Maryland didn’t have a superstar offensive lineman a year ago. Instead, it was a relatively anonymous group and gradually improved (while hiding some depth deficiencies) as the season progressed.
The same might be true this year.
As spring practice winds down in College Park, coach Randy Edsall struggled to name an obvious star up front from the Terrapins’ first 12 workouts.
“I don’t know if we’ve had a standout, not that that’s a negative,” Edsall said. “I think they’re all still developing. I do like the cohesiveness.”
That’s happened despite an ACL injury for left tackle Justin Gilbert, who is expected to miss the first month of the season. Junior R.J. Dill was also limited last week with a sprained knee.
Edsall said Dill’s absence opened up a chance for Nick Klemm to play significant snaps in Maryland’s second spring scrimmage. Klemm is a logical candidate to emerge as a third tackle behind Dill and Max Garcia for the start of the season.
As for the rest of the linemen?
“I think Andy Gonnella has been steady,” Edsall said. “Bennett Fulper has been doing a good job. Josh Cary has really kind of established himself right now as a starter at right guard. A guy who keeps getting better and better with each practice is Max Garcia. R.J. is just a guy who has been out there and understands things and is very smart. Then Pete White has been out there on Saturdays, and Pete has to work on his technique.”
Unsurprisingly, Edsall finds himself desiring the same thing that eluded former coach Ralph Friedgen for much of his tenure: Offensive line depth. Getting Justin Lewis back from injury in the fall will help with that aim.
Still, the hope of having 10 capable offensive linemen available at all times is far from a sure thing.
“If we have an eight-man rotation, then we’ll have eight guys,” Edsall said. “We’re hoping to get a true two-deep on the offensive line.”