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Jake Funk carved out a role in his first 2 years. Can he do the same in a new offense?

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It’s a talented group, but he’s made sure he belongs.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Running Backs week at Testudo Times, as we continue looking through every Maryland football position group throughout the summer. Let’s look at the best name of the bunch.

Jake Funk, RB, No. 34

Height: 5’11
Weight: 202 lbs.
Year: Junior
Hometown: Gaithersburg, Maryland
High School: Damascus

The background

Funk was a cheat code in high school, running for 2,866 yards and 52 touchdowns and leading Damascus to a state title in his senior season (no, those numbers are neither typos nor his career stats). But he was just the No. 34 prospect in the state, and he committed to Maryland shortly after receiving an offer.

After enrolling early and spending part of fall camp on defense, Funk found a role on both offense and special teams in 2016 and 2017. He rushed for 136 yards as a freshman and 145 as a sophomore, scoring one and four touchdowns in those years. Funk also saw time on the kickoff and kick return units in both seasons.

Funk scored in every Maryland victory in 2017.

He iced the Texas game with a fourth-quarter score that vaulted the Terps above the 50-point threshold, then followed that up with another score the following week against Towson. Two weeks later, he caught a touchdown in Maryland’s win over Minnesota. Funk also scored twice against Indiana.

When Funk didn’t score, though, the Terps went 0-8. So the goal for this season should be for him to record a touchdown in every single contest.

It’s a new offense, but Funk isn’t going anywhere.

Matt Canada has plenty of firepower in the backfield, with six talented running backs to use as he chooses. Funk was the Terps’ primary short-yardage back in 2017, but redshirt freshman Tayon Fleet-Davis seems likely to assume that role this fall (more on him in a couple days). That leaves Funk as more of an H-back, which involves lining up in the slot and motioning more frequently. He took jet sweep after jet sweep in Maryland’s spring game, scoring on two of them.

Funk worked his way into the mix as an underclassman. Now a junior, he seems poised to take the next step forward with a revamped role. Maryland’s record might depend on it.