By Ifeanyi Uzoukwu
The offensive line for the Maryland Terrapins has been improving every season under head coach Randy Edsall. Last season, the offensive line for the Terrapins helped Maryland to its first season passing over 3,000 yards in 20 years.
The Terps conducted their annual media day on Monday, and head coach Randy Edsall started off the press conference by stating that left guard Evan Mulrooney was hospitalized with an undisclosed sickness. This opens the door for Silvano Altamirano, a senior transfer student entering his second year with Maryland (previously played at San Diego Mesa College), to claim the starting job after playing against Old Dominion, West Virginia, and Florida State.
Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, entering his first year at Maryland after six years at LSU, is preaching completion amongst his players.
“Our goal is to get the best five on the line,” Studrawa said. “With Evan’s viral situation depending on how long he’ll be out, we have even more competition in the offensive line.”
Studrawa has praised Altamirano, saying that he “looked great” in one of their scrimmages Sunday.
Altamirano’s main competition at left guard will be Damian Prince, the five-star recruit that committed to the Terps initially as an offensive tackle in February. Edsall announced the move for Prince on Tuesday.
“I just have to keep listening to Coach (Studrawa) and keep working hard,” Prince said. “My time will come.”
Coach Studrawa says that Prince is steadily working on becoming a better tackle.
“He came into camp further along the road than I expected him to be, but we’re still working with him to get him ready to play,” Studrawa said.
Another player Studrawa has spoken highly of is freshman tackle Derwin Gray. The shoulder injury that Gray sustained shortly after transferring to Maryland did not hold him back for too long, as he’s progressed enough to catch Studrawa’s eye.
“He was completely willing to move to a guard spot if need be in order to help the team,” Studrawa said. “He’s made the transition (from right to left) very easy.”
Gray is currently in a battle for the starting right tackle spot with junior Ryan Doyle.
Studrawa also explained how the offensive line needs to brace themselves for the players they will face in the Big Ten.
“You can’t just wake up after not being ready and play Ohio State, they need to be ready,” said Studrawa.
Tackle Jake Wheeler is entering his senior year at Maryland, after redshirting in 2010, then serving as a special teams contributor in 2012-2013. He has only played one full season (2011) and has been working hard to get more playing time this year.
“He is playing his best ball as a Terp,” Edsall said.
If Mulrooney is able to return at some point this season, the Terps will have a few battles across the offensive line, which could prove to be a double-edged sword, as they will have enough talent to fill all five positions, but some players will have heavily diminished playing time.