Posted on 01 June 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 22 February 2012 by WNST Staff
After initially prohibiting former starting quarterback Danny O’Brien from going to Vanderbilt, the University of Maryland has had a change of heart.
O’Brien will have the opportunity to join former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin if he so chooses after coach Randy Edsall had balked at the idea of the quarterback joining the Commodores. Offensive tackle Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson will also have the chance to transfer to Vanderbilt where Franklin led the program to a 6-7 record and an appearance in the Liberty Bowl in his first season. Vanderbilt is not schedule to play Maryland in the near future.
“While at first I thought it was important to limit the institutions to which they could transfer, I have since reconsidered my decision,” coach Randy Edsall said in a statement released by Maryland. “At the end of the day, I want what’s best for these guys and I wish them well in their futures. As a program we are looking forward to putting this distraction behind us and to moving forward.”
However, whether Franklin had improper contact with O’Brien remains in question as Maryland has reportedly filed a complaint with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The matter will be turned over to the SEC for further investigation.
Edsall’s transfer policy does not allow former players to transfer to other ACC schools or upcoming opponents outside the conference.
O’Brien is on track to graduate in the spring, leaving him two years of eligibility at the FBS level. If he elects to transfer to a school with a graduate program not offered at Maryland, O’Brien would be able to play immediately without having to sit out for a year.
Franklin was instrumental in O’Brien’s recruitment out of North Carolina, and the two shared a close relationship before Franklin’s departure to become the head coach at Vanderbilt in December 2010.
Posted on 31 October 2011 by Glenn Clark
You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
15 Positive Observations…
It’s a shame the USC Trojans gave the ball away just outside the endzone in overtime number three against Stanford. Not only because I picked the Cardinal to lose last Thursday when I played John Allen (of Charm City Devils fame) in “Everybody Beats Glenn”, but also because it was a hell of a game.
I’ll go ahead and move Luck ahead of Boise State QB Kellen Moore on my Heisman Watch list. Yeah, I guess I’m a sellout. But it’s hard not to like what you see with this kid. Alabama RB Trent Richardson is third on my list; which now ends at three because one of those guys will be your winner.
Going back to Saturday night, Andrew Luck also did this…
I get more and more concerned about the Ravens’ pending matchups with the Bengals every time I watch them…
They did all of that without Cedric Benson and they were playing the Seahawks IN Seattle.
By the way, did you know Adam “Pacman” Jones was still in the NFL? Me neither.
Also part of the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Cleveland Browns? Joe Staley playing the role of “Offensive Lineman” in “Offensive Lineman makes catch, runs with football”….
Just beautiful. By the way, I guess the Niners have to be number two in my new NFL power rankings, right? How’s that possible?
4. Penn State controls their own destiny to reach the Big Ten Championship Game, but their schedule leads you to believe Ohio State is still very much in the mix.
Joe Paterno passed Eddie Robinson as the all-time winningest coach in Division I history as Penn State beat Illinois. It was the only time the word “pass” was used in Happy Valley Saturday. I don’t care for much of anything about the Nittany Lions, but I respect their students for packing in behind the goalposts to try to make the Illini’s tying field goal try harder…
Things get VERY difficult for PSU now, as they host Nebraska in State College next week before finishing conference play with trips to Columbus and Madison. Speaking of which…
Wisconsin fans were once again hoping a penalty flag could save them, but Braxton Miller did NOT cross the line of scrimmage before throwing the game winner to Devin Smith. Russell Wilson’s Heisman hopes are totally up in smoke, and the Badgers are now a long shot (at best) for the Rose Bowl, while the Buckeyes are still very much in the picture.
Michigan State had no magic left after an incredible two weeks-or more realistically had no answer for some dude named Rex Burkhead, who reportedly plays for the Cornhuskers…
Elsewhere in the world of bizarre football names, the Wolverines stomped Purdue thanks to a running back whose name is (seriously) Fitzgerald Toussaint. Shouldn’t he be playing for Dartmouth?
Not part of the Big Ten title picture? Iowa. They lost to Minnesota. Yes. That Minnesota.
