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A trio of redshirt freshmen can revitalize Maryland football’s interior defensive line

986 pounds of beef are on the way.

gaddy twins
So the third member of the trio we’re writing about is actually Cam Spence, but we don’t have any pictures of him with the Gaddy twins.
@coachcscott on Twitter

It’s Defensive Tackles Week at Testudo Times. Our summer preview series has already been through the offense—from quarterbacks to running backs to receivers to the offensive line. We focused on defensive ends last week. Now we’re on to a trio of highly regarded signees from he historic 2017 recruiting class.

Cam Spence, No. 55

Height: 6’3
Weight: 315 lbs.
Year: Redshirt freshman
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
High school: IMG Academy/St. John’s College High School

Brandon Gaddy, No. 98

Height: 6’2
Weight: 311 lbs.
Year: Redshirt freshman
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
High school: Bishop Sullivan

Breyon Gaddy, No. 99

Height: 6’2
Weight: 360 lbs.
Year: Redshirt freshman
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
High school: Bishop Sullivan

The background

None of these three saw the field in 2017. Each was a freshman who was eventually supposed to come in and make noise on the defensive line, but a combination of injuries, a lost season and taking a year to adjust to the college game contributed to it making more sense for the three to redshirt.

Spence was the highest-rated (barely) and first to commit, joining the class in April 2017. Despite looking around late after then-defensive line coach Mike London took the head coaching job at Howard, he remained solid on his pledge to the Terps. He played at IMG Academy for a couple of years before transferring home to St. John’s for his senior season. Spence was spotted walking around basketball games in the winter with crutches and a leg brace, but he’s expected to be a full contributor in the fall.

The Gaddy twins were both committed to Tennessee until late November of 2017. Less than two weeks later, they committed to Maryland on a visit, seemingly out of nowhere. Either way, they were two huge—literally and figuratively—pickups for the Terps. They helped open up a pipeline to Bishop Sullivan, which has borne a commit to Maryland in each of the last three recruiting cycles. Though they’re twins, they each bring something different to the field.

All three are defensive tackles, but have different styles.

These three are all a part of our defensive tackles week, but it’s possible that each one plays a different position for the Terps.

At 360 pounds, Breyon has the prototypical girth to be a 0-technique, or a pure nose tackle, directly over the center. Depending on the scheme, he will also line up as a 1-technique, on one of the center’s outside shoulders. At 315 and 311 pounds, Spence and Brandon are a little lighter and could operate between a 1- and a 3-technique (outside shoulder of the guard) if the Terps stick with a 4-3 front.

Brandon, specifically, might be the most athletic person in the entire universe. At his size, he can do some crazy gymnastics, and he ran for 772 yards and 18 touchdowns during his junior season of high school. That athleticism will enable him to slide out to strong-side defensive end at times, if needed.

The nuances of the defensive line are a bit complicated, but are key to understanding exactly how these players differ.

Their size, strength and skill are much needed.

Maryland’s defensive line got pushed around last season. It was ineffective in rushing the passer and was gashed in the running game. These three can help in both areas.

Nobody should be expecting major sack numbers from any of these guys, but their ability to push the pocket from the interior of the defensive line should lead to more sacks for the defensive ends and BUCK linebackers who are rushing the passer. There was hardly any of that push from the Terps last season, but these guys are bigger and can seriously bring it.

As we’re starting to see this week, there’s a lot of competition and nothing set in stone on the defensive line, but these three will undoubtedly be contributors during the next three seasons.