Terps Football Preview Part 2: Running Backs and Fullbacks

July 12, 2008 |

This is Part 2 of a 10-part series previewing the 2008 Maryland Football Season. In addition to discussing the various positional battles within the team, I hope to also raise awareness for Terps Football because it is often overlooked in the crowded Baltimore media market. For the full 2008 spring football depth chart, goto http://terps.wikispaces.com/
Running Back
Team
Number
Name/Stars
Year
1st
23
Da’Rel Scott-****
rsSO
2nd
5
Morgan Green-****
rsSO
3rd
82
Dan Bonato-*
rsFR
4th
16
Rashad Henry-*
SR
-
-
Gary Douglas-***
FR
-
-
Davin Meggett-***
FR
Da’Rel Scott enters the 2008 season with more promise than almost any other player on the squad. Scott, a third-year sophomore from Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, was a track champion in high school boasting a 10.56 100-meter and a 40-yard dash time around 4.4 seconds.
Choosing the Terps over interest from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Virginia, and Georgia Tech, Scott redshirted the 2006 season and entered the 2007 campaign as the Terps’ #4 back behind experienced seniors Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore and fellow redshirt freshman Morgan Green. In addition, Scott was the Terps #1 kickoff returner, leading the team with 566 kickoff return yards on the season.
The signature play of Da’Rel Scott’s season, however, was a 57-yard touchdown on a screen pass in a win over nationally ranked Boston College. On the play, Scott showed his tremendous athleticism, bursting through holes and changing directions with ease to go on for the score.
In a testament to his great season, Scott was chosen to the freshman All-ACC Team by Rivals.com.
Entering the season as the Terps’ #2 running back, third-year sophomore Morgan Green gives Maryland a true 1-2 punch as his power complements the blazing speed of Da’Rel Scott.
The sixth-rated prospect in the state, the Lackey graduate chose the local Terps over offers from Penn State, Florida, Virginia, Boston College, and NC State.
Green prepped at Hargrave Military Academy in 2005 and redshirted at Maryland in 2006. In 2007, Green only saw action in the season opener against Villanova before a hamstring injury shelved him for the final 6 games of the season.
In the weight room, Green continues to impress earning Iron Terp status for his lifting efforts in the spring periods of 2006, 2007, and 2008. In 2007 testing, Green recorded the second-highest strength index on the team including a 405-pound bench press and a 575-pound squat. Simply, Morgan Green is “jacked”.
Dan Bonato and Rashad Henry from Woodbine, New Jersey and Mitchellville, Maryland respectively will add depth as walk-ons. Henry played in 11 games at Bowie State in 2005 before deciding to transfer to Maryland.
Gary Douglas, a true freshman running back from Durham, North Carolina, chose Maryland over Cal, NC State, East Carolina, Duke, and Marshall among several others.
An undersized back with a high ceiling, Douglas will probably redshirt in 2008 while working very hard to bulk up in the weight room.
Lastly at the running back position, Davin Meggett, the son of Towson alum and NFL veteran Dave Meggett, enters the 2008 season with the possibility of early playing time.
The lifelong Terps fan from Clinton High School in Surrattsville, Maryland committed to the Terps almost immediately after being offered. Meggett called playing for his hometown team “a little personal dream” and picked Maryland over interest from mostly Division 1-AA schools such as Howard, James Madison, and Old Dominion.
While skeptics continue to assert that Meggett is too small for Division 1 college football, the local kid could forego his redshirt year in 2008 to provide more depth in the backfield.
My Take
On offense, Maryland loses significantly more at the running back than anywhere else in 2008. Gone are 3-year starters Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore, giving way to a position in which only 1 player has seen significant time on the field. Maryland boasts only 4 scholarship players at running back, 2 of which are incoming freshmen.
While this may scare some, it is exciting for me and for many Terps fans that see the talent of third-year sophomores Da’Rel Scott and Morgan Green. Scott will probably handle most of the load as the team’s #1 back, but expect Morgan Green to still see plenty of time on the field as his backup.
It is behind Scott and Green that concerns me. I highly doubt that walk-ons Dan Bonato and Rashad Henry are anywhere close to seeing the field which means that an incoming freshman has to step up and be the #3 back. I believe that this man will be undersized running back Davin Meggett, but Gary Douglas will certainly be given the opportunity as well.
In 2005, there was much uncertainty as the Terps played two running backs in their second year of eligibility. Those two, Ball and Lattimore, went on to have three very good seasons in College Park and now enter training camp in the NFL. Let’s hope that the stories of Da’Rel Scott and Morgan Green will be the same.
Fullback
Team
Number
Name/Stars
Year
1st
38
Cory Jackson-**
JR
2nd
30
Haroon Brown-**
SO
3rd
46
Steven Pfister-*
JR
4th
35
Paul Lariviere-*
rsFR
The Terps will be led at fullback by true junior Cory Jackson, a bulky back/linebacker out of Morgantown, West Virginia who chose Maryland over NC State and Stanford.
As a true freshman in 2006, Cory Jackson appeared in all 13 games but played a reserve role until starter Tim Cesa was sidelined due to an injury. Thrust into the starting role, Jackson flourished as the battering ram for backs Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball. He scored on a 1-yard plunge in the Champs Sports Bowl and caught a 23-yard pass in the same game.
In 2007, Jackson entered as the starter and played in 12 games, missing one with a broken hand.
Cory will once again start in 2008, this time as an experienced junior. In addition to being an excellent blocker and solid pass catcher, Cory Jackson is one of team’s best special-teams players.
Haroon Brown, a true sophomore out of Hampton, Virginia, chose the Terps over offers from Akron and Miami (OH). He also received high interest from in-state Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Brown played in 5 games as a true freshman in 2007 due to Cory Jackson’s injury. He enters the 2008 campaign again as Jackson’s backup.
Walk-ons Steven Pfister and Paul Lariviere will provide depth and most likely will not receive playing time. Pfister graduated from Mt. St. Joseph High School in Baltimore where he also was a 4-year varsity letterman in lacrosse.
My Take
Like the position itself, there is nothing fancy about Maryland’s fullback situation. Cory Jackson will start, Haroon Brown will be his backup, and Steven Pfister and Paul Lariviere will provide depth as walk-ons.
Unlike most juniors, Cory Jackson has already appeared in 25 games giving him a lot of game experience. It will be important for Jackson to have another stellar season in order to support the inexperience at running back.
Up Next: Wide Receivers, where the Terps are LOADED with talent. Don’t forget to leave a comment!

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