Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on quarterbacks; this week, we’re looking at all of Maryland’s running backs.
Anthony McFarland, RB, No. 5
Weight: 185 lbs.
Hometown: Hyattsville, Maryland
High school: DeMatha
How he got to College Park
McFarland was the highest-rated player to sign with Maryland in the Class of 2017, but his recruitment was probably also the most difficult one DJ Durkin and his staff encountered. McFarland, at least publicly, looked like a Miami lean for most of the recruiting cycle. It wasn’t until a late January push that things looked to be swinging in the Terps’ favor. McFarland delayed his initial decision date before choosing Maryland over Miami three days later. While his commitment was obviously huge for the Class of 2017, it is expected to have an impact on future classes as well—an impact we’re already seeing with the commitments of four-star DeMatha prospects Austin Fontaine and Evan Gregory.
Though he sat out his senior season with a leg injury, McFarland was part of a DeMatha class that won four Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships. When healthy, he’s got the speed, power and agility to be one of the best backs in the nation. His route running and soft hands give him an added dimension as a receiver out of the backfield or in the slot.
Since he missed his senior season, McFarland’s highlights are mostly from his sophomore and junior seasons. For example, here’s a catch-and-run on a hot route. McFarland is just so much faster than everybody else on the defense that he just runs by them untouched.
It is at this time that I’d like to remind you that McFarland is listed at 5’8, 185 pounds. Keep that in mind, and now watch him run this defender over.
As long as he’s healthy, which he’s expected to be, McFarland will play. He’s too dynamic not to. He’ll likely start the season behind junior Ty Johnson and sophomore Lorenzo Harrison, who are two pretty darn good running backs in their own right, and compete with at least two other backs for touches. McFarland will line up in the backfield, the slot and anywhere else Walt Bell feels like he can create a mismatch. He’ll look to duplicate, or even better Harrison’s breakout freshman season.
McFarland breaks onto the scene in Week 1 in Austin and runs wild all season. He stays on the field for all 12 regular season games and helps the Terps earn a 13th in the form of a bowl game. He solidifies himself as the undisputed third option out of the backfield, and perhaps even overtakes Johnson or Harrison on the depth chart. LaMont Jordan’s freshman rushing record finally falls, and McFarland lives up to his billing as one of the top backs in the nation.
Parliament, Bruno Mars, Lipps Inc., Wild Cherry and Tone-Loc have all name-dropped this back’s name.
HughGR, phisch13 and Murderlandboy each have one correct guess this week.