Maryland Preview 2006 - Offense
Preview 2006 - Maryland Offense
What you need to know ...
All the pieces are in place to potentially be among the best
offenses Ralph Friedgen has cranked out. Potentially. The line
is big, deep and very talented and the backfield is deeper and
even more talented with the return of Josh Allen from a knee
injury, but the passing game has to click far better than it did
this spring. Sam Hollenbach and Jordan Steffy didn't exactly set
the world on fire keeping the quarterback competition open going
into late summer. The receiving corps has size and as much speed
as anyone in the ACC, and it also has the least overall
experience of anyone in the ACC.
Passing: Sam Hollenbach
192-315, 2,539 yds, 13 TD, 15 INT
Rushing: Lance Ball
189 carries, 903 yds, 7 TD
Receiving: Lance Ball
18 catches, 153 yds
Star of the offense: Senior RB Josh Allen
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior WR
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Isaiah Williams
Best pro prospect: Sophomore OT Jared Gaither
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Allen, 2) Gaither, 3) OT
Strength of the offense: Offensive line, running back
Weakness of the offense: Receiver experience
Chicken or egg time; did the quarterbacks look lousy this
spring because of the receivers or were they just not sharp? There's good potential with Sam Hollenbach returning after mixed
reviews as the starter last season, and Jordan Steffy appears to
be a good option once he becomes more comfortable. However, head
coach Ralph Friedgen was hardly jumping for joy at the play of
his quarterbacks this spring and has hinted that the position is
up for grabs. Hollenbach will end up being the starter, but
don't be stunned if that quickly changes.
The key to the unit: Sam Hollenbach has to cut down
on his interceptions and Jordan Steffy has to improve even
Quarterback Rating: 6.5
- Sam Hollenbach, Sr. - 192-315, 61%, 2,539 yds, 13 TD,
15 INT, 2 rushing touchdowns
Hollenbach is a big 6-5, 218-pound passer who has the strength
of a lineman and a good grasp of the offense. However, he had a
hard time with interceptions throwing a steady stream of them
throughout the season two in each of the last four games he got
significant playing time. He got hurt late in the year against
Virginia Tech but showed his toughness by coming back to try to
play against Florida State despite the injured collarbone. He's
the best option for the offense going into the season because of
his decision making ability and his accuracy, and now he has to
show he can be consistent.
- Jordan Steffy, Soph.
Health and decision making are the big question marks. Steffy is
a very strong 6-1 and 222 pounds with a great arm and
athleticism, but he missed all of last year with problems with
his arm and his knee. He's healthy and has the skills to lead
the offense, and now he has to prove he can keep the offense
moving and make the right reads on a consistent basis.
- Bobby Sheahin, Soph.
Sheahin might end up being more in the starting quarterback race
than expected after the mediocre play of the other quarterbacks
this spring. The walk-on transfer from West Virginia isn't big
at only 6-1 and 170 pounds and isn't the most mobile of the
options, but he has a live arm and can bomb away better than all
the other Terp passers.
Expect a big bounceback season after
averaging a mere 135 yards per game last season. This will be a
devastating backfield if all the parts are healthy. Lance Ball
is a reliable starter, while Josh Allen provides excitement and
flash now that he's back from a knee injury and J.P. Humber and
Keon Lattimore bring more power. Lattimore has the all-around
skills and speed to be a star, but he hasn't put it all together
yet and now he's trying to come back from a shoulder injury.
Fullback should quickly become a strength with Tim Cesa and Matt
Deese each looking like rising stars.
The key to the unit: Keeping everyone healthy and
getting Josh Allen back to being Josh Allen.
Running Back Rating: 9
- Lance Ball, Jr. - 189 carries, 903 yds, 4.8 ypc, 6 TD,
18 catches, 153 yds, 8.5 ypc
Ball isn't going to set any speed records, but he's a good
pounding back who can be used as a quick, shifty, workhorse.
After a slow start to the season, Ball roared in ACC play
tearing off 163 yards against Virginia, 120 against Florida
State, 135 against Boston College, and 161 on 39 carries against
North Carolina. Along with being the team's leading rusher he's
the leading returning receiver.
- Fullback Tim Cesa, Jr. - 1 catch, 5 yards
Cesa went from linebacker to fullback and ended up starting late
in the season after missing time early on with an illness. He's
mostly a blocker using his 6-1 and 243 pounds to open up holes
and has the speed to grow into more of a power runner now that
he knows what he's doing.
- Josh Allen, Sr.
Back after missing all of 2005 with a knee injury, the home-run
hitting back returns and should quickly find his way back in the
starting mix now that he's finally healthy. He's a strong 207
pounds with speed to burn tearing off 1,941 yards and 21
touchdowns over his first three seasons highlighted by scoring
dashes of 70 and 80 yards.
- J.P. Humber, Sr. - 4 carries, 53 yds, 13.2 ypc, 1 catch, 10 yds
The 225-pound senior got plenty of work this spring and showed
he can potentially be a productive third running back. He's a
downhill runner adding a little more power than Lance Ball and
- Keon Lattimore, Jr. - 58 carries, 181 yds, 3.1 ypc, 3
Lattimore is a big 235-pound back with great track-star speed
and blocking ability. He missed the second half of last year and
all of spring ball with a shoulder injury and might have a hard
time getting back in the mix. He got plenty of carries in the
middle of the season before getting hurt.
- Fullback Matt Deese, Soph.
Deese could grow into the short-yardage back role. He's not the
athlete Tim Cesa is, but he's a powerful 261 pounds and should
be a strong blocker if he can hold off 245-pound Chris
The receiving corps certainly looks the part.
