Image Credit: The Baltimore Sun
2012 Statistics: 9 games played, 7 games started
During the offseason at the end of the 2011 season, most experts projected Bennett Fulper to start at center for Maryland in 2012. It made sense. Fulper had started the majority of the Terps’ games in 2011 at center and was entering his senior season. But the emergence of the sophomore Sal Conaboy allowed Randy Edsall to move the talented Fulper to left guard and start Conaboy at center.
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Sal Conaboy was a 3-star offensive guard recruit out of Abington High School in Clark Summit, PA. He chose Maryland over a plethora of other schools, including Michigan State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia. He saw action in a few games at center for the Terps in 2011, and that helped the coaches see him as the future at center for the team. He impressed in spring camp as well, allowing him to start half of the team’s games at center in 2012.
Injuries are the reason that Conaboy wasn’t able to start all of the team’s games in 2012. Towards the end of the year, a nagging ankle injury forced freshman center Evan Mulrooney into action. Unfortunately for Conaboy, Mulrooney was so impressive in his spot starts last season that there should be a good competition for the center spot in fall camp. Conaboy got a jump on that job in spring camp, as Mulrooney did not play due to injury.
Conaboy will be a junior in 2013, and hopes to be another solid piece to the Terps’ offensive line moving forward. For a depleted offensive line, having a solid center is key for the line’s success. Conaboy definitely has the talent to be that guy as long as he can stay healthy.
I would expect to see Conaboy starting at center for the Terps in their opening game in 2013 against Florida International. But if Evan Mulrooney hadn’t missed spring camp with an injury, that prediction could be totally different. Either way, the Terps have 2 very talented young centers with great potential.