COLLEGE PARK--How do you fix an offensive line unit that ranked 74th in the nation in sacks allowed per game? Part of it is personnel, which Maryland has succeeded in upgrading, bringing in a five-star local recruit, a four-star prospect, and a massive, 6-7 junior college standout.
But part of it is also shuffling the cards you have, which head coach Randy Edsall announced on Friday.
Redshirt junior-to-be Evan Mulrooney will see playing time at guard, shifting over from center as Maryland looks to improve its struggling unit.
“We know what he can do at center, but again just trying to find the five best up there on the offensive line,” Edsall said. “And we wanted to give him a shot at guard along with Silvano [Altamirano] and then JaJuan [Dulaney].”
There will be an influx of talent coming in the fall, as mentioned above, five-star Damian Prince, four-star Derwin Gray (who is sitting out the spring after undergoing surgery on his labrum), and junior college transfer Larry Mazyck, due on campus in the fall.
“The thing about spring practice ... is for our guys that are here right now what they’ve got to do is they’ve got to go and put in the time,” Edsall said. “Be able to show the coaches that, hey, I’m...going to deserve playing time in the fall.”
Added to that, Maryland has brought in a new offensive line coach, Greg Studrawa, who comes to College Park after time as an offensive line coach and offensive coordinator with LSU. He also happened to win a national championship in Baton Rouge.
He replaces Dave DeGuglielmo, who was Maryland’s offensive line coach for just one week before leaving to take the same position with the NFL’s New England Patriots. DeGuglielmo replaced Greg Gattuso, who left Maryland to take the head coaching position at Albany.
With such talent at the skill positions with the return of Wes Brown from suspension and Stefon Diggs and Deon Long from injury, the offensive line will be of concern in the spring and moving into the fall. Failing to protect quarterback C.J. Brown could negate much of the impact of those standouts.