While most of the college football world has been focused on the Early Signing Period, new Maryland head coach Mike Locksley has also been focused on keeping the current roster intact. Part of that roster includes a solid freshman class, many of whom made an impact as soon as Maryland took the field against Texas all the way back in September. For the others, the challenge was making sure the right freshmen played while taking advantage of the new redshirt rule.
Under a new rule passed by the NCAA this year, players can play four games and still get an extra year of eligibility. I meant to update this closer to the end of the season, but things like basketball, hiring a new football coach and final exams got in the way. You can view the previous updates through four and nine games.
Freshmen who can’t redshirt
WR Dontay Demus—12 games
WR Darryl Jones—12 games
WR Jeshaun Jones—12 games
WR Brian Cobbs—12 games
TE Chigoziem Okonkwo—12 games
K Joseph Petrino—12 games
LB Chance Campbell—11 games
LB Durell Nchami—10 games
LB Jordan Mosley—10 games
The same nine freshman who couldn’t redshirt in the last update still aren’t eligible. All four wide receivers have seen snaps since the opening game, with Jeshaun Jones making a strong first impression and the other three coming on as the year went on. Chigoziem Okonkwo showed playmaking potential, but his role may change in Locksley’s system. Joseph Petrino has been the starting kicker since day one and that shouldn’t change.
All three of the linebackers on this list carved out distinct roles as well. Campbell played on special teams, Nchami backed up Jesse Aniebonam at the BUCK position and Mosley backed up Darnell Savage Jr. at free safety.
Freshmen eligible to redshirt
DB Fa’Najae Gotay—4 games
QB Tyler DeSue—4 games
DB Vincent Flythe—3 games
DL Tyler Baylor—3 games
OL Spencer Anderson—2 games
DL Austin Fontaine—2 games
OL Jaelyn Duncan—1 game
DL Jalen Alexander—0 games
DB Raymond Boone—0 games
OL Evan Gregory—0 games
DB Ken Montgomery—0 games
Ten of Maryland’s true freshmen will get an extra year of eligibility. Many were at positions where the Terps had depth or players take time to develop. DeSue was used in mop-up duty to get his first taste of the college game, and Gotay looks like he could be Maryland’s future at nickel corner.
Vincent Flythe saw action in three blowouts, while Raymond Boone was behind some players entrenched in starting roles and Ken Montgomery needed to put some weight on his 164-pound frame. Offensive linemen Spencer Anderson and Jaelyn Duncan both made their Maryland debuts, and Evan Gregory was recovering from injury but unlikely to play anyway. Top 2018 recruit Austin Fontaine appeared in two games, and fellow defensive tackle Jalen Alexander sat out the year, which is common for many true freshman linemen.
QB Max Bortenschlager—4 games (ankle injury)
RB Jake Funk—3 games (broken hand)
OL Marcus Minor—3 games (lower body injury)
RB Lorenzo Harrison III—2 games (knee surgery)
WR Tahj Capehart—0 games (tore his ACL in spring practice)
Bortenschlager was the holder in the first four games before undergoing season-ending ankle surgery. He has the option for a fifth year, which could be used to play elsewhere as a graduate transfer if he completes his degree next year. Funk only appeared against Indiana, and if he takes his extra year, it’s likely he’ll use it at another school due to the talent in front of him.
Harrison had a strong outing against Bowling Green, but missed two games with an injury and then underwent knee surgery in practice after being cleared. With Anthony McFarland having a breakout freshman year, Javon Leake getting more carries as the season went on and Tayon Fleet-Davis emerging as a possible power back, Harrison will have competition for carries once again, and it’ll be tough for Funk to carve out a steady role in the backfield as well.
Capehart was expected to have a sizable role before his injury, but his situation has changed since the spring. Jeshaun Jones and Dontay Demus look like Maryland’s top two receivers, and Darryl Jones and Brian Cobbs both have plenty of potential. There’s also a sizable wide receiver group from the Terps’ 2017 class, so Capehart may have his work cut out for him when he gets back on the field for spring practice.
Marcus Minor battled injuries for much of the season and didn’t appear again after Maryland played Minnesota on Sept. 22. He’ll be the favorite to succeed Derwin Gray at left tackle next season.
Bryce Brand was previously in this category, but has since been removed after playing in his fifth game of the season at Indiana.
This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Marcus Minor has an option for an extra year of eligibility.