Today I’m taking a look at how Maryland’s ridiculously big 2017 recruiting class can have an impact on the upcoming season’s depth chart. Given that 29 recruits were taken in, 7 which were early enrollee’s, there is certainly going to be an impact felt from the freshmen this year by virtue of the sheer number of them. Let’s take a look by position group:
Returning players: Tyrrell Pigrome, Caleb Henderson, Max Bortenschlager
Incoming Freshman: Kasim Hill
Kasim Hill will be given a chance to compete in summer camp but in all likelihood he would need to blow the staff away in a very short timeframe in order to break into the top half of the depth chart. He is a redshirt candidate that could see his chance to start as a redshirt freshman or sophomore depending on how things go. Caleb Henderson is the presumed starter going into summer camp with Pigrome and Bortenschlager giving him some stiff competition to keep his job.
Returning Players: Ty Johnson, Lorenzo Harrison, LeDarrian Wilson
Incoming Freshmen: Anthony McFarland, Javon Leake, Tayon Fleet-Davis
Maryland will almost assuredly see some freshmen getting some quality playing time at running back considering Walt Bell likes to rotate between 3 and 5 backs a game for fresh legs in his hurry up system. Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison are the presumed two starters who will carry the bulk of the workload but expect McFarland to see significant playing time on passing downs where he excels catching out of the backfield. Javon Leake is a better all around back who could spell Johnson or Harrison at any given time and could see more time on the goal line considering he’s built much bigger than Harrison is.
Returning Players: DJ Moore, Taivon Jacobs, Jacquille Veii, DJ Turner, Chris Jones*, Jahrvis Davenport
Incoming Freshmen: Tahj Capehart, Sean Nelson, Jayden Comma, Carlos Carriere, MJ Jarrell, Jalen Browder**
Maryland graduated a lot of seniors from WR so the returning group is pretty thin in terms of depth, especially considering Veii is coming off his mandatory sit out year from a transfer and Chris Jones is already out for the year with a torn ACL. That leaves presumed starters of Moore outside, DJ Turner in the slot, and Davenport on the outside however I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the freshman broke into the lineup.
The incoming freshman, outside of Capehart who projects to the slot, have one thing in common: size. They’re all 6’2 or taller and almost all of them are from Georgia or Florida. Carlos Carriere could stand to have a redshirt year to add weight as he comes in at 6’5 but only 175lb listed, so presumably he’s stick thin. Look for Jayden Comma and MJ Jarrell to make some noise early in getting on the field.
*Out for the year with a torn ACL
**depending on where you read, he may end up on defense
Incoming Freshmen: Marcus Minor, Johnny Jordan, Tyran Hunt, Jordan NcNair
They’re all redshirting. If I keep saying it, it might happen.
In all reality, Hunt may end up as the backup at LT but he is an intriguing project at this point so if he’s on the field we have some issues. Jordan could end up in the 2 deep as well as the backup center but the remainder of the players project better inside and thankfully Maryland is full of depth there and these guys won’t be relied upon right away.