>> Saturday, June 27, 2009
Ralph Friedgen has attempted to keep the Maryland Terrapins out of mediocrity and develop them into a successful ACC program, but it is a long haul to the top. Friedgen led the Terps to an 8 win season and a victory over Nevada in the Humanitarian Bowl, but much of the team that experienced that success has left College Park, including Darrius Hayward-Bey (7th pick in NFL Draft).
The Terps lost seven starters on defense and another five on offense and have the most defections in the ACC. However, they still have plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball to help them recover from the losses.
Quarterback Chris Turner will provide plenty of leadership and is capable of putting up big numbers (193.5 yards a game). Turner will have the luxury of handing the ball off to a first team All-ACC running back, Da'Rel Scott. Scott rushed for 1333 yards last season and is one of the most talented lead backs in the conference. The loss of Heyward-Bey will be tough to replace, but Torrey Smith will attempt to do just that. Smith is a return specialist, but expect some big numbers from him on the outside. The only worry for Turner should be whether or not he can stay off his backside. Maryland lost three starters on their offensive line. While the offense appears to have potential, defense is a completely different story.
Defensive coordinator Don Brown certainly has his work cut out for him. The Terp's defense lost seven starters and only return one quality player, linebacker Alex Wujciak. Wujciak will most likely be surrounded by Adrien Moten and Demetrius Hartsfield in the linebacking corps. The defensive line lost its most talented player, Jeremy Nevarre and starting defensive end Mack Frost. Brown's defensive backfield was also depleted, but Noland Caroll and company will attempt to dissipate the losses.
The coming year may prove to be a bumpy ride for Friedgen and company, but help is on the way. Maryland landed the 26th best recruiting class in the country (rivals.com). The class is headlined by a monster of a man, Peter White. White is a 6'4", 340 pound guard who has the feet of a 270 pound man. White is already an NFL prospect with that kind of size and may see action immediately on the line. White is joined by RB D.J. Adams and defensive end DeOnte Arnett. Both players could provide immediate help to their respective positions.
September 12th-James Madison-Win
September 19th-Middle Tennessee-Win
October 10th-@Wake Forest-Loss
November 7th-@N.C. State-Loss
November 14th-Virginia Tech-Loss
November 21st-@Florida State-Loss
November 28th-Boston College-Win
Season Projection: 5-7 (3-5 ACC)