Despite going through spring practice without their top two quarterbacks and more than half of their projected starting offensive line, third-year Maryland coach DJ Durkin put a positive spin on what the Terps accomplished over their 15 practices.
“Overall, we had a great spring. I'm very happy where we’re at on both sides of the ball,” Durkin said after Saturday’s Red-White spring game.
As significant as the progress made at a number of positions, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines, Durkin was encouraged by the fact that a team trying to build depth lost just one player to a serious injury — sophomore wide receiver Tahj Capehart, who tore his ACL.
Here is a look at how Maryland’s depth chart shapes up coming out of the spring.
1. Kasim Hill: His recovery from a torn ACL suffered in the third week against Central Florida has onlookers impressed. Look for the former four-star prospect to start the season opener against Texas.
2. Tyrrell Pigrome: The rising junior has also recovered well from his own torn ACL, suffered in the season-opening win over the Longhorns in Austin. That his injury occurred without contact indicates some structural instability and could possibly make for a longer recovery.
3. Max Bortenschlager: Started eight of the last nine games and had strong performances at Minnesota as well as against Northwestern and Indiana at home, but his lack of mobility leaves the rising junior as nothing more than an experienced insurance policy.
Others: Rising sophomore walk-on Legend Brumbaugh and freshman Tyler DeSue, who could be redshirted.
1. Ty Johnson: Though his numbers fell from his sophomore to junior year, he is clearly the most experienced and productive back. Johnson should benefit from new offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s scheme that will also use his talents as a receiver.
2. Anthony McFarland: The dazzling talents that at one time made him the No. 3 all-purpose high school running back in the country at DeMatha were on display in the spring. Seems to be fully recovered from the leg injury that kept him off the field as a freshman.
or Jake Funk: Once thought to be destined for defense or an up-and-coming special teams star with occasional offensive reps, he found himself with a more expanded role in the spring, culminating with a pair of touchdowns in the Red-White game.
or Lorenzo Harrison III: His inactivity in the spring was because of an undisclosed injury, but his absence led to more reps for both McFarland, his former DeMatha teammate, and Funk. Hasn’t been as dynamic since his four-game suspension as a freshman.
Others: Javon Leake, Tayon Fleet-Davis and Ikechukwu Ogwuegbu
LT Derwin Gray, LG Brendan Moore, C Johnny Jordan, RG Terrance Davis, RT Damian Prince
LT Jordan McNair, LG Sean Christie, C Ellis McKennie, RG Tyler Hamilton, RT Marcus Minor
Given the injuries that kept Gray, Moore and Prince out in the spring, many of the young offensive linemen could be in the mix.
TIGHT END (or H-BACK)
While it seems clear that Canada will throw to tight ends more than Walt Bell, who seemed to forget he had any during his two years as offensive coordinator, the fact that there will often be two backs on the field leads to the possibility of an H-back as much as a true tight end.
1. Avery Edwards: Caught 14 passes as a freshman, including two for touchdowns at South Florida, before disappearing the past two years.
Others: Noah Barnes, Chigoziem Okonkwo
1. Tayon Fleet-Davis: Davis is big enough to be used in this role, and Funk is definitely tough enough.
1. Taivon Jacobs: Was a more than solid second option to DJ Moore last season, but needs to be even more productive for the Terps to get their vertical game respected by the opposition.
2. Jahrvis Davenport: Was the third option last season as a junior, playing in all 12 games, catching passes in eight of them, including last seven straight.
3. DJ Turner: Made some big catches in a very limited role last season as a slot receiver and should be even more dangerous with Canada’s reliance on the jet sweep.
Others: Sean Nelson, MJ Jarrell, Jeshaun Jones, Jayden Comma, Rayshad Lewis
DE Byron Cowart: Despite being viewed as a bust at Auburn, former five-star prospect is considered a major upgrade for the Terps.
NT Adam McLean: Former four-star prospect made one start late last season and seems to finally be living up to the hype.
DT Mbi Tanyi: Started nine games last season, including the last seven.
Buck Jesse Aniebonam: His season-ending broken ankle at Texas was just as costly as the injuries to the two quarterbacks.
Others: Seun Oluwatimi, Breyon Gaddy, Melvin Keihn, Bryce Brand, Cam Spence, Brandon Gaddy, Oseh Saine, Lawtez Rogers, Ayinde Eley
MIKE Tré Watson: Illinois graduate transfer finished tied for Big Ten lead in tackles in conference games as a sophomore two years ago.
WILL or SAM (depending on formation) Isaiah Davis: The younger brother of former Terp Sean Davis needs to be more emotionally consistent.
WILL (if Davis is SAM) Antoine Brooks: Team’s biggest hitter and has the potential to be the biggest playmaker (and highest-rated NFL talent defensively on the team).
Others: Brett Shepherd, Durell Nchami, Jordan Mosley
Marcus Lewis: Florida State transfer showed his big-play capability with pick-six in spring game.
Tino Ellis: Came in two years ago as a wide receiver, started six games at corner last season.
Others: RaVon Davis, Rayshad Lewis, Kenny Bennett
Antwaine Richardson: Made three starts last season and had career-high seven tackles in season finale against Penn State.
Darnell Savage Jr.: Tied for the team lead (with JC Jackson) with three interceptions last year and should be helped by a better pass rush this season.
Others: Qwuantrezz Knight, Deon Jones
Joseph Petrino: For a team that has struggled with long field-goal attempts and kickoffs, ambidextrous freshman could be a godsend. He has booted a 60-yarder with his right foot and a 50-yarder with his left.
Others: Walk-ons Paul Inzerillo and Mike Shinsky looked solid in the spring game and should have a chance to compete in fall camp.
Wade Lees: Aussie is back for his third season as he approaches his 30th birthday. Yes, 30th.
Others: Matt Barber
Matt Oliveira: Senior has started the past 24 games.