By: Eric Myers
Maryland football released their depth chart ahead of their matchup with No. 23 Texas on Saturday at FedEx Field. While these designations are subject to change, the depth chart offers a general idea of who will see the field in the season opener.
Interim head coach Matt Canada said Tuesday that he has decided on a starting quarterback, but opted not to disclose that information at that time. The depth chart lists Kasim Hill or Tyrrell Pigrome as the starting quarterback.
Maryland finds itself in a similar position as it did a year ago when the team declined to say who would be the signal caller to start the season at Texas.
In Hill and Pigrome, Maryland’s offense has two signal callers returning from a torn ACL. The two quarterbacks have rehabbed their injuries and battled for the starting spot during the summer.
Hill, a former four-star recruit, offers a pro-style option with an ability to run when necessary, while Pigrome is the more dynamic runner who showed vast improvements in his passing game against Texas in 2017.
Behind the two top options is Max Bortenschlager, a junior quarterback with nine starts in his career at Maryland.
Maryland returns 97 percent of their rushing yards from the 2017 season and the running back position is perhaps the deepest position group on the Terps’ roster.
In two separate running back categories, there are two co-starters in each as Ty Johnson, Lorenzo Harrison III, Tayon Fleet-Davis and Jake Funk are listed as atop the depth chart. All four of those players project to see carries this season, with Fleet-Davis and Funk the likely short-yardage runners.
Behind Johnson and Harrison is redshirt freshman Anthony McFarland, a touted recruit who offers a versatile piece capable of running and receiving. Throw in Javon Leake and the Terps have a deep stable of runners to rotate into Matt Canada’s offense.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
As Maryland looks to replace the production of first-round pick DJ Moore, they will lean on three experienced players and a host of freshmen, according to the depth chart.
In the three starting wide receiver positions are graduate student Taivon Jacobs, senior Jahrvis Davenport and junior DJ Turner. Listed behind those top three pass catchers is one senior, Michael Cornwell, and four freshmen, Dontay Demus, Darryl Jones, Brian Cobbs and Jeshaun Jones.
It is notable that those four freshmen are listed above the five second-year receivers on the initial depth chart.
The tight end position projects to be utilized in the passing game this season after that position group finished with just four receptions in the past two years with former offensive coordinator Walt Bell.
Senior Avery Edwards and freshman Chigoziem Okonkwo are listed as the starters at tight end and provide two big-bodied players capable of catching passes and clearing lanes for the running backs.
Protecting the quarterback at tackle are Derwin Gray and Damian Prince, two talented seniors who chose to return to College Park for their senior seasons. Senior offensive linemen Sean Christie and Brendan Moore are listed to start at guard. These four linemen represent a talent-laden group as each started all 12 games, with the exception of Prince who started 11.
The young player in the listed starting group is sophomore Johnny Jordan. The former three-star recruit appeared in six games in his freshman season and is now slotted to make his first collegiate start at the center position.
A notable omission from the starting lineup is junior Terrance Davis, a former four-star recruit from DeMatha High School who started all 12 games in 2017. Davis did have offseason surgery, as reported by Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun in March, so it remains to be seen if he was not listed due to his recovery.
While the team hopes to avoid any injuries to their front five, the depth remains the biggest question mark for the offensive line. Aside from Davis, the reserve linemen have just one career start among the group.
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