Breaking News: Etta-Tawo Set to Transfer

247 Sports reports that senior Maryland WR Ambo Etta-Tawo is transferring out of the program.

The article speculates that the transfer may be a result of a lot of returning and incoming talent at the position, making playing time a potentially sparse commodity.

247 leaves it at that, but there are some obvious alternative or complentary possible explanations. For example, Etta-Tawo may not want to start over in Walt Bell’s new offensive system, preferring something more similar to what Mike Locksley ran last year and what he signed on for during Mike Edsall’s regime.

It’s also possible that Bell and/or new head coach DJ Durkin told him directly that he’d have to compete for playing time and that they didn’t see him as a good fit if he wasn’t going to be happy not seeing the field much.

Obviously, all of these scenarios could in theory simultaneously be true. No one scenario directly excludes the others. Transfers can be the result of a number of factors, including off the field factors that we would not be privy to at all. After all, if one is not an NFL prospect, a transfer could be motivated by academic concerns, geographic concerns, new or old relationships of any type that you need distance from or need to be closer to, etc..

In any event, though we’re sorry to see this talented young man leave the program, Maryland should be alright at his position, where there will be a lot of talent on the field next year.

We don’t know where Etta-Tawo will land yet, but what we do know is that he’ll be eligible to play right away thanks to the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule. Though he will only become a senior on the football field this coming season, Etta-Tawo plans to graduate from Maryland in May. Under NCAA rules, that makes him eligible to transfer anywhere that will offer him, and to play immediately, provided that he enrolls in a graduate program there that does not have an equivalent at the University of Maryland.

Yannick Ngakoue’s Next Step

After finishing second in the Big Ten in sacks, Maryland Terrapin Yannick Ngakoue is moving on to the next level.

The Baltimore Ravens are looking for a pass rusher.

Could the state of Maryland, this time in the form of the Ravens franchise, once again be the right fit for Yannick, who tweeted last month that choosing to attend Maryland was the best decision of his life, complete with the hastag #ForeverMaryland?

Former Terps like Jermaine Lewis and Torrey Smith have had successful tenures with Baltimore’s NFL team, both winning (separate) Super Bowls as Ravens.

Here are some highlights from Ngakoue’s standout Maryland career:

 

Cardale Jones: A Cautionary Tale for Quarterbacks Thinking of Attending Ohio State

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Cardale Jones is a very talented quarterback. He’d have played at least three seasons as the undisputed starter for most power five FBS D1 programs.

In an interview with Cleveland.com, ESPN’s George Whitfield described his arm in a term heretofore reserved solely for discussions about Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco: “Elite. It’s rare. […] It’s almost like you want popcorn to watch this throwing session. I haven’t seen anything like this arm and I’ve been around a lot of quarterbacks.”

So, why isn’t this guy a consensus first round draft pick in this spring’s draft?

Well, let’s look at what the Ohio State Buckeyes did to prepare and showcase him or, rather, what they didn’t do.

Out of high school, Jones didn’t academically qualify, and wound up at a military academy.

The next year, he finally made it to Columbus- and despite being a year older than the other freshman, and his cannon arm, was redshirted anyway.

So, by 2014, he was a redshirt sophmore, but, really, by the end of that year, four football seasons would have passed since the guy was actually in high school.  In 2016, he looks like he’s about 30.

Let’s stick with his (defacto double) redshirt “sophomore” season, though.

Surely, Ohio State would be ready to give him a crack at the starting job?  With that “elite” arm and all?

Nope.  Third stringer at the beginning of that year- Third.  Stringer.

However, the football gods smiled on Mr. Jones, and, thanks to an injury to starter JT Barrett, Jones finally got his chance against #11 ranked Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game (No pressure 😉 ).

How’d he do?  Well, Ohio State 59 Wisconsin 0 says it all.  Then he won a playoff game, and the NCAA FBS Championship.

So, you know, you’d think he’d be the starter in 2015, right?

Nope.  Well, not quite, anyway.  He and JT Barrett were in competition all off-season, and, last I saw them, they were splitting time against the Terrapins.  By mid-October, he was holding a clipboard on the Buckeyes’ bench.

So, how much have NFL scouts really seen of this guy?  He should be a first round pick, but, he isn’t, because he went to Ohio State.

