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Shane Cockerille successfully switched to defense, but Maryland football might not have him for 2017

Profiles in Terpage continues with a linebacker who hasn’t always been a linebacker.

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

Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on the defensive line; this week, we’re taking a look at the linebackers.

Shane Cockerille, LB, No. 2

Height: 6’2
Weight: 235 lbs.
Year: Redshirt senior
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
High school: Gilman

How he got to College Park

Cockerille was a three-star recruit coming out of high school, rated as the No. 20 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 12 overall prospect in Maryland in the Class of 2013, per the 247Sports Composite. During his senior season at Gilman, Cockerille threw for 1,106 yards and ran for 1,305, and his summer camp performances were good enough to make him an Elite 11 finalist.

His athleticism and big frame made him an attractive option at linebacker for college teams, but Randy Edsall was willing to give him a shot at quarterback. After redshirting his first year in College Park, Cockerille played on special teams in four games in Year 2. As a redshirt sophomore, he played mostly fullback before coming in at quarterback, relieving an injured Caleb Rowe in a game against Indiana. Last season, Cockerille made the full-time switch to defense, starting 12 games at linebacker. There, he led the team in tackles before being declared academically ineligible for Maryland’s bowl game.

Career highlight

Cockerille recorded a career-high 15 tackles in Maryland’s primetime win over Michigan State in October. That game went a long way toward helping him to his season total of 108, which earned him an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.

2017 prospectus

The redshirt senior hasn’t yet been declared eligible. In turn, his status for the season is still up in the air. Even if he is ruled eligible, he’ll have missed spring practice and summer workouts while the other linebackers have been working with the coaches and competing against each other for reps. While it’s possible he’s been working out on his own, anticipating a return to the roster, it still isn’t the same as team workouts.

Dream season

Cockerille’s grades are in order and because he didn’t go through summer workouts, his body is a little more fresh than the rest of the linebacking corps. He starts the season as a rotational player, but shows a nose for the ball and makes necessary improvements from last season. His play during the non-conference part of the schedule makes it impossible for the staff not to start him in Big Ten play. He once again leads the team in tackles in the regular season, but this time gets to play in Maryland’s bowl game and doesn’t relinquish his lead.

Up next

This linebacker was one of the best athletes in the DMV before a devastating leg injury cut his high school career short.

Denton5, Scaletta and jatk13 have started the scoring this week.