Maryland football is installing a Alabama offense, though open struggle expected won’t be a showcase for it


Coach Michael Locksley, shown during use progressing this month. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
Emily Giambalvo April 24 during 12:30 PM

By a time a Alabama football organisation decamped for final season’s College Football Playoff, Maryland had introduced Crimson Tide descent coordinator Michael Locksley as a Terrapins’ subsequent conduct coach. So when Alabama played those dual games — even nonetheless a opening in a championship detriment was distant from a showcase — Maryland fans watched, too, anticipating to reap some discernment into what their offensive-minded manager would move to College Park.

This spring, Locksley pronounced he and his staff have commissioned a same complement he ran during Alabama, one that cracked module annals after Nick Saban pivoted a few years progressing to a some-more spread-oriented conflict with run-pass options. Whether that will work during Maryland, where there is no Heisman Trophy finalist during quarterback or a sea of five-star recruits, will start to turn transparent in a fall.

Saturday’s open struggle during Maryland Stadium competence yield some answers as to what to design from a new system. But these saved open practices are customarily distant from revelatory, generally in Maryland’s case, with a reputed starting quarterback, connoisseur send Josh Jackson from Virginia Tech, not nonetheless on campus. When asked to report a Terps’ scheme, descent coordinator Scottie Montgomery pronounced it is “yet to be determined” though that all good offenses contingency have a clever run game.

“It’s flattering vague, we know,” pronounced Montgomery, who will call plays. “ . . . We’re a personnel-driven offense. That’s what everybody needs to know. We’re going to put a crew on a margin that suits us best, that’s gainful to excellence. So right now, as we’re going by a routine of anticipating that out, we unequivocally don’t wish to conclude who we are.”

Montgomery and a rest of a descent staff stepped into module with earnest immature players, generally during using behind and far-reaching receiver. Last season, 46 percent of a team’s rushing yards and 57 percent of a a receiving yards came from freshmen. Those newcomers, quite using behind Anthony McFarland and receivers Jeshaun Jones and Dontay Demus, will now find their roles in this system.

“That is unequivocally unusual,” Montgomery pronounced of a volume of talent among a underclassmen. “Of course, before we came adult here, we did all a investigate on all a guys, and we don’t know if there are many places that have that most ability in those guys and a descent front during that age.”

Five Alabama players finished final deteriorate with during slightest 690 receiving yards, some-more than double a sum of Maryland’s heading receiver, comparison Taivon Jacobs with 328 yards. (Alabama played in 3 some-more games than Maryland interjection to a discussion championship and a playoff.) Behind those 5 players, a Crimson Tide also had dual using backs, Joshua Jacobs and Damien Harris, with during slightest 200 receiving yards. None of Maryland’s backs pennyless 100 receiving yards.

Multiple players pronounced they’ve watched Alabama film in their preparation. Locksley pronounced it’s been useful to have parsimonious ends manager Mike Miller and connoisseur partner Nick Cochran on staff given both followed him from Alabama and are informed with a system.

The new coaches wants to use using backs “all over a place,” McFarland said, adding that his position organisation has also been training a container receiver and far-reaching receiver positions. Locksley pronounced that using backs and parsimonious ends — a latter organisation had usually 82 sum receiving yards final deteriorate — will be used if they emanate a matchup issue.

The using behind corps is maybe Maryland’s strongest descent asset. Behind McFarland, sophomore Tayon Fleet-Davis and youth Javon Leake will figure into a revolution after display bursts of ability final year. Plus, Locksley pronounced redshirt juniors Lorenzo Harrison III and Jake Funk are approaching to be behind in a tumble after traffic with injuries.

Running backs manager Elijah Brooks pronounced he thinks his organisation is “as gifted as any module in a country.” Though this is Brooks’s initial time coaching during a collegiate level, he has copiousness of knowledge with handling a swarming backfield from his time during DeMatha, a internal high propagandize powerhouse. At one point, he had 4 destiny Big Ten using backs on his register — McFarland, Harrison, Wisconsin’s Taiwan Deal and Penn State’s Mark Allen.

This deteriorate will need formulating a identical change for Brooks, who pronounced he will give submit for Locksley to confirm either a organisation will gaunt on a actor who’s carrying success in a diversion or go some-more with a scripted play chart.

“There’s so most talent,” Leake said. “I’m competing with some of a best backs in a country. You’ve only got to move your A diversion any day since we know a other chairman is not going to slack.”

The apparent premonition for anyone anticipating a accolades of Alabama’s offense will interpret directly to College Park is that a Crimson Tide’s complement enclosed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, a sophomore who threw for scarcely 4,000 yards with 43 touchdowns and 6 interceptions en track to apropos a Heisman finalist.

Maryland never determined most of a pass diversion final season, averaging 141.3 flitting yards per diversion to arrange 13th out of 14 Big Ten teams. Kasim Hill started a initial 10 games before ripping his maiden cruciate ligament, and backup Tyrrell Pigrome finished a deteriorate underneath center.

After usurpation a Maryland job, Locksley fast began to pursue assistance during quarterback. Jackson, a Virginia Tech send who’s finishing his grade this spring, and Lance LeGendre, a four-star partisan from New Orleans, will both join a organisation in a summer. While there will still be an open foe for a job, connoisseur transfers frequently go places where they feel assured they’ll have a suggestive role.

Through a spring, Pigrome and Max Bortenschlager have any taken reps with a first-team, serve explanation that this personnel-driven complement is still blank a primary chairman who will lead a offense.

Until there is a transparent starting quarterback, questions about a offense will linger. With a beliefs Locksley has installed, a intrigue will positively demeanour opposite from a last. Players’ skills competence be showcased in new ways. But will this offense be some-more effective opposite a Big Ten’s best programs? That will need some-more than a few intrasquad scrimmages to find out.

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