- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Terps stacked at linebacker
Or Chase Bullock when talking about Dave Philistin.
Or Adrian Moten whenever he mentions Moise Fokou.
Each pair will split time at one of the Terrapins‘ four linebacker spots when the season opens Saturday against Delaware at Byrd Stadium. And while it appears middle linebacker Alex Wujciak is the only set starter, the horn of plenty at the other positions only encourages Friedgen.
“To me, you can flip a coin,” Friedgen said.
Indeed, this might be the deepest and most versatile linebacker corps Maryland will enjoy this decade. There might not be an E.J. Henderson, who won the Butkus Award in 2002, or a D’Qwell Jackson, who was a Butkus finalist in 2005, among their ranks. But the Terps possess far more options and are less vulnerable to injuries at linebacker than in recent years - an enviable situation rendered even more impressive considering Erin Henderson’s decision to give up his final year of eligibility rather than return in 2008.
Last fall, Maryland’s linebackers were not insulated from the Terps’ roster-wide injury carnage. Bullock and Costa missed extended time, while Henderson dealt with an assort of ailments and sat out one game. Moten, then a redshirt freshman, was at one juncture the backup at three linebacker positions and worked at the other.
While Philistin ranked fourth in the ACC in tackles, he also logged serious work in practice. At times, he was needed to work with both the first and second teams because of a paucity of linebackers.
“We took a lot of snaps last year, so it’s good to have fresh bodies in there,” Philistin said.
Oddly enough, the bounty at linebacker wasn’t guaranteed a few months ago. Costa, Fokou and Philistin all missed the spring with shoulder injuries, and Costa was shifted to Maryland’s hybrid Leo spot. The combination of a position change and brushing off an injury appeared to make the reserve Leo the most tenuous backup slot.
But Costa enjoyed a strong camp, earning extra snaps when a hamstring injury sidelined Covington. Fokou, an incumbent starter, and Moten appear set for a time share on the strong side.
Philistin, who started last year at middle linebacker, and Bullock will split time at weak side linebacker. Both can swing over to middle linebacker to spell Wujciak, a redshirt sophomore who will play this season after losing last year to a torn ACL.
About the only setback during camp was the nagging hamstring injury to presumptive Wujciak backup Ben Pooler. Yet Friedgen remains optimistic about the long-term possibilities for both Pooler and true freshman Demetrius Hartsfield, who arrived in the spring.
“We’re two-deep at every position,” Fokou said. “I think whether you have the first team or the second team on, we don’t skip a heartbeat. We’re just going to keep going.”
That’s what Friedgen wants to hear. After barely surviving last season with a plug-and-play approach at linebacker, one of the Terps’ thinnest units evolved into one of the team’s greatest strengths.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- A Mandela remembrance
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Behind Andy Reid, Chiefs enjoying a resurgence
- Study suggests link between gun ownership, racism
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!