Young Terps: could 2023 yield Maryland’s best defense under Mike Locksley?

Maryland football kicks off its 2023 season in exactly one week, and they do so with quiet confidence on the defensive side of the ball.

With Brian Williams entering his second season as defensive coordinator, Maryland returns several key pieces from a 2022 defense that was among the best in the nation when it came to halftime adjustments. Maryland will look to build on that familiarity after Williams was named among the top coordinators with rising stock heading into the fall.

“I think it’s really, really big, really important, especially on the back end on defense that those guys have those short-term memories where when something bad happens, they keep playing and even when they make plays, they just continue to get to the next play,” Locksley said of Williams. “I thought we did a really good job of that a year ago. I thought the defensive staff led by coach Williams really made that a point of emphasis and I saw that really help us.”

With Jaishawn Barham, Beau Brade, Dante Trader and Ruben Hyppolite leading the way once again, what are the strengths along Maryland’s defense?

We take a look at the defensive line room, where Maryland is tasked with replacing all three starters, but how much concern is there? Does Maryland have the depth to get through Big Ten play? Who are the primary names to know on the defensive side of the trenches?

With Ja’Quan Sheppard joining Tarheeb Still outside, who returns as the primary backups?

Plus, we take a look at Maryland’s special teams where the Terps are in good hands. Who will replace Chad Ryland at kicker? Names to know in the return game with veteran leading the unit led by assistant James Thomas.

To catch up on previous Young Terps episodes, you can listen on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPodomatic and YouTube.