We’ve been working our way through Maryland football’s position groups, starting with the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers. Now 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, moved over to left guard and now to center.
The starter: Brendan Moore, No. 64
Weight: 302 lbs.
Hometown: Austin, Texas
High School: Westwood HS
Moore has started the last 26 games—25 at center—for the Terps, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be giving up that role this coming season. He’s an ever-consistent presence on the line and the quarterback of a group of five returning starters. Moore is also one of the leaders in the locker room for the Terps, and has often earned the praise of head coach DJ Durkin for his off-field presence.
For the third straight season, Moore was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list this spring. The ultimate team player, he’s probably more interested in winning games than individual awards, but if he were to hoist the trophy at season’s end, it would likely mean Maryland had a pretty great year.
The backup and the future: Johnny Jordan, No. 73
Weight: 307 lbs.
Hometown: Leesburg, Virginia
High School: Gonzaga HS
A former consensus three-star recruit, Jordan was one of the best centers in the Class of 2017. He’s got a big smile, but is a nasty mauler on the football field (and on the rugby pitch, where he won two national championships with Gonzaga).
Jordan could push for playing time this season, with Moore sliding to left guard, where he made his first collegiate start. It’s something the Terps toyed with during spring practice, but there’s no telling if that was just a spring experiment or a legitimate trial run. In any case, Jordan will have at least two years to be Maryland’s center.
The other backup: Ellis McKennie, No. 68
Weight: 305 lbs.
Hometown: Sherrytown, Pennsylvania
High School: McDonogh
Get used to seeing McKennie’s name in these things. He was featured yesterday as a backup left guard and (spoiler alert) he’ll be right back in here tomorrow as a right guard. There’s not much new to add about McKennie, but he’s a solid interior swingman who can play any of the three positions between the tackles. With all the starters returning and young blue-chip recruits gunning for playing time, it’s unlikely that he cracks the starting rotation at this point, but he’ll provide solid depth and relief in blowouts (if applicable) at the very least.