Our summer profile series is back and we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time.
We’ve gone over wide receivers and tight ends so far, and now we are reviewing the Terps’ running backs. Mike looked into senior Tayon Fleet-Davis’ role yesterday and today we’ll discuss the first freshman back, Peny Boone.
Peny Boone, RB, No. 13
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
High School: Detroit Martin Luther King
2019 Senior Stats: 12 games; 129 rush, 1,282 yds, 22 TD
At the time oh his announcement, the Detroit native was the highest-ranked Maryland recruit and finished as the No. 26 running back in the nation.
VIDEO: Check out the Maryland (@TerpsFootball) commit Peny Boone (@detroitpenn) scoring three touchdowns for Detroit King in the Division 2 @MHSAA football final this afternoon.— STATE CHAMPS! Michigan (@statechampsmich) November 30, 2019
Brought to you by @MHSAA. pic.twitter.com/oF5iXoy4Im
“I never really talked to Maryland,” Boone told Testudo Times ahead of signing day about the initial stages of his recruitment. “But when Coach [Mike] Locksley and them got there, they started talking to me. It was really cool. And that’s ultimately the place I decided I wanted to be and who I felt comfortable around.”
After choosing Maryland over Michigan and Michigan State among other Power Five schools, Boone had a monster senior campaign with over 1,000 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. The 6’1 back earned two state championships in 2016 and 2018 and was named to the Second Team Dream Team Offense for Metro Detroit in his senior season.
Boone’s size can earn him playing time early
With his height and strength in the backfield, Boone averaged 9.94 yards per carry as a senior, most of those coming after contact. His style of play can be compared to that of Jets back Le’Veon Bell and Ravens’ Mark Ingram. Like Bell, Boone has the ability to change direction in an instant, leaving defenders on the ground behind him in big plays.
Boone earned most of his touchdowns and big-yardage plays in high school by running directly at defenders instead of avoiding them on the outside, showing his toughness and pure strength that he has with the ball.
Running the ball up the middle is a style of play that can earn Boone reps with the offense early if it means converting on third down, something that the Terrapins’ struggled with last season.
As the biggest running back on Maryland’s roster this season, Boone can be the go-to option for third down plays and goal-line carries. He also tallied a good amount of receptions in his high school career, which can help in those situations.
“[Playing time] is something you have to work for,” Boone said in December. “I’m going to work for what I want. [Anthony McFarland Jr. and Javon Leake] left, so that gives me a better opportunity, but I’m not going to be relaxed about it.”
A good freshman season can go a long way
Unlike the last few years in College Park, there is no clear future of who the lead back will be for the Terrapins. The offense looks to be a pass-first option this season with the loss of Anthony McFarland Jr. and Javon Leake to the NFL and the resurgence of the wide receiver position with the addition of five-star Rakeem Jarrett and a now healthy Jeshaun Jones.
The four-star recruit is one of two freshmen running backs on the roster this season alongside Oklahoma native Isaiah Jacobs. Though the two will surely compete for playing time, Boone has the size that Jacobs lacks and can be used in situations unique to his style of play.
If Boone proves himself as a freshman with the opportunities he is given, he has a chance to cement himself as the team’s starter for the remainder of his time at Maryland.