Today, news broke that he’s got a hamstring pull, and can’t throw at the NFL combine.  He may not be ready for Ohio State’s pro day in a few weeks.  No last minute chances to impress scouts and GMs.

Going to Ohio State delayed the start of his NFL career by several years, will cost him several million dollars because he’ll be drafted lower than he otherwise would be, and may not have adequately prepared him for league play.

Whitfield, again, this time quoted by NBC from an ESPN interview: “There’s been two main areas we’re trying to work with with Cardale.  His footwork, for one, has been under construction since he landed in San Diego. Bringing him from the shotgun up under center, just the mechanics of coming out with the center exchange, the first step from under center, three steps, five steps, seven-step drops.”.

Gee, you’d think someone would have taught them those things in, I don’t know, the 78 years he’s been in college?

Great job, Ohio State coaching staff.

Maybe Dwayne Haskins should have thought twice before making the biggest mistake of his life.  It’s okay, though, if he works hard and gets that Ohio State degree, he should be supremely qualified for work at a least one internationally known establishment.

Update: A UPI article notes that Cardale is currently projected as a 4th or 5th round draft pick.

 

The DMV Gets Larger

There has always been some debate over what constitutes the DMV for the purposes of the Maryland Pride movement, which aims to keep local football recruits home and playing for the University of Maryland.  Is it the entire state of Maryland plus Washington DC?  The Washington metro area, which includes only parts of Maryland, but also DC and Northern Virginia?  The entire state of Maryland plus  DC and Northern Virginia?  A large swath of the Mid-Atlantic region?

Well, Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell has helpfully, almost literally, drawn us a map:

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I like it. 🙂

Take that Confederacy, we’ve absorbed your old capitol into a Union state! 😉

It’s a maximalistic approach to what local is, and an ambitious plan of attack for the new staff.  It’s not unrealistic, though.  Maryland’s coaching staff includes top recruiter and former University of Virginia head coach Mike London, among many others.  People on our staff have ties to that region, and of course we are by far the closest Big Ten school to all of those areas.

If you live in even the most northern and most southern most tiers of that region, you’re getting Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals (baseball) games on television during baseball season, and Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards (Pro hockey and basketball) games during the fall, winter, and early spring.  Football coverage is done differently, but the whole region gets either the Baltimore Ravens or the Washington Redskins or both most weeks of the football season (The mix varying depending on where you are, exactly), and both of those teams play in Maryland (The Ravens, as you might imagine, have their home in Baltimore City, and, perhaps less predictably if you don’t already know the answer, the Redskins in Landover, MD, despite their name reflecting an affiliation with the capitol).

This is our home recruiting territory. 🙂

And, personally, as a Marylander, I like the idea of painting adjoining territory in our state colors. 🙂

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Might I suggest adding South-Central Pennsylvania?

It’s in the Chesapeake Bay water basin, and York and some other cities close to the border are practically bedroom communities for Baltimore (Meaning people live up there and commute to work by driving down I-83 every morning and back up I-83 in the evening).

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Source for the map: https://twitter.com/coachwaltbell/status/698281521837379584

This Walt Bell Fan Favorite Tweeting Tactic is No Longer Allowed

247 Sports reports that the NCAA has banned a practice known as “subtweeting”.  Essentially, subtweeting is the practice of obliquely referencing a recruit by inference without using his name or twitter handle.

The article cites an example where a coach has dinner with a recruit who’s nickname is “The Shark” and tweets out a picture of all the food on the dinner table with the caption “A meal fit for a Shark!!!”.

Keen observers may recall that Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell did something similar prior to signing day this year.  When 3-star quarterback Tyrell Pigrome came to the area for a visit, he referenced “a pig flying” into DC.  Shortly thereafter, he tweeted out a picture of a t-shirt featuring an outline of a pig (the animal) filled in with a Maryland flag.

Fortunately for Bell, and for Maryland Terrapins supporters everywhere, those tweets were made before this rule was implemented, and thus are entirely kosher (Well, if you disregard the pigs… pork is never kosher 😉 ).  Just don’t expected to see similarly creative tweets next year if we wind up pursuing recruits with names like Peter Rhinoceros or Timmy “T” Rex. 🙂

* Those last two names are made up.