Terps Football: 2017 Season Preview – The Centers
Over the course of the last two weeks, we have looked at the offensive tackles and guards on the roster for Maryland’s football team this season. This week, we’ll wrap up our offensive line previews by looking at the quarterbacks of the line, the centers. The Terrapins have just two centers on the roster in 2017, but there are likely one or two guards who have been groomed for the position in case they’re needed.
Brendan Moore (Redshirt Junior)
2017 Projection: Starter
2016 Statistics: 13 games played (13 starts)
Moore was impressive in his first full season as Maryland’s starting center in 2016. While he struggled occasionally in pass protection (as was the case with all five linemen), he finished the year strong and was ranked by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. as the best underclassman center in the 2018 NFL Draft. Before this season, he was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, an award given annually to the most outstanding center in college football.
Moore will serve as Maryland’s starting center in 2017, and will almost surely do the same in 2018. Improving his pass protection will be a priority during the off-season, as will growing chemistry with a few new faces flanking him on the line this year.
Johnny Jordan (Freshman)
2017 Projection: Second-Team
2016 Statistics (High School): N/A
Jordan is the only other true center on Maryland’s roster this season, and will be arriving in College Park shortly for the start of summer workouts. He was ranked as a consensus 3-star recruit out of Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C, and chose Maryland over offers from Louisville, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and others.
I have projected Jordan to serve as Moore’s primary backup this season. However, the coaching staff could try to redshirt him if they groom someone like Ellis McKennie to step into the position in the case of an injury to Moore. Regardless, Jordan’s best chance for playing time will come in the 2019 season.