Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Over the last two weeks, we focused on receivers and tight ends; this week, we’re looking at Maryland’s offensive linemen.
Our projected starter: Sean Christie, RS junior, No. 70
Maryland football returns a member of the offensive line that started at least one game at each position—except left guard. Mike Minter started 11 games before retiring in the offseason, while Quarvez Boulware and Michael Dunn each started one. Boulware left the program in the offseason and Dunn graduated.
What’s left is a group of guys who’ve seen consistent reserve action at best, none of them having ever started a collegiate game. Christie looked to have gotten the majority of the first-team reps in spring camp and is our projected starter heading into fall camp.
Christie weighs in at 6’4, 300 pounds—adequate size for a college guard. Since he’s almost exclusively played special teams in his college career, there isn’t much film to use to project exactly how he’ll fit into the vacated left guard spot. Until we see some on-field results from Christie, all we can do is trust that DJ Durkin, offensive line coach Tyler Bowen and offensive coordinator Walt Bell are making the right personnel decision.
Next in line: Richard Merritt, RS freshman, No. 57; Ellis McKennie, RS sophomore, No. 68
If Christie doesn’t end up starting, it’ll likely be because either Merritt or McKennie beat him for the spot. Listed at 6’5 and 365 pounds, Merritt is the biggest player on Maryland’s roster, but his high school tape shows that he’s got the mean streak and good enough feet to be an effective guard in Bell’s offense. That said, he’d ideally lose some weight before taking over a starting role so he can be even quicker and play with his high motor for the entire game.
McKennie is actually the most experienced of the three, seeing action as a reserve lineman in all 13 games last season. In his limited snaps, McKennie showed that he’s capable of being the swing guy for any of the three interior line spots if one of the starters goes down. At 6’3, 305 pounds, he’s got the size to play either guard position or center if needed. Durkin and the staff clearly liked what they saw out of McKennie, as he’s one of the last linemen from the Edsall era who didn’t transfer out of the program, retire or graduate early.
The brain of the offensive line! It’s Centers Day!