Maryland announced Wednesday it added wideout Deon Long and offensive lineman Silvano Altamirano as the junior college signing period gets underway.
Long is a D.C. product who began his career at New Mexico under current Terrapins offensive coordinator Mike Locksley before playing this fall at Iowa Western Community College. Altamirano is a San Diego native who played the last two years at San Diego Mesa College.
Their additions carry different meanings for the Terps, who are coming off a 4-8 season and are 6-18 in coach Randy Edsall‘s first two years.
Long, who caught 100 passes in 2012, will have a chance to be an immediate difference-maker for Maryland. It’s not difficult to imagine the Terps lining him and rising sophomore Stefon Diggs up at wideout, perhaps with one or two other holdovers (Marcus Leak? Nigel King? Levern Jacobs?).
Long is something of a known quantity, hauling in 47 catches for 809 yards and four touchdowns at New Mexico in 2011. While it isn’t saying a whole lot since Maryland ranked last nationally in total yardage, a Diggs-Long tandem means wide receiver will be the clear-cut position of strength on offense.
As for Altamirano, he’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds —- about in line with Maryland’s starters in last month’s season finale at North Carolina: 6-5, 290; 6-5, 295; 6-4, 285; 6-6, 295; 6-6, 300.
The Terps lose two starting offensive linemen, and only player at the other three spots (sophomore-to-be Mike Madaras at left tackle) got the nod in each of Maryland’s November games. In short, there are spots to be had on the Terps’ line, and no holdover has more than 12 career starts (Josh Cary). Altamirano will have the spring to set himself up to make a run at a larger role when the summer rolls around.
—- Patrick Stevens