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Drawing the line

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Much, much, much examination will be made of Maryland’s offensive line once camp starts on Monday.

But as much as there will be curiosity as to whether the Terrapins’ interior can hold up, one obvious question will rightfully exist.

Namely: What the heck happened to that seven-man class of offensive linemen who began school in 2007 and were supposed to be ready by now.

Obviously, Bruce Campbell did his part; Maryland has him penciled in at left tackle (where he was the last half of 2008).

And Lamar Young could do his part since he’ll be in a camp battle with Andrew Gonnella at left guard.

But Joe Faiella is gone, transferring to Stony Brook after the spring. Bearthur Johnson is gone, having flunked out.

Tyler Bowen and Stephen St. John are constantly tormented by injuries; Bowen in particular remains a promising player, but has yet to make it onto the field.

Maurice Hampton also has not played in his first two years in the program.

All of this demonstrates just how difficult it is to forecast offensive line play in the recruiting process. Sure, the mammoth-yet-agile guys can probably hold their own at the college level. But it’s mostly guesswork – and if a few of those guesses from the summer and fall of 2006 (who in turn signed in 2007) don’t produce this fall, it could prove quite costly to the Terps.

Patrick Stevens

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