Thursday, April 28, 2011

Football prepares for Spring game

The football team is preparing for the Red White scrimmage this Saturday at Byrd Stadium. As you would expect with a mostly new coaching staff things will be a little different with many players switching positions and new schemes being implemented. Two notable switches include DB Kenny Tate moving to outside linebacker and LB David Mackall moving to a rush end position. The other linebackers will be shuffled as Demetrius Hartsfield will be moved to inside linebacker from outside and Darin Drakeford will be moved to outside linebacker opposite Tate. Hartsfield had a disappointing season last year but played at a very high level as a RS freshman. The trio are probably the most athletic group Maryland has had at linebacker in years. If they play up to their potential Maryland might not skip a beat after losing Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten to graduation.

In regards to defensive schemes coach Randy Edsall indicated they will play more press coverage with the cornerbacks. This will certainly be a dramatic change from the era of Chris Cosh and even Don Brown. Both preferred more zone defense from the corners. It will be interesting to see if corners Cam Chism and Trenton Hughes, who are both about 5'10" and 190 pounds, can play that kind of physical technique.

Replacing punter/kicker Travis Baltz could be a problem. Junior kicker Nick Ferrera got injured and lost the confidence of Ralph Friedgen but will be called on to carry the load this season. Punter Michael Tart will be coming in to replace one of the better punters in Maryland history. The last three punters that the Terps have rolled out, Brooks Barnard, Adam Podlesh and Baltz were All-ACC level players at the position so Tart has a daunting legacy to uphold.

I think the initial uncertainty behind the hire of Randy Edsall has subsided to some extent. The ultimate proof will always be how the team performs this season but the early returns are good. He inherited a poor academic situation from the former coach and athletic director that they have taken pains to remedy. Some of the staff hiring wasn't anything to get excited about but the early returns on the recruiting trail have been very good. There is a buzz about Maryland football among high school players that has been lacking for years. The introduction of a brand new uniform by Under Armor and a opening game against Miami Labor Day on ESPN will also help in that regard.

With NFL Betting about to get started with the lockout heading for a resolution former Terrapin wideout Torrey Smith will wait to see where he is drafted tonight. Let's all hope he gets into the first round like he deserves. Some other possible drafted players include RB Da'Rel Scott, Wujciak, Moten, Baltz and safety Antwine Perez. Besides Smith all the others figure to be mid to late round picks. In the past when Maryland has had good seasons they have seen multiple players picked in the following draft.

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