After three weeks of looking at Maryland football’s quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, it’s time to take a look at the offensive line. We started with the anchor of the line Tuesday with left tackle Derwin Gray, and will now be sliding one spot to his right.
The starter: Sean Christie, No. 70
Weight: 305 lbs.
Hometown: Medford, New York
High School: Patchogue-Medford HS
Christie is a model example of a guy who earned his stripes and starting role. He didn’t see live game action in either of his first two seasons in College Park, played primarily on special teams in every game in 2016 and then emerged as the starting left guard in 2017.
But because he’s started only one full season, Christie seems to be the most vulnerable of Maryland’s five returning starting offensive linemen. The fifth-year senior will need to muster all the grit that he used to earn the starting spot in the first place to hold onto it through 2018, as a number of up-and-coming prospects vie for playing time. Virtually every offensive line reshuffle somehow involves somebody else sliding into the left guard spot, be it Marcus Minor to right tackle and Damian Prince moving to left guard or Minor or Ellis McKennie sliding right in to left guard.
The backups: Ellis McKennie, No. 68; Marcus Minor, No. 72
McKennie: 6’3, 305 lbs.
Hometown: Sherrytown, Pennsylvania
High School: McDonogh
Minor: 6’4, 294 lbs.
Hometown: Lanham, Maryland
High School: DeMatha
McKennie and Minor are two of the most diversely skilled offensive lineman on the Terps. As such, each will be featured multiple times this week. McKennie is the ultimate interior swingman. He can play either guard position, and would even fill in at center in an emergency.
As we touched upon Tuesday, Minor is one of, if not the, primary backup for Gray at left tackle. He was also first off the bench to take Damian Prince’s spot at right tackle last year when the veteran couldn’t go here and there. If something should happen to Terrance Davis at right guard, Minor may also be the guy hearing his name called to fill in there; he made his first career start there last season.
The future: Evan Gregory
Weight: 285 lbs.
Hometown: Hyattsville, Maryland
High School: DeMatha
Gregory is simultaneously one of the kindest people you’ll ever speak to and one of the nastiest offensive lineman you could ever meet on the field. He did not enroll early, but he’s talented enough to compete sooner rather than later. What’s more, he’s excited to play at Maryland.
Even if Gregory doesn’t crack the rotation this coming season, he represents the future of the position. The three-time WCAC champion was a First Team All-Met selection on the offensive line at DeMatha. Provided Davis doesn’t leave early, he and Gregory could team with Minor to form 60 percent of a Terps 2019 offensive line that came from DeMatha.