It’s time to wrap up Defensive Backs Week here at Testudo Times. Our summer preview series has gone through Maryland’s quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offensive line, defensive ends, defensive tackles and linebackers. We’re closing with three underclassmen with a chance to make an immediate impact.
Kenny Bennett, No. 24
Weight: 203 lbs.
Year: Redshirt freshman
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Previous school: Academy at Palumbo
Vincent Flythe, No. 12
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Previous school: H.D. Woodson
Ken Montgomery, No. 15
Weight: 164 lbs.
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Previous school: Hillsborough
Bennett was a three-star recruit in the Class of 2017, committing to the Terps via homemade video. He appeared in two games last season—Towson and Ohio State—and recorded two tackles, but didn’t burn his redshirt. His first year in College Park will be remembered for this dance he did while waving an “EXCESSIVE JUICE” sign around (he wore No. 26 at the time).
The others are true freshmen. Flythe committed in June 2017, and it seemed likely at the time that several of his high school teammates would join him. As it turned out, the rest of the “Woodson 5” would scatter throughout the country, although defensive back Noah Boykin was a longtime Maryland commit before eventually signing with Notre Dame in January.
With Boykin unsigned and eventually off the board, DJ Durkin and Maryland’s staff focused on cornerback to close out the recruiting cycle. That led to a ramped-up courtship of Montgomery, who committed to the Terps on the traditional National Signing Day in February. He continued Durkin’s trend of landing recruits—and defensive backs specifically—from Florida. Montgomery enrolled in the summer, while Flythe came aboard in January.
It’s a loaded depth chart, but that doesn’t have to stop this trio.
As we’ve reiterated all week, Maryland’s secondary is arguably its most talented position group top-to-bottom. Tino Ellis and Marcus Lewis are looking like the likely starting outside corners, with RaVon Davis taking over at nickel. The Terps also have four different safeties with starting experience.
Cornerback doesn’t have quite the same logjam, though. That’s because two key returners (Antoine Brooks Jr. and Antwaine Richardson) and two young players who played cornerback in high school (Fofie Bazzie and Deon Jones) appear to be shifting toward safety. It’s unclear if all of those position changes are permanent, but it still leaves the door wide open for anyone in this trio to see significant rotational time in 2018. With fall camp underway, it’s only a matter of time before the pieces start falling into place.