Another Maryland student-athlete is down with a knee injury.
Terps linebacker Durell Nchami has torn his ACL, coach Mike Locksley said Tuesday night.
It’s the second such injury of fall camp for the football team and the third of the offseason. Star wide receiver Jeshaun Jones tore his ACL two weeks ago on Aug. 6 and Antwaine Richardson, who was set to start at safety, suffered a tear in the spring.
“I know it sound cliche-ish, but injuries are going to be part of the game. This is game that those types of things happen,” Locksley said. “The next man has to step up and fill the gap or fill the void per say, and we've really coached [them] up that one guy can't create the culture or bring the team down with these injuries. We’ve got to fight through them.
“I mean are we disappointed? Yeah. We lost two really good players that would help us, and depth has already been an issue for us as a team and as a whole. And we just can't continue to lose bodies like that, but it is part of the game and we have to adjust and move forward.”
Nchami wasn’t expected to be a leading man like Jones or Richardson were, but he was slated to play a role in the pass rushing rotation under Jon Hoke’s 3-4 defensive scheme. In football, especially at Maryland, depth is extremely important, and having a talented youngster like Nchami behind transfers Keandre Jones and Shaq Smith would’ve been a big plus.
“It’s a blow to us because of depth,” Locksley said. “That’s a big concern for us. We’ve got a really strong core group of players, but our depth is an issue. We’ve got to continue to find ways to keep our guys healthy.”
The linebacker was entering his sophomore season after arriving on campus last fall. He played 10 games as a first-year player, racking up 15 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss to help a Terps defense that struggled to stop the run. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that he can take a medical redshirt and preserve a year of eligibility.
“It’s a shame because he was actually playing really well and had really taken the next step,” Locksley said. “We expect him to fully recover once he has the surgery.”
Football hasn’t been the only sport affected by the ACL bug thus far. During the team’s first fall practice on Aug. 13, men’s soccer’s Paul Bin tore his ACL. And on Aug. 15, it was revealed that women’s lacrosse’s Lizzie Colson tore her ACL as well. As the training camps reach their end and the actual seasons begin, one can only help knees will be spared going forward.
In other news
Maryland football is looking to make a leap in Mike Locksley’s first season, and Joseph Petrino could lead a special teams unit with a ton of question marks.
There are similarities between this year’s Maryland men’s basketball team and the 2015-16 squad, and Justin took a look at what could change this time around.
Sixteen former Maryland football players participated in the second week of the NFL preseason. Lila broke down some of the standout performances.
Maryland football added some new art to its stadium as the season readily approaches.
The world is our canvas...— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) August 20, 2019
Special thanks to @glossblack for this amazing addition to Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium! pic.twitter.com/2DhLRaFEQo
Think you have what it takes to play for a Power-Five football program? Well you’re in luck, because Maryland football is hosting walk-on tryouts this upcoming Monday.
Join our football family— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) August 20, 2019
Walk-On tryouts are set for Monday, Aug. 26 at @ColeFieldHouse!
Tryout packet/more info ➡️ https://t.co/QCZYHwj3xG pic.twitter.com/FkUHDZkkMm
USA TODAY looks at how Mike Locksley is eager to establish himself as a dominant head coach after failing to produce more than two wins at New Mexico.
And finally, the incoming Maryland men’s basketball recruiting class has chosen their numbers for the 2019-20 season.
JUST IN: The Class of 2023 has selected its jersey numbers!— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) August 20, 2019
➡️ Hakim Hart
➡️ Chol Marial
➡️ Makhi Mitchell pic.twitter.com/zpq59Ki62B