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We might not find out much about Maryland’s special teams depth chart this spring

Things should get better eventually, but Maryland’s bringing back most of the same players here.

maryland football spring game practice
Maryland punter Wade Lees.
Alexander Jonesi

Hey guys, spring practice is underway, so we’re going unit-by-unit and projecting what we think the depth chart will look like at each position in 2017. We’ll include notes from spring practice where we can. We looked at the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs. We’re finishing with the special teams.

Maryland football is returning most of its key special teamers from a 2016 unit that ranked 102nd in special teams S&P+. This spring will be a key time to figure things out at a couple positions, but most of Maryland’s special teams starters will be largely the same as they were last season.

The players

Kicker: Adam Greene, Danny Sutton, Mike Shinsky

Punter: Wade Lees, Nick Rubinowicz

Punt/kick returners: D.J. Moore, Ty Johnson, probably a lot of other people

Long snapper: Nate Adams, Matt Oliviera

Special Teams Depth Chart

Depth chart K P KR/PR LS
Depth chart K P KR/PR LS
Starters Adam Greene Wade Lees D.J. Moore Nate Adams
2nd team Mike Shinsky Nick Rubinowicz JC Jackson Matt Oliviera
3rd team Danny Sutton Ty Johnson Brock Sassler
Lorenzo Harrison

Here’s why

Special teams are weird. Wade Lees is going to be Maryland’s punter, and Nate Adams is going to be Maryland’s long snapper. Adam Greene seems like he’ll probably end up as Maryland’s kicker, though that’s not certain. Who’s going to be returning kicks and punts? I’ll get back to you on that.

Question No. 1: Will Adam Greene hang on to the kicking job?

Greene’s play was uninspiring in 2016, but he’s probably still the favorite heading into the 2017 season. He was only 9-for-14 on kicks, and most of them weren’t from that far away. Still, it’s not like Maryland has someone ready to just take over. Greene’s chief competitor at placekicker will probably be Mike Shinsky. Shinsky only attempted one field goal last season, and he made it. Danny Sutton could also be in the mix, but he only attempted kickoffs in 2016.

Question No. 2: Who’s going to return kicks?

Maryland has plenty of options in the return game, and it’s unclear who — if anyone — will come out on top. D.J. Moore and Ty Johnson both returned kicks last year, but with both of them being Maryland’s top two position players, having them as the the team’s only return options is probably irresponsible. DJ Durkin’s said on multiple occasions that cornerback JC Jackson could be an option in the return game. As could Markquese Bell and Jacquille Veii. The team will probably try out a whole bunch of players back there: Lorenzo Harrison, Tahj Capehart, Tino Ellis and Anthony McFarland could all be options. We might not know who’s actually made the final cut until September.