We’ll start with the highlights…
And now for those that missed it in the video…
I like Tim Tebow. I also like this. It is what it is.
The Eagles DESTROYED the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Sadly the highlight of the game was a Laurent Robinson catch that didn’t count at all…
The SNF broadcast was obsessed with Philly O-Line coach Howard Mudd. I actually have no issue with that. Howard Mudd is awesome. Otherwise they’d have been obsessed with Rob Ryan, and I’m about done with that.
Also of note, Jason Kelce snapped the ball off his own ass at one point…
Posted on 17 October 2011 by Glenn Clark
You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
15 Positive Observations…
If you’re not aware, the Tigers topped ODU after trailing by 11 points late in the fourth quarter. They recovered an onside kick and then completed the miracle when QB Grant Enders found WR Tom Ryan for a 63 yard TD on 4th and 29.
This season his been crazy for Towson football. I’m more and more surprised they didn’t win in College Park.
2. The Green Bay Packers are so good that even when they’re not very good they win.
Seriously, the defending Super Bowl champs (and last remaining undefeated team) did absolutely NOTHING in the second half. No matter, they had already ensured themselves a blowout victory.
Yes, that WAS AJ Hawk flipping off his own sideline. I don’t get it either.
But it’s not as though I feel any more comfortable about my chances of being right.
I liked Cam Newton’s Deion Sanders dance. I would assume Panthers fans would prefer that he win games. He will.
I’m sure this keeps you up at night. Russell Wilson had the best highlight of the weekend in Wisconsin’s blowout win over Indiana…
Trent Richardson had both the best game of his career and perhaps the best juke of all time in Alabama’s win over Ole Miss…
But I put Kellen Moore at the top of the list a few weeks ago and he hasn’t done anything to make me change my mind. Certainly not in Boise State’s blowout win over Colorado State…
Luck was great again in Stanford’s big win over Washington State, but he might have been upstaged by teammate Ty Montgomery…
Landry Jones should probably not be making his first appearance in my Top 5. Hey, it’s my list jerks. He was really good in Oklahoma’s win over Kansas…
Tannehill threw four TD’s to Ryan Swope alone in Texas A&M’s big win over Baylor Saturday…
In the loss, Bears QB Robert Griffin III…I don’t know how to describe this. I’m just glad Gus Johnson called it…
Elsewhere in the Big 12, Oklahoma State and Texas traded kickoff return TD’s. And otherwise the Cowboys kicked the Longhorns’ asses…
6. The New York Giants got a nice win over the Buffalo Bills. How the hell did they lose to the Seattle Seahawks last week?
It wasn’t a good 4th quarter for Drayton Florence…
But really, they lost to the Seahawks last week. How in the hell is that possible?
7. Attention Tom Brady: We get it. You’re good at quarterbacking.
He came up with a big time throw to Aaron Hernandez to help the New England Patriots beat the Dallas Cowboys…
By law, we’ll all be talking about Tony Romo on Monday instead of anything that happened in the game. Right up until we remember Tim Tebow is playing again next weekend.
Posted on 04 May 2011 by Ryan Chell
From the start of the evaluation process for the 2011 NFL Draft, the Ravens personnel department said repeatedly that they were very interested in bringing in former Maryland Terps wide receiver Torrey Smith for a look at solving their offensive woes.
But only if the price was right.
And that price was at best a second-round pick-which happened to be the case as former Ravens LB Peter Boulware announced that Baltimore had selected the Maryland Terrapins junior receiver with the 58th selection last Friday night.
And for Smith, playing for the nearby Ravens was definitely a possibility for him, as he told Thyrl Nelson Monday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” in his first appearance on Nelson’s program since becoming a Raven.
Smith had joined Nelson every week since January giving updates on his draft preparation.
“I knew it was a possibility,” Smith told Nelson. “I wanted to be there.”
Before the draft based on Smith’s pure athletic ability, resume at Maryland and his Combine numbers, Torrey Smith had been projected by every mock draft to at least land on all 32 NFL teams.
