For some seniors, college football all-star games represent a mere window into the future, one final competition at this level before moving onto brighter things. For others, it’s an opportunity to impress professional scouts, to perhaps elevate one’s NFL stock and hang around for a little while longer. Still others can treat this as a reward, knowing full well that their future lies elsewhere, beyond football.
Though no Maryland football players have thus far been invited to the prestigious East-West Shrine Game and the even more prestigious Senior Bowl, several Terrapins — now officially former Terrapins — will compete in all-star games, which begin Saturday afternoon in South Carolina with the Medal of Honor Bowl.
There outside linebacker Marcus Whitfield, who thrived in the blitz-happy “Will” spot this season and finished with nine sacks, will play on the American team, which coincidentally enough is led by former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen. A reunion of sorts is taking place in Charleston, as the American team also includes former Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien (now at Division II Catawba College) and former running back D.J. Adams (now at Portland State).
After transferring down a level from Wisconsin to finish his college career, O’Brien went 6-5 as the starter with a 67.9 completion percentage, 2,490 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. According to the Post and Courier, “more than 100 NFL scouts are in attendance this week.”
“I definitely feel I have something to prove,” O’Brien, the 2010 ACC rookie of the year under Friedgen, told the newspaper. “Some of that is being from a small school like Catawba, and I’m proud to say that. Any time a guy has transferred twice, there are going to be some question marks. So I need to get out and prove that I can be a good quarterback, I can make all the throws, and I can digest an offense and lead a team.”
Adams, meanwhile, rushed for a blistering 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Vikings this season, and was named third-team all-American for the Football Championship Subdivision level. He spent two years in College Park, from 2010-11. Former Maryland offensive lineman Donnie Woods, now a coach at Iowa Western Community College where several Terps have spent junior college seasons, is an assistant coach on the National team.
The online commitment list for the College All-Star Bowl, played on Valentine’s Day in South Carolina, also features three Maryland players, though two finished the fall with season-ending injuries. Cornerback Dexter McDougle (shoulder), long snapper Greg Parcher (abdomen) and offensive lineman De’Onte Arnett are all listed on the game’s website. No word on where tight end Dave Stinebaugh is headed, though he was initially expected to participate in the College All-Star Bowl too but isn’t on the commitment list.