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Melvin Keihn won't play this year, but Maryland football's new transfer should start by 2017

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The Terrapins picked up a former highly-valued Baltimore prospect from one of the nation's premier defensive programs. Yeah, it's good news.

Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Lost in the shuffle of Maryland's new depth chart and the three-way battle for the quarterback position was a new addition to the program: Melvin Keihn. A former highly-regarded recruit at Baltimore powerhouse Gilman High School, Keihn committed to Virginia Tech Christmas Eve 2013, and played one season in Blacksburg before transferring back home.

Keihn was rated the No. 12 prospect in the state of Maryland by the composite in the class of 2014, and received offers from the likes of Penn State, Notre Dame and Miami, among others. So we know he's talented. What does he bring to Maryland's linebacker unit?

The Terps have recently transitioned to a 4-3, changing the roles and responsibilities of players in the unit. Previously, there were very clearly defined roles for the two outside linebacker positions.

The SAM was primarily responsible for coverage of tight ends, slot players and backs running passing routes, as well as assisting in run stopping.

The WILL was primarily responsible for rushing the passer, as well as assisting in stopping the run.

Maryland wasn't able to stop the run much with this defense, but it saw some good pass defense at SAM from Matt Robinson and some excellent pass-rushing at WILL from the likes of Marcus Whitfield, Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil and Yannick Ngakoue.

We're not entirely sure how Maryland expects its new linebacking corps to function as we have not yet seen them play, but it's safe to assume that with just three players in the unit, everyone is expected to help out in with all of those three elements: pass coverage, blitzing and stopping the run.

Keihn will almost certainly have to sit out the 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but his presence instantly improves Maryland's future depth at outside linebacker. Of the three players in contention for the two starting jobs this year, two (Jefferson Ashiru, Abner Logan) are upperclassmen. Jalen Brooks is a sophomore, and while it seems nearly certain he'll start with Logan in 2016, 2017 is more of an open question.

That's where Keihn comes in.

There's a chance four-star 2016 recruit Keandre Jones is ready as a redshirt freshman/true sophomore in 2017, but ideally you have at least three capable outside linebackers on the roster. Adding Keihn to Brooks and Jones should nearly guarantee Maryland has the proper depth.

Add in other growing prospects like Nnamdi Egbuaba, Brett Zanotto and Gus Little, and the Terps are now six-deep in 2017 (and five-deep in 2018), putting them in a much better place at outside linebacker. Keihn's addition gives Maryland extra talent on top of the depth chart and allows them to be in a more secure position at outside linebacker over the next few years.

To top it all off, Maryland gets a third Gilman player on the roster to go with Kenneth Goins and Shane Cockerille. The more in-roads into Baltimore, the better.