But luckily, Smith was able to fall given some of the other wide receivers and position players being of need.
But despite not being drafted Thursday by an NFL team, Smith knew that he could always rely on the Ravens to call his name.
“I felt like Ozzie and Coach Harbaugh wanted to draft me,” Smith said. “I’m just happy everything happened the way it did.”
In a sense, it seemed like it was meant to be for the Ravens to take their second Jimmy Smith of the draft weekend (Torrey’s real first name is James.)
“I didn’t necessarily think he was going to be there,” Ravens director of pro personnel Eric DeCosta told Drew Forrester Tuesday morning. “I thought it was probably a 50-50 shot.”
It does come as quite the surprise that Smith was available to the Ravens at 58 given his impressive resume in his final season at Maryland.
Smith had 67 catches (4th best in school history), 1,055 yards and a Maryland-record 12 TDs in his final season at College Park, and built on his career numbers of 152 catches, 2,215 yards, and 19 TDs.
Only former Raven Jermaine Lewis has more receiving touchdowns (21)and yards (2,932)in his career than Smith.
Smith hopes he can bring the same skills to the table taking passes from Joe Flacco behind two of the best in the business.
“I just want to help anywhere I can,” Smith said. “I’m lucky to be able to learn from Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin. I’m looking forward to learning from them.”
Smith also offers versatility and options to the Ravens in the return game. In fact, Smith broke onto the scene in the ACC more for his return skills at first-then he blossomed into an NFL-caliber receiver.
In his career, he amassed 2, 983 return yards which broke the previous ACC-record.
His three career touchdowns returned via kickoff are a Terrapins school record.
All-in-all, it was everything Smith brings to the Ravens that caused Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome to call Smith their “three-pointer”.
“I think the Ravens can use my speed,” Smith said. “They need that from me. I’m happy I can provide that and give the Ravens my best up there.”
But Torrey’s going to have to put on the brakes for now. Just like the rest of the Ravens draft picks minus first-rounder Jimmy Smith, Torrey Smith unfortunately wasn’t able to get a playbook from the Ravens coaching staff due to the lockout being put back into place by the owners Friday into Saturday.
“I was only able to say hello at the press conference and that was it. I couldn’t talk about football and didn’t get any playbooks,” Smith said. “It was tough.”
But so far, he has heard from several of his new Ravens teammates though and they are ready to embrace him as quickly as the opportunity presents itself.
And he’s ready to use the same speed in getting prepared toward playing in the NFL that he used toward burning past ACC-defenders and tacklers.
“My goal is to help the Ravens get to a Super Bowl and win it,” Smith said. “I hope the judge rules in favor of the players so that everything can get going.”
WNST thanks Torrey Smith for joining “The Mobtown Sports Beat” after being drafted by the Ravens and leading up to the Draft as well! Torrey being a Raven makes it that much easier to root for him! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!
Posted on 08 February 2011 by Ryan Chell
Last week, high school Signing Day for the most part was pushed under the rug because of all the hype leading up to Super Bowl XLV.
But one person hard at work in the few short weeks he has been at the helm of the Terps has been new football coach Randy Edsall.
Edsall’s recruiting class was also pushed under the rug due to the fact that the “experts” didn’t give the first-year Terps coach much credit for what he brought to College Park.
Edsall-hired as the new football coach of Maryland in the coming days before coaches were allowed to hit the recruiting trail back in January-had a shorter time to work with than most coaches implementing his own recruiting plan following the firing of Ralph Friedgen.
Edsall joined Thyrl Nelson of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss his results from last week’s Signing Day, and with the National Letters of Intent still finding his way to his desk as of Monday, he is pleased with the results and likes the way the team will be shaping up for the 2011 season.
And despite the recent departures of some of Friedgen’s former assistants-guys like James Franklin(who left to become the head football coach at Vanderbilt)-and defensive coordinator Don Brown-who just this past week announced that he will take the same position at Edsall’s old stomping grounds at UConn-the recruits still saw College Park as the place to be.
