Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on the offensive line; this week, we’re flipping sides of the ball and looking at the defensive line.
Keiron Howard, DL, No. 59
Weight: 289 lbs.
Hometown: Fort Washington, Maryland
High School: Potomac
How he got to College Park
Howard was a three-star defensive tackle recruit out of Potomac High in Oxon Hill, Maryland, and he committed to the Terps in June 2014. Howard then had a monster senior season, resulting with him being named to a number of local and national all-star teams.
Howard was selected First Team All-State, played in the Maryland Crab Bowl and represented his home state in the 2014 Big 33 game between Maryland and Pennsylvania. Those accolades look nice next to his Offense-Defense All-American nod and Under Armour All-American selection.
Howard played his first five games for the Terps last season after being used primarily as a scout player his freshman year. He picked up his only career tackle to date against Florida International in Maryland’s second game of the season.
His most substantial highlights still come from his senior year of high school. Howard dominated opposing offensive lines that were either too small or too slow to keep up with him. That hasn’t been the case in college, where, with the increased talent level combined with a crowded rotation of linemen, it has been hard for Howard to crack the Terps’ rotation.
Howard has some depth ahead of him on the interior of the line, with seniors Cavon Walker and Kingsley Opara expected to start at the tackle positions, he will have to battle for snaps. He’ll also be competing for snaps with fellow sophomore Adam McLean and junior Mbi Tanyi, all before factoring in any freshmen. He doesn’t have an easy road to a regular rotation role.
Fortunately for him, coach DJ Durkin is a fan of rotating his linemen. Howard has in-game experience, though he’ll have to improve his production to prove he deserves to be a regular contributor.
Howard looks strong in fall camp and works his way up the rotation. He becomes a regular on Durkin’s defensive line, even pushing the two seniors for snaps on the inside. As a result, Howard puts himself in position to potentially take over one of the starting tackle slots going into his junior year.
A wild card on the line who played offense last season.
Murderlandboy, say_al and Scaletta are still tied for the lied with two guesses apiece, while Terpluvian, ziowa9, jarem and Sabadahut each have one.