Jajuan Dulaney watched "pretty much every game" the Maryland football team played in 2012, suffering along with other Terps fans as four quarterbacks suffered season-ending injuries. Despite the disappointment of a 4-8 season, the Maryland-bound offensive lineman from Powder Springs, Ga., viewed the year with an optimistic eye toward the future.
"Only if we had a [healthy] quarterback … I really believe we would have ended up in the ACC championship," Dulaney said. Friends of the senior lineman "know that they're a real young team. They believe, just like me, that they're going to be really good these next few years coming up."
Dulaney, who hopes to play left tackle for the Terps, thrived in McEachern High's "spread, pistol-type, zone-read" offense. He helped the Indians to an 8-3 record and a berth in the Georgia Class AAAAAA playoffs. Dulaney is hopeful that his high school experience translates to early playing time in College Park.
"With the offense [the Terps] run, it's basically the same thing as ours. I think that's pretty much an advantage I have already," he said. "As of right now, [the coaches are] just expecting me to stay in the weight room, keep getting bigger, keep getting stronger. Once I get there, I can compete and try to get some playing time on the field."
Here's an introduction to Dulaney:
Name: Jajuan Dulaney
Birthdate: July 27, 1994
Birthplace: Austell, Ga.
Position: Offensive tackle
High School: McEachern High in Powder Springs, Ga.
Senior statistics: 51 pancake blocks, gave up one sack
Rankings: Rivals.com – Three-star prospect. Scout.com – Three-star prospect, No. 78 offensive tackle. ESPN.com – Three-star prospect, No. 66 offensive guard, No. 107 player in Georgia, 75 rating. 247Sports.com – Three-star prospect, No. 124 offensive tackle, No. 124 player in Georgia, 80 rating.
Bench max: N/A
40-yard dash: 5.0
Runner-up school: North Carolina
Other schools considered: Cincinnati, East Carolina
Favorite NFL player: Arian Foster
Favorite NFL team: Houston Texans
Favorite all-time Terp: Vernon Davis
Favorite music: Lil Wayne, Future
Favorite movie: "Friday Nights Lights"
Favorite book: "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis
Favorite TV show: SportsCenter
Favorite food: Lasagna
Favorite high school class: Government
Other high school sports: Track and field (throws shot put and discus)
Hobbies: "I like to play basketball in my spare time. I used to play basketball my freshman and sophomore years. That's something I like to do. I like to play "Call of Duty" when I have free time. I like to cook."
Intended major: Broadcast journalism
Something that not many people know about you: "When I was in eighth grade, I used to be a skateboarder and I broke my ankle. That was [the last time I skateboarded]. The first day I ever tried to skateboard."
Best football moment: "My best memory was when I was a junior, we went down to South Georgia to play Lowndes High School. We ended up beating them in the final seconds."
Role model: "My role model would have to be one of my old offensive line coaches, Coach Pastrick, because he's a hard worker. He's real smart. He believes in just being, not perfect, but as close to perfect as you can be. That's something I like to follow."
Why Maryland? "Because I felt more comfortable with the coaching staff. The coaching staff reminded me a lot of the coaching staff we have here. They're real open and accepting. The academics, of course, [were important]. If something were to happen with football and I couldn't make it, I could always fall back on the education."