Maryland special teams rundown: William & Mary

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In the spirit of providing a sense of who’s playing where (as well as knowing it for future use), it’s time for the return of a sporadic feature from seasons past: The special teams rundown.

This isn’t a statistical look at anything, merely a glance at who is playing on what special teams unit. Sometimes, it’s not possible to get a good look at every player on every unit during a game, but it’s worthwhile to try (as is the case with the punt unit in this look).

Up first, of course, is Maryland’s six special teams groups against William & Mary based on in-game observations (i.e. scribble within the play-by-play notes):

KICKOFF

23-48-21-52-81-15-9-53-20-10-25

It’s an interesting mix of guys here, beyond kicker 15-Brad Craddock.

There are five defensive starters here (48-Eric Franklin, 21-Sean Davis, 52-Darin Drakeford, 9-Demetrius Hartsfield and 25-Dexter McDougle).

There are five freshmen (23-Makinton Dorleant, Davis, Craddock, 20-Anthony Nixon and 10-Tyrek Cheeseboro).

There are eight defensive players (the five above, plus Dorleant, Nixon and 53-L.A Goree) and two offensive players (Cheeseboro and 81-Ryan Schlothauer).

KICKOFF RETURN

13-86-89-10 / 12-3 / 81-49 / 4-82 / 1

This is an all-offense contingent – six receivers, three tight ends, a fullback and a tailback.

All six wide receivers on the depth chart factored in (13-Kerry Boykins, 10-Cheeseboro, 12-Kevin Dorsey, 3-Nigel King, 82-Marcus Leak and 1-Stefon Diggs). Three of the top four tight ends (89-Matt Furstenburg, 81-Schlothauer and 86-Dave Stinebaugh) and the No. 1 fullback (Tyler Cierski) were also on this unit.

It was also one of two special teams where freshman Wes Brown appeared.

PUNT

Punter: 18

Wall: 53-49-47

Snapper: 59

Other blockers: 48-89-23-81-??-??

That’s two linebackers (53-Goree and 47-Cole Farrand) and 49-Cierski on the wall protecting 18-Nate Renfro. 59-Greg Parcher made his debut as the long snapper. I caught four of the other six blockers (23-Dorleant, 48-Franklin, 89-Furstenburg and 81-Schlothauer).

PUNT RETURN

Returner: 1

Blockers: 23-8-4-86-13-10-20-3-82-81

Like kickoff return, there are a half-dozen receivers in addition to 1-Diggs: 13-Boykins, 10-Cheeseboro, 3-King, 82-Leak and 8-Levern Jacobs.  Toss in two freshman defensive backs (23-Dorleant and 20-Nixon), two tight ends (81-Schlothauer and 86-Stinebaugh) and a freshman tailback (4-Brown) and the punt return unit is complete.

Based on these observations, the only player on all four return/coverage units is Schlothauer, a former tight end who is arguably the most valuable player Maryland has who doesn’t appear in a two-deep.

FIELD GOAL/PAT

Kicker: 15

Holder: 18

Snapper: 59

Blockers: 34-89-74-63-70-75-49-81

No surprises here. The blockers include all of Maryland’s offensive line starters besides center Sal Conaboy (74-Nick Klemm, 63-Bennett Fulper, 70-De’Onte Arnett and 75-Justin Gilbert), as well as three tight ends (34-Devonte Campbell, 89-Furstenburg and 81-Schlothauer) and a fullback (89-Cierski).

FIELD GOAL/PAT BLOCK

35-14-9-48-21-52-97-47-25-96-72

This was entirely made up of Maryland’s defensive starters, including 35-Alex Twine, 14-Jeremiah Johnson, 97-Darius Kilgo, 96-A.J. Francis and 72-Joe Vellano

Based on this rundown, 34 of the 44 Terps who saw the field Saturday played on at least on special team unit (and since there are two guys missing on the punt team, it might even be more than that).

Patrick Stevens

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