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After a 2015 emergence for Maryland football, what’s next for Azubuike Ukandu?

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Maryland’s senior defensive tackle should have an important job.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football starts its season in 34 days. Until then, we're profiling every player on the roster in our Profiles in Terpage series.

Azubuike Ukandu, defensive tackle

Height: 6’0
Weight: 307 pounds
Year: Freshman
Senior: Towson (Md.)
Jersey number: 95

How Ukandu got to College Park

It’s been a long time now, but Ukandu was part of Maryland’s Stefon Diggs-headlined 2012 recruiting class. His 247Sports profile is remarkably bare.

The Towson product signed as a three-star that year and redshirted his freshman season, then sat out another year before debuting with limited playing time as a redshirt sophomore in 2014. Things took off for Ukandu in 2015, when he tied for fourth on the team with 24 tackles and had 2.5 sacks out of 6.5 tackles for loss.

2016 prospectus

Ukandu made eight starts last year at defensive tackle, and he’s an important part of what seems likely to be a four-man rotation at that position in 2016: Ukandu, David Shaw, Kingsley Opara and Adam McLean.

It’s safe to bank on Ukandu playing a lot even if that rotation doesn’t come to fruition, since he’s an incumbent and was a legitimate bright spot last year.

What a dream season would look like

Ukandu establishes himself as a lane-plugging force and gets himself drafted in the later rounds of next spring’s NFL Draft.

The next player in this series ...

... might be Maryland’s most dangerous receiver, even if he’s not a receiver.

Standings

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