The Maryland football team will have four new running backs this season. Three are freshmen and, along those lines, not likely to play much immediately. The fourth is Trey Edmunds, a Virginia Tech graduate transfer whose four-year career with the Hokies has led him to College Park – his father's alma mater and a spot where he's expecting to help the Terps this year.
Edmunds says his transfer to Maryland this semester came about suddenly. "It just happened," he told reporters at spring practice last Tuesday, and Edmunds is enrolled in classes this semester. He's going through practice repetitions in a crowded backfield, which also includes rising sophomore Ty Johnson and senior Wes Brown – who was suspended late last season, reportedly for a year, but is expected by many around the program to play early next season. Rising true freshman Jake Funk, an early enrollee, is also participating.
A big part of Maryland's appeal to Edmunds is the Terps' new offense. The scheme under new coordinator Walt Bell hasn't taken total shape yet, but Bell's offenses at Arkansas State leaned heavily on the ground game. Last year, the Red Wolves ran on 68 percent of standard downs – the 25th-most frequent running team in the country.
"I definitely see it as a running back-friendly offense," Edmunds said. "All you've gotta do is just look at the past history. When I was in high school, [Bell] was at UNC-Chapel Hill. He coached guys like Giovani Bernard, and we all know what he's doing now, so he definitely has history. He just knows the game. He knows the game inside and out. He knows it from a running back's standpoint, quarterback's standpoint, receiver and offensive line."
Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell works with Edmunds.
After a 2012 redshirt, Edmunds had an interesting run at Virginia Tech under head coach Frank Beamer.
|Trey Edmunds at Virginia Tech|
Edmunds was a key feature in Virginia Tech's offense during his freshman season, 2013, but became a bit player over the past two seasons. (He was hurt for much of 2014.) It made plenty of sense that he was looking for a change when Justin Fuente's administration took over in Blacksburg in November, and Maryland was a soft place to land.
"It's been great. You know, coming from Virginia Tech and playing in college four years, I've had a lot of experience," Edmunds said. "But just coming here with the new atmosphere and the new coaches and the players here."
Edmunds, listed at 6'2 and 223 pounds, is a bruiser. Together with Brown, he could give the Terps' running backs group a physical dimension, while Johnson changes – and picks up – the pace on third downs and edge-run situations.
Maryland's new running backs coach is Anthony Tucker, who worked under Bell at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves had three 6-yard-averaging running backs last year and had four ball-carriers in total (including quarterback Fredi Knighten) reach 400 yards. Granted, the Sun Belt isn't the Big Ten East, but Edmunds seems to have a strong support system.
"I'm loving it," Edmunds said. "I'm loving my position coach. I'm loving the offensive coaches. I'm loving the defensive coaches, the whole organization, and it's just another chance to get better and further my game."