“It’s been a situation where we were able to maintain most of the guys who were committed here previous to my arrival,” Edsall told Nelson. “And we were able to get three or four guys where we had spots that needed to get done.”
Ralph Friedgen in his decade-long run at Maryland was always good at recruiting the best of athletes to become Terps-guys like Vernon Davis, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Shawne Merriman, and Torrey Smith-and Edsall said that his first recruiting class at Maryland hasn’t missed that beat either.
“You know, being able to maintain the speed and athleticism that we had on the defensive side and I thought we got three quality receivers so overall I was pleased with the work and the final tally of these twenty-one recruits.”
The recruit that has jumped off the charts-or at least highlights the receivers Edsall signed-is Parkwood High School (North Carolina) wide receiver Marcus Leak, the 44th ranked wide receiver prospect in the country.
Leak is along the same lines of a Torrey Smith, and has shown on the prep level to have adequate speed and impressive size and bulk.
He is also expected to be a force in the return game when he suits up for Edsall on the field.
Receivers coach Lee Hull was one of a handful Friedgen assistants to remain on Edsall’s staff, and Hull will no doubt have an impact on the grooming of Leak to help him hit the field quicker and perform better when he does hit Byrd Stadium.
Another prospect catching attention and praise from Edsall and others is Hoschtown, Georgia native Tyler Cierski, a protypical fullback at 6’1, 240 pounds.
Cierski was rated as the #2 fullback in the nation according to ESPN.com, and his signing could be attention to the fact that Edsall is going to commit his teams to running the football effectively and not relying entirely on the shoulders of his ACC Rookie of the Year QB Danny O’Brien.
Cierski could eventually be blocking for the recruit who signed late as of Monday- #26th ranked running back Justus Pickett out Ardrey Kell High School in North Carolina.
Pickett had several other schools on his list, including West Virginia, Arkansas, Duke, Wake Forest, and Ball State.
The 5’10, 166-pound running back is said to have 4.3-4.6 speed and has drawn some comparisons to Mountaineers running back Noel Devine.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Don Brown was expected to remain with Edsall and run that side of the ball, but he recently announced that he was taking his services up to UConn to run new coach Paul Pasqualoni’s defense.
Brown said the move was based on being closer to his family in the New England area, and the former UMass head coach will be going home apparently.
That leaves Edsall with a hole in his coaching lineup at defensive coordinator, but whoever picks up the headset there will have some toys to play with in the coming years.
Three-star defensive end recruit Quinton Jefferson (Woodland Hills, Pittsburgh)-who had received offers from Iowa, Cincinnati, WVU, Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin-could either be that dominant pass rusher in the next few years for the Terps on the line or if Edsall remains confident in the 3-4 as his defense, Jefferson might be the next Shawne Merriman.
Cole Farrand-a three-star linebacker/tight end out of Sparta, NJ/Pope John-could see himself at either position for Edsall in the coming years.
ESPN has him ranked as the #25th ranked OLB in the prep nation.
You can also add to the mix at the linebacking corps Maryland’s own Alex Twine-out of Quince Orchard High School.
Twine may make an immediate impact on special teams and has already has impressed the coaching staff with his sure tackling ability.
The wild card in the defensive recruits Edsall mentioned may be defensive tackle Keith Bowers out of Dwyer High School in Palm Springs, Florida.
Bowers already weighs in at 6’1, 250 pounds, and he could be that force in the middle for Edsall’s defense.
But while that remains to be seen-as well as the rest of this recruiting class-just as it is in the transition from college to the NFL, some of these guys may not pan out.
“You never know how someone will turn out until you’re four or five years down the road,” Edsall noted. “I just worry about what we do as an evaluation as coaches.”
Maryland’s recruiting class was rated ninth out of the 12 ACC schools, with only Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and N.C. State trailing the Terps according to ESPN.com.
Edall however doesn’t believe in all that rankings and star-systems when it comes to recruiting college athletes. He just wants guys who he knows can play the game of football and do it well enough to his standards.
“I don’t put any credence in the star system,” he said. “What we’re looking for is how they’re going to fit into the schemes we play and do they fit in academically…socially…with their work ethic, and character wise. Those are the decisions we have to make…all those other things are just there to make money for fans to buy into.”
