Taking a timeout from hoops here in Indianapolis to offer up a reply in the old mailbag related to Maryland football.
It’s pretty simple, really, and gets to the crux of what people should be looking for from spring practice:
There are always some unknowns heading into spring football. Who are five holdovers who really need a good spring to find the field in the near future?
The tempting thing to do is list five offensive linemen and just be done with it, but I’ll actually put some effort into this.
1) Adrian Cannon. The junior wideout is amid a glut of talent, but there are glimmers he could still be an extremely useful piece for the Terps. He’s stuck behind Torrey Smith, but it’s plausible he could etch out a bigger role for himself with a good spring.
2) Paul Pinegar. Right tackle is going to be a competitive spot next fall regardless of what happens in the next few weeks, but the junior walk-on will begin the spring as the starter. Pinegar is basically a plugger —- a hard-working guy who maximizes his talent and has managed to get on the field in his first two seasons. If he keeps plugging, he’ll be a factor next year.
3) R.J. Dill. It’s a two o-lineman maximum, and I’m meeting it with a redshirt freshman who coaches and teammates appear impressed with. He’ll play plenty of left tackle with Bruce Campbell hitting the books this spring, but projects as a right tackle for 2009 assuming Campbell is ready to go in the fall. Dill is up to 320 pounds, and could wind up being the steal of Maryland’s ‘08 recruiting class.
4) Jared Harrell. The early starter at Maryland’s new “Anchor” position (the defensive end lining up on the tight end side), Harrell is a senior who played plenty last season. Still, this is a chance for a bigger role, and Maryland is trying to find a capable option at a position that figures to be up for grabs at least over the next few weeks.
5) Drew Gloster. It’s anyone’s guess where Gloster will wind up after sitting out last year to concentrate on academics. He played the now-defunct LEO position for a week in bowl practice, and now he’s at middle linebacker as a placeholder while Alex Wujciak recovers from knee surgery. A good showing should mean Gloster finds a place somewhere —- perhaps as an undersized defensive end.
—- Patrick Stevens