Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on the offensive line; this week, we’re flipping sides of the ball and looking at the defensive line.
Jesse Aniebonam, DL, No. 41
Weight: 260 lbs.
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
High School: Good Counsel
How he got to College Park
Aniebonam was part of the foundation for the current success of “The Movement.” He committed to the Terps ahead of his senior year as the No. 2 recruit in the state of Maryland and No. 8 weak-side defensive end in the Class of 2014, per 247Sports. He went on to rack up a number of local accolades, culminating with an Army All-American nod and was eventually joined in the class by the state’s top recruit, Damian Prince.
Aniebonam’s played in every game since he got to College Park, with nine starts to date. He was solid in his first two seasons, and his versatility to play on the line and rush the edge or drop in coverage benefitted him. He was used as a BUCK linebacker, learning from Yannick Ngakoue before he left for the NFL Draft.
Aniebonam had three tackles against Florida International, with a chase down, a suplex and a sack. He also came up with one of the few stops Maryland was able to get in its 59-3 loss to Michigan.
With Ngakoue off to the Jaguars, Aniebonam made the most of his increased time last season. He led the Terps with 14 tackles for loss and nine sacks; it isn’t unreasonable to expect those numbers to increase in 2017.
The path is clear for Aniebonam to become an every-week starter for the Terps defense. Expect coach DJ Durkin to make full use of his versatility, so opposing offenses will have to keep an eye on exactly where he lines up each week.
Aniebonam is frequently featured in the opposing backfield and is a nuisance for quarterbacks and runners all season. His coverage improves, and so does his already impressive draft stock. He lands on some year-end lists and after the season hears his name called on day one or two of the 2018 NFL Draft.
A BUCK lineman that joined “The Movement” through transfer.
say_al is first on the board this week.