After a 2-3 shortened season, the University of Maryland will have their 2021 Spring Game on April 24th. The Terps have 14 starters from last year returning in 2021, including QB Taulia Tagovailoa, WR Dontay Demus, and CB Tarheeb Still. However, they also lost some key players, including OL Marcus Minor, C Johnny Jordan, and LB Chance Campbell. Maryland is looking for their first bowl appearance since 2016, and the spring game will help college football fans see where they are at. Here are three things that fans should be looking out for when watching the game.
- Does Tayon Fleet-Davis take the starting Running Back spot?: Maryland lost a big part of their offense in Jake Funk due to graduation. He was their leading rusher with 516 yards on 60 carries, along with 10 catches for 68 yards and 4 combined touchdowns.
Now who will replace him? The man who gets the first chance is senior Tayon Fleet-Davis. The Potomac alum has had flashes during his time with the Terps. However, he was also suspended for most of the season last year, only playing against Rutgers. Sophomores Peny Boone and Isaiah Jacobs will be pushing Fleet-Davis for the starting role. Both had 19 carries last year and were the second and third leading rushers on the team, respectively. The Terps also have three Freshman joining in the summer (Roman Hemby, Antwain Littleton, and Colby McDonald) if no one stands out.
- Who is the starting Center?: Starter Johnny Jordan decided to transfer after the season and he is now at Virginia Tech. With him gone Maryland needs to find someone take over the starting job. Starting Right Tackle Spencer Anderson could be moved over to Center if that’s the best option. There’s also Austin Fontaine, who is back after opting out and then returning last year. Other players that could be a factor include Evan Gregory and Johari Branch.
Since center is considered the leader of the offensive line, let’s hope the Terps find a solid player there.
- Who is separating themselves in the Linebacker room?: No loss this offseason was probably bigger than when Chance Campbell left for Ole Miss. He was Maryland’s best defender last year, leading the team in tackles and tackles for loss, and was an All-Big Ten Honorable mention.
The Terps also lost another starter in Ayinde Eley, who is now at Georgia Tech, along with reserve Cortez Andrews, who entered the transfer portal. True freshman Terrence Lewis had surgery to repair an ACL injury. There’s no timetable for when he will be ready to go.
Sophomore Ruben Hyppolite is expected to make a big jump after a solid freshman year, where he had 18 tackles, along with two sacks. Hard Hitting Junior Fa’Najae Gotay also returns after starting a few games, and was third on the team in tackles. Redshirt Sophomore Deshawn Holt, Junior Ahmed McCullough, and Sophomore Frankie Burgess all saw playing time last year. True Freshman Brandon Jennings is also expected to be a factor in the Linebacking core.
The Terps do have talent at the linebacker postion, the only question is, who steps up?