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Sports Terps Tracking the Terps

Breaking down Maryland football's preseason depth chart

Maryland begins preseason practice Aug. 4 and has put out its depth chart heading into the workouts.

The depth chart could change between now and the start of the season, but this is how things stand heading into camp, with a little analysis on each position (starters in all caps):


OFFENSE

Quarterback: C.J. BROWN (Gr.), Caleb Rowe (Jr.), Perry Hills (RS So.), Shane Cockerille (RS Fr.), Will Ulmer (Fr.)

Brown is the returning starter. He is a sixth-year senior and has been Maryland’s starting quarterback the last two years he has been healthy. Hills and Cockerille will try to unseat Rowe as Brown’s backup.

Running back: WES BROWN (So.) or ALBERT REID (Jr.) or BRANDON ROSS (Jr.) or JACQUILLE VEII (So.), Joe Riddle (So.), Tehuti Miles (So.), Zac Morton (Fr.)

Brown, Reid, Ross and Veii are listed as co-starters. Playing time will come down to how each fares during camp.

Brown may be the most intriguing. He is a former four-star recruit and rushed for 382 yards in eight games as a freshman in 2012, but he was suspended last year and will have to continue to shake off the subsequent rust that comes along with a year off from football.

Ross is probably the favorite to be the primary ball-carrier. He was the starter last year and has led Maryland in rushing the last two seasons. However, Reid and Veii will be in the mix as well.

Reid is another former four-star recruit and ran for 294 yards in a situational role last year.

Veii is a dark-horse candidate for significant playing time. He is the fastest of the running backs, although he is also the smallest at 5-foot-9, 187 pounds.

Fullback: KENNETH GOINS JR. (So.), Tyler Cierski (Sr.), Andrew Stefanelli (So.)

Goins (Gilman) is the returning starter. However, he will have to hold off Cierski, who he beat out for the starting job last summer.

Wide receiver: STEFON DIGGS (Jr.), Levern Jacobs (Jr.), Daniel Adams (Jr.), DeAndre Lane (So.)

Wide receiver: DEON LONG (Sr.), Nigel King (Jr.), Amba Etta-Tawo (So.), Juwann Winfree (Fr.)

Wide receiver: MARCUS LEAK (Jr.), Taivon Jacobs (RS Fr.), Malcolm Culmer (So.)

This is arguably the deepest and most talented group of receivers in the Big Ten.

Diggs and Long are the two big names, but Leak, Levern Jacobs, Etta-Tawo and King have all proven capable of making plays as well and all will compete for playing time during camp.

Leak took the year off from school and football last year, but he had 23 catches for 393 yards in seven games as a sophomore in 2012. Jacobs had 47 catches for 640 yards and three touchdowns last season, and King and Etta-Tawo both had 30-plus catches last year as well.

Jacobs’ younger brother, Taivon, will also be in the mix for playing time. Taivon Jacobs redshirted as a freshman last season, but ESPN rated him as a four-star recruit last year. He is only 5-9, 160, but he is probably the fastest player on Maryland’s roster.

Tight end: P.J GALLO (So.) or DERRICK HAYWARD (RS Fr.) or ANDREW ISAACS (So.), Eric Roca (RS Fr.), Brian McMahon (So.), Andrew Gray (Fr.)

Gallo, Isaacs and Hayward are listed as co-starters and are each in the mix for the starting job entering camp. Gallo is considered an OK all-around player and is the most dependable of the three at this point, but he likely does not have the upside of Isaacs or Hayward. Isaacs played primarily on special teams as a freshman last year, but he was a four-star recruit. Hayward is a converted linebacker and is raw, but he is considered the most athletic of the group.

Left tackle: MICHAEL DUNN (So.), Jake Wheeler (Sr.), Damian Prince (Fr.)

Left guard: SILVANO ALTAMIRANO (Sr.) or EVAN MULROONEY (Jr.), Mike Minter (RS Fr.)

Center: SAL CONABOY (Sr.), Stephen Grommer (Jr.), Joe Marchese (RS Fr.), Brendan Moore (Fr.)

Right guard: ANDREW ZELLER (Jr.), JuJuan Dulaney (RS Fr.), Maurice Shelton (So.), Sean Christie (Fr.)

Right tackle: RYAN DOYLE (Jr.), Derwin Gray (Fr.), Banks Agaruwa (Fr.)

The offensive line is likely Maryland’s biggest question mark. Four of the five starters return, but the line was not particularly good last year, and every job is up for grabs with the exception of center.

