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Maryland football’s offensive line paved the way for runners, but has to improve its pass protection

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This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland’s offensive line was a mixed bag last year. On one hand, the group paved the way for over 2,500 rushing yards, ranking top-15 in the nation in run-blocking efficiency. The other hand is a doozy, though. The team finished 124th out of 128 FBS teams in adjusted sack rate.

Enter new offensive line coach Tyler Bowen, who led one of the top offenses in the FCS as Fordham’s offensive coordinator last season. Former coach Dave Borbely moves to an off-the-field role, and Bowen will inherit a wealth of depth at the position.

Maryland’s Offensive Linemen

Player Year 2016
Player Year 2016
Derwin Gray JR Played in every game, started 3 at LT
Damian Prince JR Started every game at RT
Brendan Moore JR Started every game at C
Sean Christie JR Played in every game, mostly special teams
Terrance Davis SO Played every game, 9 starts at RG
Ellis McKennie SO Played in every game as reserve OL
Will McClain SO Played in one game
Richard Merritt R-FR Redshirt
Brian Plummer R-FR Redshirt
Marcus Minor FR High School(4-star recruit)
Jordan McNair FR High School (4-star recruit)
Johnny Jordan FR High School (3-star recruit)
Tyran Hunt FR High School (3-star recruit)

The line lost a some members to graduation and transfer, but has the bodies in reserve to cover up any holes.

The Terps return four linemen with starting experience: Damian Prince and Derwin Gray at the tackle positions, Brendan Moore at center and Terrance Davis at the right guard spot. Prince is already being projected as a top-40 2018 NFL Draft prospect, and Moore is on the pre-season Rimington Award watch list for the best center in the country. This is one of the Terps’ strongest position groups.

After Quarvez Boulware transferred out of the program, Sean Christie and Richard Merritt will likely battle it out for left guard, though Christie appeared to have the inside track during spring camp. The Terps also bring in four-star recruits Marcus Minor and Jordan McNair, giving the team an influx of blue bloods on the line.

In other news

With Offensive Line Week here, it’s time to recap our Wide Receivers and Tight Ends Weeks.

Tight Ends Week ended with redshirt freshman Noah Barnes and true freshman Andrew Park, who was the first 2017 commit on board with “The Movement.”

There will be six Terps in action during the NBA’s summer leagues, including all of the 2015-16 starters.

Here are the Maryland targets to keep an eye on at The Opening’s 7-on-7 championship on Monday.

On Friday, an Austin paper’s Longhorn blog ranked Maryland receiver D.J. Moore the 65th best opponent Texas would face this season. Turns out No. 64 is Terp linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr.