Took care of some defensive questions yesterday as Maryland gets ready to start camp Monday.
Now it’s on to the offense. Here’s five subplots the Terrapins hope to answer in the next four-plus weeks:
1. Who will man the offensive line and how well will it hold up?
Maryland needs answers beyond Bruce Campbell and Phil Costa, and it very well might have one in Justin Lewis at right guard.
But a lot of attention will be paid to left guard (Andrew Gonnella/Lamar Young) and right tackle (Paul Pinegar/R.J. Dill/Tyler Bowen). Solidifying those spots might be the most crucial thing the Terps will seek during camp.
The line is the one obvious hole the Terps must fill – and failing to do so would create season-long headaches.
2. Whose name will come up when the Wheel-o-Wideouts is spun?
Besides Torrey Smith and maybe Ronnie Tyler, there probably isn’t anyone in Maryland’s posse of receivers assured of a chance to play early in the season.
It’s a mostly young but talented group, and chances are there will be a lot of shuffling on the depth chart throughout camp.
Don’t count out some positions switches as offensive coordinator James Franklin tried to maximize the time his best options spend on the field. Kerry Boykins, Adrian Cannon, Kevin Dorsey, Emani Lee-Odai, Tony Logan, Quintin McCree and LaQuan Williams … all face pivotal moments in their careers this August.
3. Who is Da’Rel Scott’s backup?
The 1,000-yard rusher is pretty safely locked in as a starter entering camp, but the backup job will be fiercely contested assuming all the particulars remain healthy.
Davin Meggett emerged as the No. 2 option with a strong camp last year as a true freshman. Morgan Green, who enjoyed a fine spring, will factor in as well if he can simply achieve one of his personal goals and make it to September without getting nicked up.
Both guys will probably play at some stage, but Maryland has stuck closely to a two-back system in the last three years (and not a three-back approach). Barring injury, the winner of this battle will play significantly more than the loser.
4. Is Jamarr Robinson ready to be a play away from a prominent role?
The sophomore might have to be, since he’s the only non-true freshman option behind starting quarterback Chris Turner.
Robinson, once a grayshirt who entered school in the spring of 2007, looked good in Maryland’s spring game. And he clearly wants to play, as evidenced by his willingness to serve as a backup holder and even earning a spot on the punt block team for a game last year.
The Terps know what they have in Turner, but beyond 2009 they have virtually no answers. If Maryland can find a way to get Robinson some snaps in some blowouts – granted, those are rare for the Terps – it would help. If not, August figures to be Robinson’s best chance for semi-competitive work unless Turner is hurt.
5. About Turner – how will he handle being the unquestioned No. 1 option?
Probably as well as he handles everything else. Turner’s a bright guy, but things going on externally don’t ever seem to provide complications for him.
That said, this is definitely his team. At the very least, it will be good for everyone around the program not to have the incessant yammering about the starting quarterback. The certainty at the position might not make much of a difference for Turner, but it’ll be curious to see if it has a calming effect on everyone else.