The NCAA Transfer Portal has become an interesting part of college football that errssentially allows an extra recruiting cycle in the spring offseason.
In 2020, Maryland head coach Mike Locksley will have a few positions that could use impact players and spots to fill with others to add depth.
Bringing in 14 signees on the defensive side of the ball means that most positions there are set, so there will likely be more of a focus on shoring up offensive positions this spring.
Here is a look at some players available at positions of need that could fit the bill in College Park.
The quarterback position is one that is quite intriguing for Maryland because of the highs and lows experienced in 2019. Pro Football Focus had the Terps’ tandem of Josh Jackson and Tyrell Pigrome rated as high as 39th in the nation after the booming start, but listed them at No. 129 out of 130 at the FBS level at the end of the year.
It’s unclear whether Jackson or redshirt freshman Lance Legendre has a better shot to start next season, but here is what we do know and the best options Maryland could be looking at.
Jackson, Pigrome and Max Bortenschlager each enter their final seasons of eligibility in 2020 — meaning there’s the chance of a transfer out of the program as well as uncertainty in depth moving forward.
Maryland was rumored to be in the running for former Houston quarterback D’Eriq King, but Miami was ultimately able to secure an early visit and convince King to enroll just before the school’s deadline.
The best option in the portal for talent would be former TCU quarterback Justin Rogers, but he would have three seasons of eligibility left and the Terps may not be looking for a long-term solution with Legendre and Tyler DeSue on the roster as well as premier local talents in upcoming recruiting classes.
Anthony Brown, a dual-threat talent from Boston College, has one year of eligibility remaining and could be an immediate answer to promote competition during the 2020 season if there were to be a transfer out of the Maryland program.
Chase Brice, who has served as Trevor Lawrence’s backup at Clemson, would have two years of eligibility remaining and could serve as a depth fix or starting option in 2020 as well as a transitional quarterback in 2021. Through 23 career games as a backup, Brice has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,023 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
With the losses of Anthony McFarland Jr. and Javon Leake to the NFL Draft, Maryland faced the need for running back depth fast this offseason — and did well to restock the depth necessary for spring practice.
The additions of Peny Boone and Isaiah Jacobs in the 2020 recruiting class bring fresh, young bodies into the mix as Jake Funk and Tayon Fleet-Davis are the lone returning talents (though Fleet-Davis’ status remains unclear after his DUI in November).
Locksley and his staff secured a transfer in preferred walk-on Jordan Castleberry ahead of spring practice, putting the room at three-deep for spring practice (assuming Fleet-Davis remains with the team). If there were to be an injury or roster issue, there could be options in the portal after the spring to review.
Texas A&M transfer Cordarrian Richardson, who would likely have to sit out the 2020 season due to transfer restrictions, was once committed to Maryland and could be an option for depth in 2021 and beyond if the staff feels it is needed.
The Terps struck gold in the portal last offseason with Buffalo tight end transfer Tyler Mabry and could look to duplicate that success in 2020.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Malik Jackson, Noah Barnes and Zack Roski are the only tight ends listed on the roster, which could see players leaving the program this spring — creating a need for depth.
Immediately eligible tight ends currently available include:
- Brian Polendey — 6’5, 230 pounds — Miami
- Jordan Wilson — 6’5, 255 pounds — UCLA
- Matt Lynch — 6’4, 235 pounds — UCLA
- Darrion Jones — 6’6, 245 pounds — Colorado
Locksley and his staff clearly made offensive line — and specifically the average size at the position — a key priority this recruiting cycle, bringing in six recruits who were at least 6’3, 315 pounds.
With the bulk of players on the roster having limited experience, bringing in a transfer with playing experience could be instrumental. In particular, there are three portal options from the DMV that could be in play.
Devery Hamilton, who played his high school seasons at Gilman, will have one year of eligibility after transferring from Stanford. He saw action in 27 games — including 10 starts — and is coming off a 2019 season where he started four contests before suffering an injury.
Jauan Williams, from Archbishop Carroll, appeared in 13 games — including eight starts — at Florida State. After redshirting in 2016 and sitting out due to injury in 2017, Williams could potentially have up to two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Stephen Spanellis, who is transferring from Michigan, also has area ties after playing his high school career at Gilman. As a Wolverine, Spanellis appeared in 36 games — mostly as a special teams contributor — with 14 reserve offensive line appearances.
At least one offensive lineman should be brought in this spring, with further choices potentially coming if Locksley and his staff don’t see improvement in the spring session.
Players looking to join Maryland ahead of spring practice would have to announce and enroll at the school by February 7, while others may join in the summer.