We're pretty deep into our summer profile series, and this week it's time to take a look at the linebackers. Thomas gave an overview Monday, then Sean took a look at a pair of up-and-comers looking to make an impact this year. Now we turn to a pair of redshirt seniors that bring a veteran presence to the room.
After starting every game last season, Isaiah Davis’ standing on the two-deep is a question mark heading into the season. He missed spring camp and returns to an open competition and multiple players making a push for his job. Meanwhile, fellow senior Nnamdi Egbuaba figures as a rotational piece, as more linebackers will be relied upon in defensive coordinator Jon Hoke's 3-4 system.
Both players have been at Maryland since head coach Mike Locksley’s prior stint, with Egbuaba enrolling in 2014 followed by Davis in 2015. That familiarity won't prevent them from having to battle their way on to the field in 2019.
Isaiah Davis, No. 22
Year: Redshirt senior
Hometown: Temple Hills, Md.
High School: St. Stephen's & St. Agnes
Davis brings continuity to the linebacking room, having played in 12 games each of the past three seasons. The redshirt senior missed spring camp with the new staff while recovering from injury, but profiles as an inside linebacker in Hoke’s system. Davis first enrolled in 2015, when Locksley was offensive coordinator and his older brother Sean — now of the Pittsburgh Steeers — was still on the team. Now he'll look to make 2019 a signature season.
Davis has showed steady improvement over his time in College Park, and was second on the team last season with 94 tackles and got to the quarterback for two sacks. He'll have to fight to retain his job as the starting MIKE linebacker, though, with sophomores Chance Campbell and Ayinde Eley impressing in the spring and Keandre Jones transferring in from Ohio State.
If Jones is eligible this fall (which is still an if at the moment), he likely profiles as one of the starting inside linebackers, with fellow newcomer Shaq Smith on the outside. That likely leaves one starting spot left with three solid options. Regardless, the Terps know what they have in Davis and he'll see the field.
Nnamdi Egbuaba, No. 31
Year: Redshirt senior
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
High School: St. Frances
Egbuaba will come into his sixth year of eligibility looking to provide experience and quality snaps. After missing all of the 2017 season with an injury, Egbuaba returned and totaled eight tackles in 2018. He has 27 appearances over his three seasons of action and played in all 12 games last fall.
Due to the depth at this position, Egbuaba doesn't figure to be in the mix for a ton of snaps, but he'll definitely be relied on to rotate in. With the defense calling for four linebackers, Egbuaba should be in play to provide depth in stints either inside or outside. It's unlikely his name shows up much on the two-deep this season, but he'll have his opportunities to make an impact.