Some video clips of Maryland and NFL quarterback legend Boomer Esiason:
Some video clips of Maryland and NFL quarterback legend Boomer Esiason:
Slightly off-topic, but it’s the off-season. Be sure to scroll down for our profile of Terps senior quarterback Caleb Rowe
The NFL has a shortage of corners. There just aren’t 64 NFL caliber corners in the country, not even close, which is of course a problem in a 32 team league where you’re going to need at least 2 corners on anything that’s not a goaline stand or the like. In fact, the percentage of plays where offenses are using three receivers has gone way up, it may have hit the 50% mark, some your 3rd and 4th corner have become even more important. Some teams announce their nickle corner as a starter pregame these days.
Really, the NFL needs about 100 corners of reasonable quality. They might have 25. Hence, the payrate goes through the roof.
Adding to the problem is that there is a big glut of capable receivers (Not necessarily elite receivers, but guys who look like they belong on the field), who obviously are going to tear bad corners to shreds.
Add to this rules instituted either specifically to increase offense, or to physically protect players, and that’s going to make the distinction even bigger. What would be considered a legal tackle in the past is 15 yards after the end of the play. A cornerback’s best friend is the defensive front seven, and they have to approach quarterbacks so carefully on blitzes that it provides the quarterbacks extra time to throw, the receivers extra time to get open, and the corners extra time to get burnt like grandma’s toast. If you sneeze in the vicinity of a receiver, out come the yellow flags. Receivers have also become very good at drawing flags.
One thing I like about Big Ten football is that the referees are better and fairer than in the NFL. In the NFL, refs don’t seem to know the rule book and don’t care- there’s a combination of ineptitude and bias there that sometimes makes games hard to watch. Big Ten refs, by contrast seem to know the rules, get in the right position to see the play, and call what they see right down the middle.
One might argue that the speed of the NFL game relative to college makes it harder to call, and that college football is easier to call, relatively speaking, and I agree with that, but so many of the miscues I see commonly I’m the NFL aren’t present in the Big Ten- and it’s often on things that have nothing to do with speed, and everything to do with knowing the rules, paying attention, and refereeing in an unbiased consistent way.
The NFL refs remind me of ACC refs.
Big Ten refs seem to take their roles more seriously.
Also, Will Likely rules.
When football powerhouse Florida State joined the Atlantic Coast Conference, which was historically strong in basketball but weak in football, in 1992, it might be fair to say that the Seminoles dominated most of the teams in the conference most of the time for years to come. Some of the schools like Miami that have long football traditions were not yet members, other schools like Duke and North Carolina that have had “up” seasons recently were also-rans way back when.
Meanwhile, FSU won national championships- and conference championships. Lots and lots of conference championships. In fact, from 1992-2000, they literally won the ACC championship every year. They tied with Virginia in 1995 and with Georgia Tech in 1998, because at the time there was no ACC title game and if two teams finished with the same record in-conference, they were both champions.
So, with that disclaimer about the ties out of the way, it is fair to say that the Seminoles won the ACC championship *nine years in a row*.
Who broke that streak?
The Maryland Terrapins. Maryland won an undisputed ACC title (No tie) and went on to the Orange Bowl in 2001, the year Florida State’s reign of terror ended. Maryland did have one, and only one, regular season loss, though- to the Florida State Seminoles.
In fact, Maryland got to bowl games the next two years as well, but still couldn’t beat Florida State. 2003 marked the Terrapins’ 12th loss in a row to the hated Seminoles.
But that would all change in 2004:
Watch closely, and you can even see future Penn State head coach James Franklin, an assistant at Maryland who was never good enough to be our head coach, screaming at an official on the sideline on our behalf, before his turn to the Dark Side.
Lost in all the (quite understandable) press coverage of signing day and the entire recruiting process leading up to it is that University of Maryland have a new player who’s much more likely to see the field at the beginning of the 2016 season than any individual true freshman recruit. His name is Trey Edmunds.
Edmunds was originally a 4-star recruit for the Virginia Tech Hokies at running back, turning down offers from Maryland (Everyone makes mistakes), North Carolina, Oregon, Penn State (Good call turning that one down), Tennessee, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and West Virginia according to rivals.com.
