What to watch in Maryland football’s spring game

Maryland football wraps up spring football on Saturday with the annual Red-White game set for 12 PM. We look at what to watch for:

New faces out wide

With three faces leaving the program in favor of the NFL, fourth-year QB Taulia Tagovailoa will get a chance to enhance his rapport with his new supporting cast as Kaden Prather and Tyrese Chambers settle in. But it won’t all be new with Jeshaun Jones putting on the Maryland jersey inside SECU Stadium on Saturday with Tai Felton and Octavian Smith all back as the latter two names step into feature roles in the passing attack.

But the spring game is all about giving fans a chance to see new faces shine as second-year wideout Leon Haughton gets a chance to showcase himself as the big-bodied deep threat behind Prather. Meanwhile, freshman WR Ryan Manning has drawn praise ever since he started practicing during bowl prep just one day after signing his letter of intent. Braden Wisloski has also gotten a chance to bolster his comfort level as he settles in the slot, giving him a chance to flash his big-play ability once he gets into the open field.

Rebuilding the Trenches

And of course, Maryland returns its entire backfield as new position coach Latrell Scott looks to improve the units consistency this fall. All the talk this spring has been centered around the offensive line after losing a pair of starters this offseason, meaning the unit returns just one starter from last season. Maryland knows it can lean on DJ Glaze as he and Gottlieb Ayedze have flipped between left and right tackle all spring as the staff tinkers with its unit. Corey Bullock also steps into a starting role, likely at right guard than left, while Aric Harris becomes the incumbent starter at center. Kyle Long and Amelio Moran have stepped up this spring to give the unit reliable depth, but in an offseason where Maryland has been tasked with bolstering an offensive line that saw three depart for the NFL, Saturday will give fans a chance to get a closer look at all the offensive line combos. Second-year tackle Ja’Kavion Nonar has been running with the twos at left tackle through spring ball while walk-on Conor Fagan has stepped in at right tackle. Ayedze, Glaze and Bullock are the only undoubted starters heading into summer, but the underclassmen will get a chance to showcase themselves.

Showcasing the Front Seven

Though there won’t be contact to any of the quarterbacks, getting a closer look at the outside linebacker depth will give the Terps a chance to assess the front seven as they bring the next wave of talent along. Maryland‘s strength on defense sits in the secondary and inside linebacker room with Tarheeb Still, Jaquan Sheppard, Beau Brade, Ruben Hyppolite, Fa’Najae Gotay and Caleb Wheatland all back. Jaishawn Barham, voted a freshman All-American last year, will also give the Terps speed both inside and out while second-year outside linebacker Kellan Wyatt gives the room a reliable piece, but the proven depth behind them is limited this spring. Saturday will give fans to get a closer look at guys like Riyad Wilmot and DJ Samuels ahead of the summer enrollees, mainly Neeo Avery and Donnell Brown, rounding out the room.

The defensive line has battled limited numbers all spring, but former Tennessee lineman Jordan Phillips will get a chance to showcase himself as an impact lineman as Tommy Akingbesote and Taizse Johnson ascend the depth chart with Dillan Fontus, Daniel Owens, Quashon Fuller, Isaac Bunyun and Christian Teague rounding out the room.

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