But what Edsall does know that these 21 guys are committed to the University of Maryland 100%, and they’ve already taken that first step in proving so by signing their letters of intent and getting to work.
“It’s so refreshing,” Edsall said,” because you’re teaching these kids about commitment and what commitment means.”
WNST has you covered talking Baltimore sports!
Posted on 05 February 2011 by Glenn Clark
This one might be the toughest one yet.
After big weeks in Orlando and Mobile, there’s still another All-Star Game for National Football League hopefuls to make a statement at the start of NFL Draft season.
The NFLPA Game is Saturday in San Antonio, Texas (2pm-CBS College Sports) at the Alomodome. You’ll remember the game previously being known as the “Texas vs. The Nation” game. Well, you MIGHT remember the game previously being known as that.
The game will still keep the “Team Texas” vs. “Team USA format”, but the Draft showcase surrounding the game is significantly more important than the game itself.
This one isn’t quite at the level of the other All-Star Games, but it’s just as important for the players involved. These players are mostly guys who are currently on the outside l
QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada)
FB-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
RB-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma)
WR-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State)
OT-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado)
DE-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami)
LB-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon)
S-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple)
The only player movement for the Baltimore Ravens since our last post has been the re-signing of Punter Sam Koch, so my team needs remain the same…
1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
6. Inside Linebacker
9. Running Back
Here’s a look at 10 players to keep an eye on during the NFLPA Game…
QB Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania)
Yep. Same guy.
After a six year NCAA career that saw him frustrate Gators fans in Gainesville and Terrapins fans in College Park before finally settling in with the Vulcans, Portis is suddenly now thought of as a potential NFL player.
There’s good reason for it.
Portis completed 205 of his 335 passing attempts in 2010, tossing 33 touchdowns and throwing just seven interceptions along the way. He threw for 6,072 yards combined over his junior and senior seasons.
And despite how many times his design run plays went wrong at Byrd Stadium, Portis is still just as dangerous with his feet.
Portis has the look of a QB. He’s 6’4″, 208 pounds, fast and is the cousin of outstanding Washington Redskins RB Clinton Portis. He received an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he’ll have the chance to make a further impact for NFL personnel. His California coach was Dwain Painter-who coached NFL quarterbacks for some 20 years.
He’s taking the draft process seriously, having opened JoshPortis.com to help gain a more significant profile.
Fans in the Old Line State have a bitter taste about him because things didn’t work out for Portis in James Franklin’s offense. That doesn’t necessarily mean he was a bad quarterback. His numbers clearly reflect the fact that he played at the D2 level, but there’s still a chance he could be a late round option in Charm City as they try to stabilize the position behind Joe Flacco.
QB Taylor Potts (Texas Tech)
The great thing about Taylor Potts is that he’s the first Red Raiders quarterback in a number of years whose big numbers can’t immediately be dismissed by saying something along the lines of “that’s just because he played in a Mike Leach offense.”
That being said, the numbers for Potts were still prolific after Tommy Tubberville replaced Leach. Between his junior and senior seasons, Potts threw for 7,166 yards, tossing 57 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. Unlike the QB who came to Lubbock before him (Graham Harrell), Potts didn’t have the pleasure of throwing the ball to now San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree.
Harrell (and fellow former TTU QB’s Kliff Kingsbury & Sonny Cumbie) haven’t exactly built a pipeline from Lubbock to the NFL. Potts is the first quarterback to come after the Leach era. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome will have to determine if that makes him worth taking a late round (or free agent) shot on to complement Flacco.
WR Denarius Moore (Tennessee)
Moore is going to run one of the most important 40 yard dashes this year at LucasOil Stadium.
If he slides under 4.40, he’ll give himself a great opportunity to be a high pick. If he can’t get under 4.40; folks like Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz will have to wonder if he’s really capable of addressing a speed receiver need.
