laughing stock of many CFB fans for a while. That shouldn't happen. We're not Rutgers.
Andrew K.: Excruciatingly painful. Not quite as frustrating as 2011, but almost as embarrassing. The highlight was our almost upsetting State Pen(n), matched on the other hand by our meltdown at home against Bowling Green.
Jake S: D. Lost to Penn State, barely won a conference game, and lost at home to Bowling Green. Actually, I change to an F. This season was a failure.
Thomas: D. They weren't supposed to be good, but the quarterback play was historically atrocious. It was a down year, but nothing happened that was all too catastrophic.
Drew: A very, very low D would be my grade. Sitting through that season was excruciatingly painful and they were more of a joke than a football team in most circumstances.
Justin: D-, only because this team showed heart under Locksley. The quarterback situation was a complete disaster, our receivers struggled to catch the ball, and our defense was porous for the second straight season.
Noah: D. Where do I begin? This team got blown out repeatedly in the first half of the season. Their interceptions, turnover rate and turnover margin didn't just lead the nation for most of the year, it was historically atrocious. They lost games they could have won. They almost went winless in Big Ten play, but did play the toughest schedule in college football this year. Oh yeah, and the head coach got fired during the middle of the season. It was an awful year.
Q: After getting some revenge on Notre Dame last week, Maryland men's soccer takes on second-seeded Clemson for a spot in the College Cup (the Final Four of collegiate soccer). Will the Terps beat the Tigers and advance to their third College Cup in four years?
Todd: Try as you might, you're not going to trick me into making a prediction.
FlaTerp: I'm not really a soccer guy, so I'll stay out of this one too.
Brian B: Doesn't everyone know I am a huge Clemson fan, come on guys, I can't answer this!
Carson: I live for the day Todd goes off script in this part of the roundtable and makes a prediction. I will take a swing here and say yes, 3-2 OT win. (I have no idea).
Jake S: A friend of mine goes to Clemson and she gave me absolutely no info about their soccer team, so my guess is as bad as everyone else's. Nonetheless, I enjoy making predictions so I'm gonna go with a 2-1 Maryland victory with the game-winning goal coming in the 88th minute of the match.
Thomas: Yeah, sure. The Terps are hot; Williamson is playing as well as he has all year, and Niedermeier's been fantastic in goal. They're certainly capable of winning this one.
Drew: I'm about as lost as everyone else here, but the one thing Maryland men's soccer knows how to do is win. So, they will win.
Bartley: So excited to see Men's Soccer advance. Niedermeier has been key and they are going all the way.
Justin: Why not, Maryland is playing their best soccer of the season and has as good a chance as any remaining team to win the title.
Noah: I'm feeling confident that Maryland wins 2-1. If Williamson scores for the seventh time (or more) in seven games and the Terps advance, I might not even have a Testudo Times Terp of the Week poll next week. I'll just name him the winner.