Our summer football preview series is in full swing. After looking at the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, we’re spending this week on the offensive line. Lamar looked at the left tackles on Tuesday, and today, I’m breaking down the left guards.
While a trio of seasoned vets on the line are gone, left guard is a position that will have continuity from last season. Now in sixth year of collegiate availability, Sean Christie will likely be an anchor in between supposed starters Jaelyn Duncan and Johnny Jordan on his left and right, respectively. And waiting in the wings are a pair of redshirt freshmen in Austin Fontaine and Spencer Anderson, should their services be needed.
The incumbent: Sean Christie, No. 70
Year: Sixth-year senior
Hometown: Medford, NY.
High School: Patchogue-Medford
Christie, a three-star tackle recruit who was ranked the No. 14 prospect in the state of New York by the 247Sports Composite, arrived in College Park back in 2014. He didn’t play in his first season, taking a redshirt. Then he didn’t appear in his second season either. Christie finally broke onto the scene in 2016 as part of the special teams units, and starting in 2017, he was the full-time starter at left guard.
In his redshirt senior season in 2018, Christie started all 12 games as part of a Maryland offensive line that paved the way for an incredible rushing offense. The Terps ran for 230.2 yards per game, ranking third in the Big Ten and 17th in the nation, led by breakout star Anthony McFarland. That level of offensive line play would’ve been a great sendoff for Christie, but fortunately for him and the team, he was granted a sixth year of eligibility, allowing him to come back and provide consistency in a transition year.
The backup: Spencer Anderson, No. 54
Year: Redshirt freshman
Hometown: Bowie, Md.
High School: Bishop McNamara
Anderson was a consensus three-star recruit coming out of high school, but like Christie, that was as a tackle prospect. He picked up offers from North Carolina, Boston College and Kentucky, among many more, but he ultimately decided to stay close to home, choosing Maryland above the rest.
Anderson appeared in just two games last season, allowing him to take a redshirt year. He looks like an option at either tackle or guard — Maryland might need him on the edge with backup tackle TJ Bradley suffering an injury in the spring — and after adding 45 pounds since high school, he has the size to handle his own.
The wild card: Austin Fontaine, No. 55
Year: Redshirt freshman
Hometown: Hyattsville, Md.
Previous School: DeMatha Catholic
Fontaine was a four-star recruit in high school, ranking as the No. 7 player in the state of Maryland and the nation’s No. 15 defensive tackle, according to the 247Sports Composite. He attracted the attention of Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and more, just to name a few. Despite the draw from top-flight programs, Fontaine ended up choosing College Park as the place to spend his collegiate career, hoping to bolster the Terps’ defensive line.
After appearing in two games on defense last season, Fontaine was moved to offensive guard in spring practice following tackle TJ Bradley’s injury. He did have two-way experience in high school, and after staying on offense throughout the spring, he’s officially listed at his new position. With four years of eligibility remaining, Fontaine has serious potential, making him an intriguing option for this year and beyond.