Keep an eye out for Miami’s depth chart to be released today. It will provide some early clues as to how first-year coach Al Golden plans to proceed if the eight Hurricanes, reportedly including quarterback Jacory Harris and linebacker Sean Spence, are not reinstated by the NCAA.
As for the Terrapins, they released their two-deep depth chart Monday, with a few surprises. Most glaring is the omission of running back D.J. Adams, who scored 11 rushing touchdowns last season as a freshman. Adams was particularly effective in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Throughout preseason camp, Coach Randy Edsall and players said that competition at running back was quite fierce and that true freshmen Justus Pickett and Brandon Ross had performed well. On the most recent depth chart, redshirt freshman Jeremiah Wilson and Pickett are listed as backups to senior starter Davin Meggett.
Something else that surprised me a little was that junior Nick Ferrara is listed as both the starting place kicker and punter. Many thought the punting competition boiled down to true freshman Nathan Renfro or walk-on Michael Tart. But Ferrara is the starter, and Renfro is listed as the backup. Edsall had plenty of options at kick returner. Pickett is the starter, Wilson is the backup.
At fullback, true freshman Tyler Cierski is listed as the starter over redshirt freshman Rahsaan Moore. Moore had played well throughout camp, Edsall said. There are only two wide receiver slots listed. And the name Tony Logan is not listed among the receivers, but Edsall has repeatedly singled out Logan as someone who has made quite an impression since spring.
Defensively, A.J. Francis, who was listed as a backup after spring practice, is a starting defensive tackle. Depth at linebacker is one of the biggest concerns for Maryland defensively. Redshirt freshman Mario Rowson (Star), redshirt freshman Lorne Goree (Mike) and true freshman Alex Twine (Will) are listed as the backups. In a teleconference Saturday, when asked about the depth at linebacker, Edsall said: “It has come along. Would I like to have more numbers? Yeah, I would.”
Also in that teleconference, Edsall said that offensive lineman Pete DeSouza, who broke both legs in last season’s on-campus motor scooter accident, is unlikely to be ready to play in a game this season. The team did not scrimmage Friday, as had been expected. Offensively, Edsall said he has been impressed that the unit has been able to execute at a fast pace and, for the most part, avoid turnovers. Defensively, Edsall said the unit has made strides since struggling with consistency and tempo earlier in camp.
The next media availability with players and Edsall will be Thursday afternoon.