Despite the not particularly ringing endorsement from Ralph Friedgen earlier in the day, it seemed reasonable to ask offensive coordinator James Franklin tonight why it seems like tailback Morgan Green has fallen off the map of late.
Why is it reasonable? Well, when the starter gets hurt and it seems like a pair of true freshmen are going to play and Green barely can get mentioned (which would put him, at best, at No. 5 on the depth chart despite Da’Rel Scott’s absence), you have to wonder if anything has changed.
And to Franklin’s credit, he gave probably a more candid and expansive answer than could have been expected.
“Not a whole lot has changed, really,” Franklin said. “There just comes a point where you either have proven your value to the team or you’re going to move on. If you have some younger guys who are showing signs of bringing something to the table or bringing something to the team that maybe we don’t have, at some point you say ‘Look, I’m going to start investing my time in a younger guy. You’ve had plenty of opportunities, plenty of time.’”
To say the least, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation, and it would appear the redshirt junior’s days in College Park are probably numbered.
As for how it got here? Never mind Green’s well-chronicled recruiting saga and look at the three seasons he figured to factor into the Terps’ backfield.
He was initially the No. 3 back in 2007, but hurt a hamstring and didn’t play after the opener.
He looked like he’d be the No. 2 back in 2008, but a quadriceps ailment derailed him in camp and Davin Meggett won the backup job. Green’s only extensive time came when Scott was hurt (Eastern Michigan) or suspended (first half of the Humanitarian Bowl).
Green didn’t get hurt this year. But first Gary Douglas caught and passed him on the depth chart in August. Then true freshman D.J. Adams did the same last month. And now Caleb Porzel, who is practicing for the first time since camp, is more likely to receive a carry for Green.
It might be a hole just too deep for Green, who has 32 career carries for 126 yards, three touchdowns and a 53-yard scoring scamper in the Humanitarian Bowl last year, to climb out of.
“I love Morgan as much as anybody,” Franklin said. “I recruited Morgan. I sat in his home, sat with his mom, all those things. I would love to see him do it. It just hasn’t happened for whatever reason.”