Image Credit: UMTerps
With the 2014 season at the halfway mark, it’s time to take a quick look at the Maryland Terrapins football team’s Class of 2014. In this article, we’ll look at where each member of the class is right now, and where they’ll be in 2015. The Terps have had some key contributions by some true freshmen this season, and have some very talented players waiting in the wings.
Damian Prince, OL - The biggest recruit for Randy Edsall’s staff since Stefon Diggs committed to play his college football in College Park was Damian Prince. Prince was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school, and was the crown jewel of the 2014 recruiting class. He is currently the third-string left guard for the Terps, and will redshirt this season. He will be fully immersed in the starting left tackle competition for the 2015 season.
Jesse Aniebonam, LB - Another of the highly-ranked players to come out of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, MD, Jesse Aniebonam has made an immediate impact for Brian Stewart’s defense. He has received significant snaps all season long, and has proven how good a pass-rusher he is. His coverage skills need to improve, but his role in the Terps’ third-down defense has been crucial this season. He will likely be starting across from Yannick Ngakoue at outside linebacker in 2015.
Derwin Gray, OL - The Terps thought they’d be getting Derwin Gray in 2013, but his poor grades forced him to attend Fork Union Military Academy for a year before coming to College Park. He enrolled at the University of Maryland in January, and was eligible for spring practice. However, he suffered an injury and was unable to get onto the practice field before the summer. He is currently the Terps’ backup right tackle, and will be given a chance to compete for the job again in 2015. He may also slide inside to one of the guard spots if necessary.
Juwann Winfree, WR - One of the more underrated Terps’ recruits from 2014 is Juwann Winfree. Though he was listed as a 4-star recruit, many analysts seemed to overlook how much talent he brings to College Park. He has received some snaps so far this season, and is best suited for the split end position. He will be given a chance to win that job in 2015 after Deon Long has graduated.
Tyler Burke, LB - One of three linebacker recruits for the Terps in their 2014 class, Tyler Burke is a talented inside linebacker from Coatesville, PA. He is a bit buried on the team’s depth chart this season behind Cole Farrand, L.A. Goree, Abner Logan, and Jermaine Carter, but should receive plenty of opportunities next season. He’ll redshirt this year and compete for a starting job with Logan and Carter next season.
Nnamdi Egbuaba, LB - Another of the three linebacker recruits for the Terps in 2014, Nnamdi Egbuaba suffered a season-ending shoulder injury before the year began. He wasn’t expected to get any playing time, and will likely slot in at the weak-side linebacker spot when he gets healthy. He will use his redshirt season in 2014 and compete with Cavon Walker for the backup job behind Jesse Aniebonam in 2015.
Andrew Gray, TE - One of my favorite recruits in 2014 due to his sheer toughness, Andrew Gray was the only tight end recruited by Randy Edsall and his staff last season. He hails from Chardon, OH, part of the area that the Maryland staff has been breaking into due to their new Big Ten membership. He will redshirt in 2014, as he is behind P.J. Gallo and Derrick Hayward on the depth chart. He’ll likely compete with those guys for the backup job behind Andrew Isaacs next season.
Brett Kulka, DE - One of the two defensive line recruits in the Terps’ class of 2014, Brett Kulka was a 3-star recruit from Edinboro, PA. He is best suited for the strong-side defensive end spot, and will spend this season bulking up for the position. He’ll redshirt this year before competing for the backup job behind Roman Braglio next season.
Brendan Moore, OL - The Terps put an emphasis on the offensive line in their 2014 class, and Brendan Moore is one of four offensive linemen in the class. He will likely see most of his future playing time at one of the offensive guard spots, but will spend 2014 redshirting. He will be given a chance to earn a backup guard job next season.
David Shaw, DT - Darius Kilgo is an extremely talented nose tackle for Brian Stewart, but he will need to be replaced after this season. David Shaw has earned the backup nose tackle job in his true freshman season, and looks to be the favorite to replace Kilgo next season. He will need to continue to bulk up, but has proven to be a very effective run-stopper when he’s received snaps this season.
William Ulmer, ATH - While he came to Maryland as a quarterback, William Ulmer was moved to wide receiver before the season began. He will be working with Keenan McCardell and developing his skills as a slot receiver. He’ll redshirt the 2014 season and may get some snaps next season, especially if Stefon Diggs elects to forgo his senior season and head to the NFL.
Josh Woods, DB - The young man hailing from my hometown (Owings Mills, MD) is one of the more underrated prospects for the Maryland Terrapins. He has moved his way up the depth chart this season, and is currently the team’s #4 cornerback. He has a great build, standing 6-foot-2, and has very good speed. He will likely spend 2015 as a backup to William Likely again, seeing occasional snaps in nickel and dime packages.
Nate Adams, LS - It’s one of those positions that everyone forgets about: the long snapper. Nate Adams is a good one, and will spend 2014 redshirting while serving as Christian Carpenter’s backup. He may get the chance to compete with Carpenter for the starting job next season.
Antwaine Carter, DB - After missing out on Jalen Tabor, Randy Edsall and his staff made it a priority to grab a few cornerbacks. Antwaine Carter was one of those pickups. While only a 2-star recruit, he provides solid depth for a position that was previously very thin. He’ll spend 2014 redshirting, and will likely be given a chance to compete for a backup job next season with Josh Woods and Jarrett Ross.
Sean Christie, OL - The first player to suffer a season-ending injury this season was true freshman offensive lineman Sean Christie. While he wasn’t expected to see the field in 2014, the injury will likely set him back from the ability to compete for a backup lineman spot next season. Regardless, he’ll spend 2014 redshirting and recovering from his injury while preparing to compete for a backup guard or tackle spot next season.
Daniel Ezeagwu, ATH - Another of the cornerbacks that Randy Edsall and his staff picked up after missing out on Jalen Tabor. He, like Carter and Woods, stands 6-foot-2, and signals a possible preference by Brian Stewart to have some taller defensive backs. He is a bit underrated as a 2-star recruit, and will spend 2014 redshirting. He, like Carter, will compete for a backup job next season. Had knee surgery this past week.
Denzel Conyers, DB - A very late sign by Randy Edsall and his staff, Denzel Conyers transferred to Maryland from Butte Community College, but is ineligible to play this season. Also recently had ankle surgery. He will be able to compete for a backup job next season.