The 72-man band

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By now, Maryland’s football team is on a flight bound for Oakland – and there are less than 53 hours before the Terrapins’ season kicks off.

Because of a rule ACC coaches agreed to this year, teams can no longer travel more than 72 players to road games – the same as is allowed for the league title game.

Coach Ralph Friedgen indicated last weekend he had about 69 of the 72 slots figured out. Which means if I get less than 69 of my projected traveling players correct, I’m going to look back.

On the bright side, Ralph has made this an easier endeavor, helpfully offering up a list of true freshmen expected to make the trip.

Still, there is some guesswork involved – and be sure to check back on Saturday night when it’s known just how good (or bad) this projection is:

QUARTERBACKS (3)

1. Chris Turner
2. Jamarr Robinson
3. Danny O’Brien

Three quarterbacks usually travel, and these are the top three for now.

TAILBACKS (4)

4. Da’Rel Scott
5. Davin Meggett
6. Gary Douglas
7. Morgan Green

The top two are locks. Douglas impressed during camp. Green’s pass blocking makes him a distinct possibility, too.

FULLBACKS (3)

8. Cory Jackson
9. Taylor Watson
10. Haroon Brown

A pair and a spare – not the worst way to approach things

WIDE RECEIVERS (9)

11. Adrian Cannon
12. Torrey Smith
13. Ronnie Tyler
14. LaQuan Williams
15. Quintin McCree
16. Kevin Dorsey
17. Emani Lee-Odai
18. Kerry Boykins
19. Tony Logan

Logan’s the wild card here given the injuries that slowed him toward the end of camp. Speaking of which, where is that injury report. …

TIGHT ENDS (4)

20. Tommy Galt
21. Lansford Watson
22. Matt Furstenburg
23. Devonte Campbell

The first three guys are most likely to contribute from the start of the season, but it wouldn’t a huge surprise if Campbell comes, too.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (11)

24. Bruce Campbell
25. Lamar Young
26. Phil Costa
27. Andrew Gonnella
28. Paul Pinegar
29. Justin Gilbert
30. Bennett Fulper
31. Danny Edwards
32. Justin Lewis
33. R.J. Dill
34. Maurice Hampton

Maryland sure wishes Tyler Bowen was healthy to give them an extra tackle. But otherwise, this makes sense as a list for the linemen.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (11)

35. Jared Harrell
36. Derek Drummond
37. A.J. Francis
38. Travis Ivey
39. Deege Galt
40. Isaiah Ross
41. Zach Kerr
42. Ian Davidson
43. Carl Russell
44. Masengo Kabongo
45. Obum Akunyili

Not a lot of experience in this bunch, which includes six guys who have never played and a couple more (Drummond and Galt) with fairly limited reps. It’s also nearly every defensive lineman in the program, save Joe Vellano and Justin Anderson.

LINEBACKERS (9)

46. Adrian Moten
47. Alex Wujciak
48. Demetrius Hartsfield
49. Darin Drakeford
50. Drew Gloster
51. Ben Pooler
52. Herbert Law
53. Avery Murray
54. Hakeem Sule

The full three-deep at each position, since guys like Law, Murray and Sule can make extensive contributions on special teams.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (13)

55. Anthony Wiseman
56. Terrell Skinner
57. Jamari McCollough
58. Nolan Carroll
59. Trenton Hughes
60. Richard Taylor
61. Cameron Chism
62. Dexter McDougle
63. Antwine Perez
64. Kenny Tate
65. Eric Franklin
66. Austin Walker
67. Thomas Wright

Nothing too surprising about this list. Guys like Walker and Wright figure to be useful on special teams.

SPECIALISTS (4)

68. Travis Baltz
69. Mike Barbour
70. Nick Ferrara
71. Tim Downs

So that leaves one spot on the board. If he was fully healthy, I’d peg Caleb Porzel for this spot. Same goes for Tyler Bowen.

In a perfect world, it would probably be an extra offensive lineman. If any unit looks just slightly thin, it’s that one.

The guess here will be walk-on running back Dan Bonato, who presumably can help out on special teams. But the last spot is a bit of a puzzler, and any one of about six or seven guys occupying it wouldn’t be stunning come Saturday.

Patrick Stevens

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