clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Who’s the best defensive lineman in Maryland football history?

New, 45 comments

Here are six options. You decide.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Defensive Line Week here at Testudo Times. It’s time to dig into Maryland’s past, just like we’ve done with quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, tight ends and the offensive line this summer.

Like all our offensive line poll last week, this one is for only one lineman, since we can’t have you vote for multiple people. Anyway, here are six nominees. Surely, there are more; let us know in the comments who we snubbed.

Randy White

White’s 1974 season was arguably the best by a Terrapin defensive lineman in program history—and that’s even after he was a First Team All-American in 1973. The consensus First Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year set the Maryland single-season sack record with 12 sacks in 1974, while also leading the team in tackles for loss with 24 on his way to winning the Outland Trophy, presented to the best defensive lineman in college football. The 122 yards opposing teams lost as a result of White tackling their runners in the backfield is still a Maryland program record. Those 12 sacks still have White tied for fourth on the Terps’ single-season sack list.

White went on to be the second overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft, playing his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys, notching 111 sacks in his 13-year career. White shared Super Bowl XII MVP honors with defensive end Harvey Martin. His illustrious NFL career culminated with the nine-time Pro Bowler being inducted into the Pro Football and College Football Halls of Fame in 1994.

Dick Modzelewski

Modzelewski played on the great Terrapin teams of the early 1950s, and judging by his Second Team All-American status in 1951 and consensus first team status in 1952, he was as dominant a defensive lineman as Maryland’s ever had. That said, he played in an era before so many of the stats we use to judge defensive linemen existed, and thus does not show up in Maryland’s record book. Modzelewski’s 1952 season earned him the Outland Trophy before White was even born.

He went on to become the 16th pick of the second round in the 1953 NFL Draft. He’d play 14 seasons with Washington, the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns before embarking on a 22-year coaching career with five different teams. In 1993, Modzelewski was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Joe Campbell

Campbell’s 1976 season was enough to land him on this list. Just two years after White dominated on the defensive line for Maryland, Campbell was a consensus All-American himself, as he and Chip Garber led the team in sacks. He also was named First Team All-ACC for the second consecutive season. His 24 career tackles for loss and 17 sacks are each top-20 in program history; however, Maryland’s record book only lists tackles for loss since 1974. Campbell’s first season was 1973, so he’d likely be even higher on that list if all his seasons counted.

Andre Monroe

Monroe is Maryland’s all-time leader with 25 sacks. His NFL career didn’t get off the ground, in part due to his 5’11 height, but he was as productive from 2011-14 as any of his drafted contemporaries. In his three seasons with the Terps—an injury forced him to miss his sophomore season—Monroe also tallied the third-most tackles for loss and holds the program record for career tackle-for-loss yards.

Yannick Ngakoue

Just two seasons ago, Ngakoue was tearing up opposing backfields for Maryland en route to a single-season record 13.5 sacks in 2015. He spent three seasons with the Terps, playing every game in his last two, and made sure his name was featured heavily in the record books. Ngakoue sits at No. 4 on the career sacks list, is No. 6 in tackle-for-loss yards, and No. 8 in total tackles for loss. He was named First Team All-Big Ten for the 2015 season and capitalized on his draft stock, as the Jaguars drafted him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

It’s only been a season, but Ngakoue is rapidly becoming a force in the league. In his rookie season with Jacksonville, Ngakoue started 15 of 16 games and came up with a franchise rookie record eight sacks, four forced fumbles, two pass deflections and an interception en route to being named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team.

Mike Corvino

Corvino was the longtime keeper of the all-time sacks record, with 24 from 1979-81, until Monroe recently overtook the top spot. One of Corvino’s records hasn’t been touched since his freshman year: since 1979, no freshman has recorded more than Corvino’s eight tackles for loss. He also has the third-most tackle-for-loss yards and is No. 5 in career tackles for loss in Maryland history.

Honorable mention: Randy Starks, Mark Duda, Bruce Palmer, Charles Johnson, Ray Krous

Poll

Who do you think is the best defensive lineman in Maryland history?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Randy White
    (1205 votes)
  • 1%
    Dick Modzelewski
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    Joe Campbell
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Andre Monroe
    (17 votes)
  • 3%
    Yannick Ngakoue
    (46 votes)
  • 0%
    Mike Corvino
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Other—comment your answer
    (9 votes)
1304 votes total Vote Now