Offensive Line Preview: Silvano Altamirano
2012 Statistics: N/A (Transfer from Mesa Community College)
Silvano Altamirano is one of two highly touted transfers that the Maryland Terrapins are receiving in 2013. A versatile lineman who can play guard or tackle positions, his experience and work ethic should help him get a good chunk of playing time this season. As it stands right now, he is De’Onte Arnett’s backup at left guard. But he is pushing Arnett to be the starter at that position at some point this season.
(Discuss this article on the BSL Message Board here.)
Altamirano was ranked as one of the best Junior College transfers at his position last season, and the Terps were able to grab him away from Connecticut, New Mexico, SMU, and Washington State who had all made offers on the 6’4″ 290 pound lineman. Maryland entered Altamirano’s recruitment process a bit later than other schools, but they still made a big impression. He liked the opportunity he’d get to play immediately at Maryland as opposed to other schools. The ability to play in the ACC and the Big Ten definitely played a part in his commitment as well.
He enters College Park with a great opportunity to showcase his skills sooner rather than later. The Terps’ offensive line has been a big question mark for the past few years, and solidifying that unit will be key heading into their first season in the Big Ten. The good news is that Randy Edsall and his coaching staff have been heavily recruiting offensive linemen, both for the Class of 2013 and the Class of 2014. But those classes aren’t ready for game action yet, so players like Silvano Altamirano will have to hold down the fort until the young guys are ready to take over.
Altamirano’s skill set is perfect for Maryland’s read-option offense. He is quick and nimble for a big man, and can pull and get into space with the best of them. In order for the read-option to work, the offensive linemen have to be able to get downfield and block the second level defenders to create space for the ball-carrier. Look for Altamirano to get playing time at both guard positions this season, especially if De’Onte Arnett or Andrew Zeller can’t do their jobs. At the very least, he provides key depth for an offensive line that is, as a whole, very thin.