This season’s training camp in College Park is a little like Lenny Dykstra’s bankruptcy. It’s intriguing, it’s kind of exciting, and at the moment, it’s raising a lot more questions than it’s answering. But unlike Nails, we’re not ready to “do the 11” on Maryland’s prospects just yet. For truly, as Terphed indicates, now is when hope springs eternal. There’s a buzz in the air. And anyone who knows me knows that I will stop at nothing to catch that buzz.
It’s evident where the question marks are: Can the offensive and defensive lines (lost four and six guys, respectively) solidify? Can feature back Da’rel Scott keep the momentum he gained, lost, and regained last season? Can linebacker Alex Wujciak be a real, honest-to-goodness star? Will Chris Turner “Lay it Down,” or will it be more of the old “Round and Round?” Can punter Travis Baltz use his heat-ray vision to melt those defenders who would rise against us? Can punter Travis Baltz also kick extra points and field goals? How can a D-1 school have so much difficulty finding a decent place kicker?
But let us not ponder these areas. Now is a time for optimism. Without further ado, the upsides:
— Punter Travis Baltz. He’s on the Ray Guy Award watch list. I can’t even see him no more. The air is just too rarefied.
— Offensive skill position players. Da’rel Scott coming off a 1,133-yard season including a 174-yard, two-touchdown A-bomb on Nevada in the Humanitarian Bowl. The receivers are young, but Torrey Smith, Ronny Tyler, and Adrian Cannon could lead an underrated attack. Lansford Watson might become a receiving threat at tight end.
— Secondary. Hello! I’m Nolan Carroll. You might remember me from such projects as “2006: The Year I Was A Mediocre Receiver.” But after that season, I switched to the other side of the ball, toiled my way up through the special teams ranks, and am now a heat-seeking missile in the Terps’ defensive backfield. If you watch “Terrapins Rising,” you know that. If you don’t, please learn that. Anthony Wiseman is at the other corner slot. Terrell Skinner, Jamari McCollough, Kenny Tate (who also switched from wideout), and Antwine Perez comprise a rock-solid safety corps.
— D-coordinator Don Brown. He’s got a bunch of crazy blitz schemes and plays an aggressive style and what not. Sounds like a good d-coordinator to me.
So there you go. I’m sure I missed some, but whatever. I’m not a scout, nor do I play one on my blog. We’ll just have to see how it all shakes out…between the white lines….of BATTLE!
(Photo credit: TechSideline.com)