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What Maryland football needs in the 2017 recruiting class

A review of the Terps' projected options for 2016 and beyond.

Sung-Min Kim/Testudo Times

Things can always change late, but the 2016 recruiting cycle for Maryland football is essentially over with the announcement of a 22-man class on Wednesday's National Signing Day.

In college sports, the end of one thing usually means the beginning of another, and so it'll be for the Terps' coaching staff as it kicks into gear shortly on recruiting its class of 2017. We'll get into more depth on Maryland's targets for its next class sometime very soon, but here's a look at where the Terps stand.

One way to approximate whom Maryland will recruit is to assess whom it will need to replace. To that end, let's review Maryland's (highly unofficial, very projected) scholarship depth chart for 2016:

(Spoiler alert: Maryland especially needs defensive ends, cornerbacks, linebackers and centers.)

2016 2017 2018 2019
Caleb Rowe Shane Cockerille Gage Shaffer Gage Shaffer
Perry Hills Gage Shaffer Tyrrell Pigrome Tyrrell Pigrome
Shane Cockerille Tyrrell Pigrome Max Bortenschlager Max Bortenschlager
Gage Shaffer Max Bortenschlager
Tyrrell Pigrome
Max Bortenschlager

Maryland could always use more quarterbacks, but the Terps aren't going to get left out completely in the cold with just the players on their roster now. Hills and Rowe will both be gone in a year, but Maryland should have a couple of quarterback options – albeit not necessarily ones with any experience.

Running backs
2016 2017 2018 2019
Trey Edmunds Jacquille Veii Ty Johnson Lorenzo Harrison
Ty Johnson Ty Johnson Lorenzo Harrison Jake Funk
Lorenzo Harrison Lorenzo Harrison Jake Funk LaDerrien Wilson
Jake Funk Jake Funk LaDerrien Wilson
LaDerrien Wilson LaDerrien Wilson

This might be the position of least need on the roster right now. Maryland has a couple of immediately playable options for 2016 and beyond, and transfer Veii will be eligible to play again in 2017, joining sophomore Johnson and three new signees from 2016. Maryland should have someone pretty good carrying the ball for a while.

2016 2017 2018 2019
Kenneth Goins Jr.
Andrew Stefanelli

The fullback isn't a very important position in a spread offense, but Maryland still needs somebody. This could come via a converted tight end or walk-on, but either way, Maryland probably has to recruit someone who can run into linebackers.

Tight ends
2016 2017 2018 2019
Andrew Isaacs Andrew Isaacs Andrew Gray Noah Barnes
Derrick Hayward Derrick Hayward Avery Edwards
Andrew Gray Andrew Gray Noah Barnes
Avery Edwards Avery Edwards
Noah Barnes Noah Barnes

Maryland has bodies here for the next two seasons, but I'd be pretty surprised if DJ Durkin didn't prioritize adding another high-value pass-catcher over the next cycle. The only polished receiver here is Edwards, and Isaacs has basically lost the last two seasons to injury, while Barnes is probably a long-term project. Reinforcements would be useful.

Offensive tackle
2016 2017 2018 2019
Michael Dunn JaJuan Dulaney Damian Prince E.J. Donahue
JaJuan Dulaney Damian Prince Derwin Gray Mason Zimmerman
Damian Prince Derwin Gray E.J. Donahue Terek Zingale
Derwin Gray E.J. Donahue Mason Zimmerman Brian Plummer
E.J. Donahue Mason Zimmerman Terek Zingale
Mason Zimmerman Terek Zingale Brian Plummer
Terek Zingale Brian Plummer
Brian Plummer

Maryland should be stocked OK here for a while, but there's a decent possibility Prince will be in the NFL before he finishes his last three years of eligibility, and everybody other than Prince and Gray for the class of 2017 is relatively unknown. This is another position where reinforcements could help a lot.

Offensive guard
2016 2017 2018 2019
Sean Christie Sean Christie Sean Christie Terrance Davis
Will McClain Will McClain Will McClain Richard Merritt
Ellis McKennie Ellis McKennie Ellis McKennie
Quarvez Boulware Quarvez Boulware Quarvez Boulware
Terrance Davis Terrance Davis Terrance Davis
Richard Merritt Richard Merritt Richard Merritt

Maryland should be caked here for a long time, although Boulware, McKenne, McClain or Christie might eventually shift to center. Nowhere on the offensive line can ever be over-recruited-though.