If you were to make a football movie and needed to cast for
receivers, Maryland would have several players getting roles.
However, this is a very, very, very inexperienced and very young
corps with the leading returning receiver, Drew Weatherly,
making ten catches last year. There's speed, size and more speed
among a promising group of redshirt freshmen and even more speed
in sophomores Danny Oquendo and Isaiah Williams. The big
question is at tight end where sixth pick in the draft Vernon
Davis and his 51 catches and 17.1 yards per catch needs to be
replaced. Dan Gronkowski is big, Jason Goode is a receiver, Joey
Haynos is really big, and incoming freshman Drew Gloster could
be the best of the bunch. The entire receiving corps will likely
be a big plus by the end of the year.
The key to the unit: Production. The unproven
receivers look like Tarzan but can't play like Jane.
Receiver Rating: 7
- Isaiah Williams, Soph. - 1 catch, 4 yds
Is he the team's new receiving star? The 6-3, 200-pound
sophomore will be the deep threat on the X position with the
speed to be used as a kick returner if needed and the next-level
speed to be a big play target.
- Drew Weatherly, Sr. - 10 catches, 83 yds, 1 TD, 8.3 ypc
Weatherly has to be the steady leader early on considering he's
not just the only senior in the receiver mix, he's the only
upperclassman. He's 6-4 and 210 pounds with a little bit of
starting experience and the speed to be used as a deep threat if
needed. Mostly he'll be a possession receiver at the Z position
while the speedy young receivers stretch the field.
- Danny Oquendo, Soph. - 3 catches, 20 yds, 6.7 ypc
The rail-thin 6-3 sophomore is the team's fastest player
finishing fourth in the nation in the high-hurdles in high
school. He was used on special teams last season and now will be
a key target in the slot. He's tougher than his 175 pounds would
- Tight end Dan Gronkowski, Soph. - 2 catches, 37 yds,
The former quarterback is still figuring out how to play tight
end. He's 6-6 and 262 pounds with decent hands and emerging
blocking skills. He won't be an every down tight end with
several options being moved in and out depending on the
- Darrius Heyward-Bey, RFr.
The 6-3, 195-pound redshirt freshmen will push hard for time
behind Drew Weatherly at the Z. He's one of the team's fastest
players with 4.3 speed and is very, very physical.
- Nolan Carroll, RFr.
A good sized receiver with next-level measurables, Carroll has
speed, good size and leaping ability. However, he's still an
unpolished gem needing time to grow into a role at the inside Z
- Terrell Skinner. RFr.
While hot quite as fast as the other rising redshirt freshmen,
the 6-3 Skinner is being used as a backup behind Isaiah Williams
at the outside X position. He's more quick than fast with the
open field moves to be dangerous when he gets the ball on the
- Tight end Jason Goode, Jr. - 7 catches, 40 yds. 5.7 ypc
Goode has good size at 6-3 and 231 pounds and will be used
mostly as a receiver. While he can block a little bit, his hands
are what will give him time in the H-Back role.
This should go from being the biggest question mark last
year to one of the team's biggest strengths with size, depth, and a
boatload of talent. There's way too much size to not be better in the
running game and there's too much promise at tackle to allow 31 sacks
again. Sophomore Jared Gaither will be an All-ACC tackle on the left
side sooner than later, and Brandon Nixon is a decent player on the
right. A spot is needed somewhere for Stephon Heyer, the team's best
tackle going into last year before he tore up his knee. There might not
be two more consistent guards in the ACC than Donnie Woods and Andrew
The key to the unit: Get more out of the running game
and hope for promise to turn into production at all five spots.
Offensive Line Rating: 8
- OT Stephon Heyer, Sr.
Expected to be a star going into 2005, the 6-7, 319-pound senior will
try to get back from a torn ACL suffered in preseason practice last
year. He's a dominant blocker and very big in pass protection. Can he
progress into the All-ACC star he was projected to be? If so, there will
be a spot for him at one of the two tackle spots.
- OG Donnie Woods, Jr.
Woods is a rock-solid left guard who's always consistent and rarely
misses a block. Health has been the issue suffering from a shoulder
injury that kept him out all spring. While he might not be an all-star,
he'll be the anchor of the line.
- C Edwin Williams, Soph.
He has the size at 6-2 and 317 pounds and has the raw talent, but he
needs lots and lots of time. If the Terps can get through the growing
pains, they'll have a tremendously athletic center for the next three
- OG Andrew Crummey, Jr.
Crummey moved from guard to center and back to guard. He's as consistent
as they come and is great on the move. He has grown into his 6-5 frame
getting up to 294 pounds and should be more dominant in the running
- OT Jared Gaither, Soph.
The rising star of the line, the 6-9, 330-pound sophomore was
unbelievable in pass protection over the second half of last season not
allowing a sack while growing into a dominant run blocker. Once he
figures out everything he can do with his size, he'll be an All-ACC
- T Brandon Nixon, Jr.
Nixon had a nice first season as a starter on the right side, but he'll
have some serious competition for the starting job. He's 6-6 and 314
pounds who's far better in run blocking than he is in pass protection.
He has the athleticism to become more consistent against the speedy
- T Scott Burley, Jr.
Burley will get plenty of chances to push for starting time at both
tackle spots and, at the very least, will be used as a big backup. He's
6-6 and 316 pounds and finally healthy enough to show what he can do
after struggling through a back injury last season.
- G Jaimie Thomas, Soph.
The 327-pound sophomore saw plenty of action this spring at left guard
with Donnie Woods getting over a shoulder injury. He's a big run blocker
with the size to become special as he sees more time.