The Washington Times - September 5, 2008, 04:47PM

So Maryland used eight offensive linemen in its opener against Delaware.

That’s probably two or three less than what would have been ideal.


Of course, winning by four touchdowns would have been ideal. But beyond the five senior starters, supersub Phil Costa and backups Bruce Campbell and Paul Pinegar, none of the Terrapins’ linemen got in.

That includes redshirt freshman guard Lamar Young. In fact, a true freshman might be the closest lineman to joining that group of eight.

Justin Lewis is starting to come on,” coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I don’t think he’s ready to play yet, but the last two weeks he’s made a lot of improvement. If he can continue at that same rate, he could be a factor when we get into league play. That would be a big help to us. Lamar Young isn’t really getting much better. He’s got some injuries and hit a wall. I was hoping he’d get better. That would give us four guards we can play.”

So is that —- burning Lewis’ redshirt and Young’s stagnation in his second year —- a double barrel of bad news? Perhaps. But as Friedgen pointed out, Lewis is absurdly strong for a true freshman, so maybe the physical maturity issue linemen of all stripes usually face won’t be as big a problem for him as others.

Young, though, has to be a bit of a concern. It’s no secret he was the most likely of the redshirt freshmen to help this year, and if he’s good enough to play it would help elsewhere. Costa wouldn’t have to swing over to left guard to spell Jaimie Thomas, and that in turn would give Jack Griffin more time to play right tackle in a backup role to Dane Randolph.

Either way, those look like two subplots to keep in mind on the offensive line in the next few weeks.

—- Patrick Stevens