2016 2017 2018 2019
Brendan Moore Brendan Moore Brendan Moore

So, Maryland's definitely going to need someone to snap the ball. Brendan Moore is the last true center anywhere on scholarship right now – as best we can tell – and even though he's got three years' remaining eligibility, the Terps need to refill the cupboard behind him. Shifting a guard will help, but Maryland's thin here, having graduated a starting center (Sal Conaboy, Evan Mulrooney) after each of the last two seasons.

Defensive end
2016 2017 2018 2019
Roman Braglio Jesse Aniebonam Brett Kulka Dion Goldbourne
Cavon Walker Chandler Burkett Mbi Tanyi
Jesse Aniebonam Brett Kulka Dion Goldbourne
Chandler Burkett Dion Goldbourne
Brett Kulka
Dion Goldbourne

The end spots are positions of serious need. Braglio and Aniebonam are really good, but they'll both be gone within two years – maybe just one, if Aniebonam breaks out. There's almost no experience behind them, although Kulka appeared a bunch in 2015 and should get better with more seasoning. Goldbourne is small for a Big Ten end and will be a long-term project, and Mike London will require more pieces – ideally two or three, at least – before 2017. Missing out on Terrell Hall really hurts here.

Defensive tackle
2016 2017 2018 2019
Azubuike Ukandu Kingsley Opara Oseh Saine Oseh Saine
Kingsley Opara David Shaw Keiron Howard Keiron Howard
David Shaw Malik Jones Adam McLean Adam McLean
Malik Jones Oseh Saine
Oseh Saine Keiron Howard
Keiron Howard Adam McLean
Adam McLean

Maryland's OK here but could use a lot more. McLean was a four-star recruit but has been injured and is yet to actually see the field, and Shaw's suffered from recurring injury woes, too. It's probably reasonable to expect a tackle commit or two.

OLB 2016 2017 2018 2019
Abner Logan Jalen Brooks Nnamdi Egbuaba Gus Little
Nnamdi Egbuaba Melvin Keihn Brett Shepherd
Jalen Brooks Melvin Keihn Mbi Tanyi Antoine Brooks
Nnamdi Egbuaba Mbi Tanyi Brett Zanotto
Melvin Keihn Brett Zanotto Gus Little
Mbi Tanyi Gus Little Brett Shepherd
Brett Zanotto Brett Shepherd Antoine Brooks
Gus Little Antoine Brooks
Brett Shepherd
Antoine Brooks
ILB 2016 2017 2018 2019
Jermaine Carter Jr. Jermaine Carter Jr. Tyler Burke Isaiah Davis
Tyler Burke Tyler Burke Isaiah Davis
Isaiah Davis Isaiah Davis

This is a particularly rough projection, because we don't know where Maryland will slot new commits Brooks and Shepherd. But either way, Maryland is light at inside linebacker behind the excellent Carter, and the Terps were bad at outside linebacker last season. At outside backer, Maryland needs particular help in the 2017 class.

2016 2017 2018 2019
Will Likely Daniel Ezeagwu Darnell Savage Travon Stott
Alvin Hill Josh Woods Travon Stott Elisha Daniels
Jarrett Ross Antwaine Carter Elisha Daniels Antwaine Richardson
Denzel Conyers Darnell Savage Antwaine Richardson
Daniel Ezeagwu Travon Stott
Josh Woods Elisha Daniels
Antwaine Carter Antwaine Richardson
Darnell Savage
Travon Stott
Elisha Daniels
Antwaine Richardson

This is a bigger need area than the Terps' current roster composition would indicate. They'll lose at least four cornerbacks in the next year, and the Terps' don't have a single four-star recruit anywhere in this secondary once Will Likely graduates. They'll need to get a lot more talented and add bodies.

2016 2017 2018 2019
Elvis Dennah Elvis Dennah Elijah Daniels Elijah Daniels
Milan Collins Milan Collins Tyrek Tisdale Tyrek Tisdale
Elijah Daniels Elijah Daniels Qwuantrezz Knight Qwuantrezz Knight
Tyrek Tisdale Tyrek Tisdale
Qwuantrezz Knight Qwuantrezz Knight

The Terps can probably be fine here for years, but they'll likely want at least one more safety to make sure they're covered for 2018 and 2019 behind whoever from the 2016 class is starting by that point.

Special teams

2016 2017 2018 2019
Adam Greene Adam Greene Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton Daniel Sutton
2016 2017 2018 2019
Nicolas Pritchard Nicolas Pritchard Nicolas Pritchard
Nick Rubinowicz Nick Rubinowicz Nick Rubinowicz
Wade Lees Wade Lees Wade Lees
2016 2017 2018 2019
Nate Adams Nate Adams

At all of these positions, Maryland will eventually need more players. The Terps should be OK for the next two years without any additions at any of these spots, however.

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