Five standouts halfway through Maryland football spring practices

Maryland football is approaching the midway point of spring ball as head coach Mike Locksley and the staff work to fill the roster holes and bring along the next wave of talent within the program. Fans already know what to expect from the key returners, but what about the new guys? We take a look at five breakout players so far the spring:

QB Cam Edge

Heading into the spring, there was little question about who the starting quarterback would be with Taulia Tagovailoa back in College Park for another season, but this spring gave the staff a chance to get a closer look at the pair of young quarterbacks. Midway through, there’s been a lot of buzz about what Edge has proven thus far. After soaking in the system under Dan Enos last year, the former DeMatha four star quarterback has been able to put together flashes of poise and composure in the pocket while swinging the ball out to the new-look receiver room. Billy Edwards returns to stabilize the room this year and his experience will be leaned on behind Taulia, but this spring has given Edge ammo at becoming an eventual starting quarterback in College Park. There’s a lot of trust from the players in Edge’s potential, too.

WR Ryan Manning

Ever since he began practicing the day after the December signing period, the former Bowie receiver has drawn steady praise for his ability to pick up the offense and playbook so quickly. Through workouts, Manning’s quickness and ability to get in and out of his brakes were among the first things that stuck out and through spring ball, that’s continued to check out. Maryland’s wide receiver room will feature some new top talent with Kaden Prather doubling down on expectations of becoming the next NFL talent in Maryland’s receiver room, Jeshaun Jones commands a signature role while Octavian Smith is in line for a breakout season. But if there’s an underclassman who has a chance at disrupting the depth chart and snagging reps from vets, it’s still looking like Manning is the best bet.

OG Kyle Long

With Corey Bullock still sidelined the spring, Maryland has been tweaking their offensive line rotation as Brian Braswell works to solidify his starting unit. Long has stepped in and moved inside to guard where he’s proven to be a potential starter to give Braswell a reliable veteran piece inside. Coltin Deery appears to be inching ahead at center while Amelio Moran is another who will make a case as a starter, but Long has a chance to step into an impact role for the first time in college. And given Maryland’s tendencies to rotate its offensive line, Long has given the staff a piece they can rely on.

OT Gottlieb Ayedze

It’s clear that the other dog in the room so far has been Ayedze, who is flip-flopped with DJ Glaze at left and right tackle so far. I still think it’s more likely that we seek Ayedze at left tackle then right to give Maryland the chance to send its starting left tackle to the NFL and two consecutive seasons, something that doesn’t happen too frequently at Maryland, but will bolster position recruiting, but it’s also clear that Ayedze’s weight room strength translates on the field to become a stabilizing piece along an offensive line featuring inexperience this season.

DT Jordan Phillips

The biggest hurdle this spring is simply numbers along the defensive line with just two scholarship players with ample experience returning. No transfer will have a chance to shine more than Phillips as he’ll be a new face tasked with anchoring the defensive line. Phillips has drawn consistent praise whether it’s in the weight room, off the field or in practice since he’s arrived in College Park and he’s someone who has been a source of optimism for the defense so far this off-season. Building up the defense of line remains a work in progress, but Phillips has proven he’s part of the solution.

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