Rising senior running back Albert Reid and defensive back Zach Dancel will transfer away from Maryland football, completing their final years of eligibility elsewhere, the school announced Friday. Both players will graduate before the start of the 2015 season, so they should be immediately eligible even at another FBS program.
Reid was a part of the running back rotation during all three years in College Park, but saw his carries dwindle in 2014 with the return of Wes Brown. Dancel was also on the outside looking in at his position, with Anthony Nixon and A.J. Hendy established as starters and younger players like Milan Collins ready to play a role at safety (as well as JuCo transfer Denzel Conyers).
A three-star prospect out of Friendship Academy (D.C.), Reid was one of Maryland's biggest signings in the 2012 class. The only higher-rated commitments in the haul were Stefon Diggs, Wes Brown, Abner Logan and Mike Madaras -- Diggs is headed to the NFL, Brown and Logan are projected starters this season and Madaras left the program abruptly in 2013.
Reid played in 11 games as a true freshman in 2012, recording 36 carries for just 92 yards on the season. With Wes Brown suspended for the 2013 season and Justus Pickett transferred to Tennessee, Reid saw a bigger role in the offense in 2013, rushing 70 times for 294 yards (4.2 per carry) and his first two career touchdowns. WIth Brown back in 2014, Reid's carries plummeted to 16 with 61 yards (3.8 per carry) and a touchdown. Jacquille Veii, who converted to wide receiver before the 2014 season, finished the year with 19 carries, and will be back at running back in 2015.
Starters Brown and Brandon Ross return for Maryland at halfback, while Veii is still on the roster as well. Fullback Kenneth Goins (14 carries, 62 yards) will be back too, as will reserve running back Joe Riddle. Maryland also adds true freshman Ty Johnson to the mix, and Reid's departure could give the local YouTube phenom a path to early playing time.
As for Dancel, the former star Good Counsel quarterback committed to New Mexico and then-head coach Mike Locksley coming out of high school. He started eight games as a true freshman for the Lobos in 2011, recording 32 tackles before transferring to Maryland (following Locksley). Dancel spent the last two seasons as a reserve defensive back, recording 26 tackles with two pass deflections.
By our count, that leaves Maryland with five open scholarships heading into the 2015 season. Expect the Terrapins to try to add some transfers of their own, especially at quarterback and defensive line, but the extra room could also be a gift for what could be a loaded 2016 recruiting class.