Maryland football has once again lost a key player to an ACL injury.
Running back Jake Funk tore his left ACL against Temple and will be out for the season, coach Mike Locksley announced Monday.
Funk is the fourth Maryland player to suffer the injury in 2019. Safety Antwaine Richardson tore an ACL in spring practice, while wide receiver Jeshaun Jones and linebacker Durell Nchami both tore their ACLs in fall camp.
The redshirt junior rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 17 attempts through the Terps’ first three games this season. He’s also served as a key leader for the team, with many players even referring to him as “Coach Funk.”
“I’m sick about Jake,” fellow running back Javon Leake said. “It’s unfortunate what happened to him, but I know Jake. He’s still going to be a good leader [and] be on the sidelines talking to us.”
Funk tore the same ACL in the last game of the 2018 season against Ohio State. He kept the injury fairly quiet and spent the offseason recovering. Now the Gaithersburg, Maryland, native has to go through the same process all over again.
He played 25 games in his first two seasons with the program, but injuries have restricted Funk to just six games over the last two years. He has 75 carries for 452 yards (6.0 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns on his career. Funk has also played a role in the receiving game, hauling in 13 passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
Locksley said Lorenzo Harrison III will help fill the void left by Funk at running back, but it’s a big one to fill, even with Maryland’s talent at the position. Although Funk has already redshirted, Locksley plans to get a medical waiver to redshirt him again this season.
“That was really unfortunate to hear from Jake because he’s a big leader on the offense,” quarterback Josh Jackson said. “He just brings a type of energy to the field every day, he’s very consistent, he loves the game. And you know, it’s very, very unfortunate to hear that.”
Along with being a contributor on offense, Funk played a major role on special teams as a kick returner. He had one return for 22 yards this season, as well as 13 returns for 237 yards, averaging 18.2 yards per return, in his career at Maryland.
“Losing Jake, even on special teams is going to be big,” Leake said. “He was on kickoff, making a lot of tackles, at running back, everything for us. So Jake is definitely a big loss.”