The two high profile true freshmen — Damian Prince and Derwin Gray — are worth keeping an eye on. Prince was a five-star recruit who chose Maryland over schools like Florida and Alabama. Gray was a four-star recruit who spent last year at prep school. Prince enters camp as the third-string left tackle, but he could challenge for the starting spot. The coaching staff may also try him out at guard. Gray didn’t practice during the spring after undergoing shoulder surgery, but he will be in the mix at right tackle.

DEFENSE

Defensive end: QUINTON JEFFERSON (Jr.), Malik Jones (RS Fr.), Spencer Myers (Sr.), Ty Tucker (So.)

Defensive end: ANDRE MONROE (Sr.), Roman Braglio (So.), Kingsley Opara (RS Fr.), Ruben Franco (RS So.), Brett Kulka (Fr.)

Nose tackle: KEITH BOWERS (Sr.) or DARIUS KILGO (Sr.), Azubuike Ukandu (So.), David Shaw (Fr.)

The defensive line is a strength for Maryland.

Monroe had 17 tackles for a loss and nine sacks last year. Jefferson is a former four-star recruit who was a starter last season. Kilgo is a returning starter, and Bowers is tough and scrappy despite not having prototypical nose tackle size at 6-1, 285. Bowers and Kilgo are listed as co-starters entering camp and will likely end up sharing playing time.

Depth at defensive end is a concern. However, Braglio (McDonogh) was a contributor as a backup last season and the addition of Myers, an All-American wrestler, could help as well.

Outside linebacker: MATT ROBINSON (Sr.), Alex Twine (Sr.), Cavon Walker (So.), Avery Thompson (Jr.), Nnamdi Egbuaba (Fr.)

Outside linebacker: YANNICK CUDJOE-VIRGIL (Sr.), Yannick Ngakoue (So.), Clarence Murphy (Sr.), Chandler Burkett (Fr.), Jesse Aniebonam (Fr.)

Inside linebacker: COLE FARRAND (Sr.), Jermaine Carter Jr. (RS Fr.), Brock Dean (So.), Tyler Burke (Fr.)

Inside linebacker: L.A. GOREE (Sr.), Jalen Brooks (RS Fr.), Matt Gillespie (Fr.), Abner Logan (So.)

Farrand and Goree are returning starters at inside linebacker. Robinson (Atholton) returns at outside linebacker. The only difference will be at the other outside linebacker spot. Marcus Whitfield had nine sacks last year, but he is gone. Cudjoe-Virgil, who had three sacks in six games last season, will be depended on to help replace that pass rush production.

Ngakoue was a four-star recruit last year and will be in the mix for playing time as well. So will Twine, a senior who has started 12 games during his career.

Aniebonam is also worth keeping an eye on. Maryland is deep at outside linebacker, but Aniebonam was one of the Terrapins’ top recruits this year and could put himself in the mix for playing time with a strong camp.

Pay attention to Brooks as well. Farrand and Goree are likely entrenched as the two starters entering camp, but Brooks had a good spring and could be a player to watch for the future.

Cornerback: WILL LIKELY (So.), Jeremiah Johnson (Sr.), Undray Clark (Jr.), Daniel Ezeagwu (Fr.)

Cornerback: ALVIN HILL (Jr.), Jarrett Ross (So.), Michael Washington (Sr.), Josh Woods (Fr.)

Of note here is Johnson being listed as the third corner behind Likely and Hill. Johnson was a starter as a sophomore in 2012 and entered last year as a starter, but he missed most of the season because of a broken toe and will now have to unseat either Likely or Hill for a starting job.

Either way, Likely, Hill and Johnson are the clear top three at corner entering the fall. Depth behind them is a concern, so coaches will be eager to see how players like Ross, Clark and Washington look during camp.

Safety: SEAN DAVIS (Jr.), A.J. Hendy (Sr.), J.T. Ventura (RS Fr.), Rashid Conteh (Sr.), Elvis Dennah (RS Fr.)

Safety: ANTHONY NIXON (Jr.), Zach Dancel (Jr.), Denzel Conyers (Jr.), Antwaine Carter (Fr.), Milan Collins (RS Fr.)

Davis and Nixon are returning starters, but Dancel and Hendy could push for starting jobs with strong camps.

Kicker: BRAD CRADDOCK (Jr.), Adam Greene (RS Fr.)

Punter: NATHAN RENFRO (Jr.), Michael Tart (Sr.), Lee Shrader (Fr.)

Long snapper: CHRISTIAN CARPENTER (So.), Nate Adams (Fr.)

This is pretty much to be expected. Craddock made 21 of 25 field goals as a sophomore last year. Renfro has been Maryland’s punter since his redshirt freshman season in 2012, and Carpenter was the long snapper the final three games of last year.

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