He took his 6’2″ frame and added almost 20 pounds of muscle over the years.
His college career at Tech got off to a nice start in 2013, averaging 4.1 yards a carry.
Here he is reeling off his first career touchdown against #1 ranked Alabama:
With 2014, his sophomore year, came an increase from that 4.1 yards a carry average his freshman year, to an even more impressive 4.6 yards a carry. However, unlike in his freshman year, where that statistic is based on 166 total carries, his sophomore stat comes from only 21 attempts, which is roughly a single game’s worth of carries. As a junior, he got less than 50 attempts.
So, here we had a player who was highly rated out of high school and who displayed some great potential and had some amount of success as a freshman, who barely saw the field the next two years.
Well, first a broken tibia happened.
Then, a pair of freshman stole his job, prompting a site called Gobbler Country to declare him a man without a country, and if Gobbler Country is the code for Virginia Tech, and that’s the country they’re talking about, maybe it’s true that he was a man without *a* particular country.
However, he never lost his job on the field. He lost it while he was off the field.
We don’t know, of course, what happened at closed Hokies practices, but we know the man has talent, and we know he has been productive when he’s actually gotten into game situations.
In fact, the talent is literally in his blood. His father, Farrell Edmunds, is a Maryland Terrapins legend who went on to play for the Miami Dolphins, and his brothers Tremaine and Terrell are both current Virginia Hokies.
Having lost Brandon Ross to graduation, and Wes Brown to a suspension that may close out his Terrapins career, the Terps were looking for leadership at the tailback position, and should get it thanks to Edmonds’ senior transfer to the University of Maryland after graduating from Tech.
Of course, he won’t be without competition at Maryland. Sophomore Ty Johnson returns, and the Terps have three freshman running backs who’ve signed letters of intent, including local Damascus, MD sensation Jake Funk, who scored over 50 touchdowns in his senior year of high school. That’s not a typo, over 50 touchdowns in one season.
Obviously, high school competition is high school competition (i.e. not necessarily indicative of future success), and Funk grades out below Maryland’s other two 2016 freshman commits at his position (All three stars, but there are percentiles even within those broad categories), as well as below Edmunds’ 4 star rating from when first came out of high school (Ty Johnson was a 3-star athlete coming out of high school). However, 50+ touchdowns is 50+ touchdowns- I don’t care if you’re playing in a beer league, that’s extremely impressive.
Funk is considered a little slow for the next level, and he’s going to need to add some muscle to hold up as the downhill runner he projects as, but he’s got a great weightroom at College Park, a great coaching staff, and of course Trey Edmonds, who added weight of his own to compete in college, as a potential mentor.
It’s good bet that Edmunds will see the field next year. He could be the starter. He could just be a situational or a change of pace back. But he’s very likely to get significant carries. And his senior leadership and his background growing up around the game will be significant for the Terrapins.
With four four-star offensive linemen who are really big fellows, and some questions at the quarterback position, if I were new Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell, I’d be tempted to line up in the Power-I and let the linemen create holes for the running backs to churn through. As the running backs rotate in and out grinding out yards, it’d keep the opposing offenses off the field, giving them fewer chances to score, and the opposing defenses on the field (Wearing them down so 2-4 yard gains become 5, 10, 20 yard gains and beyond by the 4th quarter).
Walt Bell from all indications isn’t going to do that. He’s got an uptempo style of offense that likes to keep things moving. While that’s not my style, it’s an exciting style that worked well for him at Arkansas State, and, unlike many coordinators who go uptempo, Bell isn’t afraid to run the ball when the situation or personnel dictates it. He may not like eating time off the clock, but he doesn’t wind running some plays out of the pro set or even a three-wide with a run-blocking offensive line scheme, and handing the ball off. His running backs do get carries.
Trey Edmunds is eager to show Walt Bell and the rest of the Big Ten that Virginia Tech made a mistake when they didn’t give him a chance to regain his starting position after he was injured.
Maryland head coach DJ Durkin says everything’s a competition and the best players will play.
Ring the bell. The competition begins with spring practice. Edmunds will be ready to go.