Maryland’s nearly three weeks of practice hasn’t necessarily led to the emergence of alternative options in case Demetrius Hartsfield and/or Darin Drakeford are injured.
Nine days before his team opens against Miami, coach Randy Edsall acknowledged the possibility still exists for the primary backup at both inside linebacker spots to be the same player.
“It’s come along,” Edsall said. “Again, I’ll be happy with how we end up getting the depth chart together there. That could be a situation where the backup at one position is the backup at the other position. Would I like to have more numbers there? Yeah, I would. We have the guys we have and we’re getting them ready to go out there and play the way we need them to play.”
Hartsfield is entering his third year as a starter, but his first at middle linebacker. Drakeford, who played extensively on special teams the last two seasons, is a first-time starter at middle linebacker.
Beyond them? Redshirt freshman Lorne Goree is the only other scholarship option who was with the team during the spring. True freshmen Alex Twine and Cole Farrand have also worked at linebacker, with Twine taking some second-team reps in the handful of practices open to the media.
It could make for a dicey situation if either Hartsfield or Drakeford is nicked up. Certainly, Goree (who worked as a weak-side linebacker last season before moving to middle linebacker in the spring) could prove a capable replacement if need be.
Beyond that, though, is significant uncertainty.
—- Patrick Stevens