Pair of Terps among top ten draft prospects at position in Phil Steele’s preview

Maryland football found themselves in familiar territory in Phil Steele’s College Football Preview as the Terps checked in at 45th in Phil Steele’s Power Poll and were projected to finish fourth in the Big Ten East with eleven returning starters.

Eight Terps were selected to the preseason All-Big Ten teams with Taulia Tagovailoa, Jeshaun Jones and Beau Brade all drawing second team selections. Roman Hemby, Tommy Akingbesote and Jaishawn Barham also drew third-team selections while Jaquan Sheppard and Tarheeb Still (PR) drew fourth-team honors.

While quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was essentially ranked the second-best quarterback in the Big Ten this fall, Phil Steele wasn’t as bullish on his pro potential with Tagovailoa checking as the 41st-best draft-eligible quarterback despite Maryland entering the season with the 17th-best quarterback room in the country. Jeshaun Jones, meanwhile, returns for year six after leading Maryland’s wide receiver room a season ago, but he won’t be alone with former West Virginia wideout Kaden Prather starting opposite of him as the former Northwest product was rated the 48th-best draft-eligible wideout. Jones and Prather lead a Maryland wide receiver room that was ranked the 23rd-best nationally.

While Hemby may have drawn third-team honors in a loaded Big Ten, Steele also ranked the John Carroll product as the seventh-best draft-eligible running back. Hemby leads a Maryland rushing attack that enters the season with the 39th-best running back room with Antwain Littleton, Colby McDonald and Ramon Brown rounding out the rotation.

Maryland’s starters in the secondary were also listed among the top at their position, but no one was higher than Beau Brade, who checked in as the second-best draft-eligible strong safety. Despite battling injuries, Brade has appeared in all but one game in his three seasons in College Park and led the defense with 85 tackles one season ago. Brade once again led the Terps with seven tackles in last season’s bowl win vs. NC State, while he became the first Terp since at least 1998 to record 15 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in a game.

Several more Terps were named among the best draft-eligible candidates at their position, including Colton Spangler (15th) DJ Glaze (35th), Dante Trader (34th), Aric Harris (43rd), Jaquan Sheppard (45th), and Tarheeb Still (50th). Corey Dyches was also named the sixth-best fullback while Gottlieb Ayedze was also rated the 29th-best draft-eligible guard.

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