Moore had an outstanding senior season for the Volunteers, catching 47 balls for 981 yards and nine touchdowns. He finished his career in Knoxville with a very respectable 112 catches for 2,004 yards and 18 TD’s.
But he HAS to be the speed guy. At 6’0″-6’1″, 191 pounds-if he can’t stretch the field he wouldn’t separate himself from Derrick Mason or Anquan Boldin. The problem is that if he does-the former Vols star probably won’t be around on Saturday when the Ravens might like to pick him.
DE Eddie Jones (Texas)
Until his senior season, Jones had not exactly proved to anyone outside of Austin that he was capable of generating a QB rush from the edge.
But in 2010, Jones was able to tally six sacks (and a forced fumble) for a Longhorns squad that underperformed greatly.
Jones will have to use the stop in San An and other stops during Draft season to show that he is still developing as a rusher. If he does, a team like the Ravens could very well choose to snap him up late in the Draft.
At 6’2″ and 258 pounds he’ll have to bulk up a bit, but the team won’t want to see him lose speed in the process. My guess is that the team wouldn’t select Jones with the idea that he’ll be the primary rusher-but he could team with Paul Kruger to give them depth behind a higher pick or a free agent addition.
S Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette)
I know what you’re wondering and the answer is “no.”
Despite playing in the defensive backfield and having the last name “Rolle”, Maurice Rolle is not related to either former Ravens CB Samari Rolle or Tennessee Titans S Myron Rolle.
Rolle started to develop a bit of a nose for the football over his last two seasons with the Ragin Cajuns. He collected four interceptions but battled some leg injury issues, which cut his 2010 season short.
Rolle isn’t a likely draft pick as of this moment, but he’s the type of player that can work that way with a good trip to Indy. His size (6’1″, 197 pounds) gives him the look of a NFL player, he just has to prove to folks (like Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta) that he can make a transition from Sun Belt Conference to NFL.
C Zane Taylor (Utah)
As the Ravens look for a center of the future behind Matt Birk, Taylor is certainly going to be a viable option.
Taylor is 6’3″ and 313 pounds but battled some minor knee injuries in 2010. In 2010 he also helped lead the way for a Utes rushing attack that tallied nearly 2,000 yards.
Plus…he’s STRONG. According to the team’s official website, he can bench 440 pounds and squat 565 pounds. Impressive, yes.
The Ravens aren’t likely to go center early in this draft, but they might think about Taylor as the Draft moves toward Saturday.
RB Damien Berry (Miami)
Statistically, Berry’s 2010 campaign for the Hurricanes was not all that impressive.
He finished with just 899 yards and 5 touchdowns; although he did average 4.7 yards per carry and managed four games of 100 yards or more.
NFL personnel folks are going to really have to look at the hard running ability of Berry to determine where he might fit in during the Draft process.
He has decent size (6’0″, 215 pounds) and has the look/feel of a back who can take a bunch of handoffs. In fact, he had 15 or more carries in nine of 12 games for the ‘Canes in 2010. Berry should be a hit during the interview process in Indy, as he was voted as the team’s “Good Guy” by Miami media during his senior year.
Berry has the feel of a back who could be a sleeper on Saturday. The Ravens have to make a decision regarding fellow former ‘Cane Willis McGahee; and Berry might be the exact type of back who could complement Ray Rice in a positive way.
WR Owen Spencer (North Carolina State)
One of the most under-the-radar screen receivers on the board in 2011, Spencer has the opportunity to wow personnel folks over the next few months.
Spencer never really posted explosive numbers during his four years in Raleigh, but he was nothing if not solid. Between his junior and senior seasons with the Wolfpack, Spencer caught 90 balls for 1,677 yards and 10 TD’s, including the goofy deflection of a Russell Wilson desperate heave seen above.
Wilson has size (6’3″, 191 pounds) but could use a little more speed (he’s expected to post a 40 time in the 4.5 range at the Combine) if he’s going to be counted on to extend the field for a team like the Ravens. He was certainly capable of posting big plays for NC State, averaging 22.3 yards per catch in ’08, 25.5 yards per catch in ’09 and 15.2 yards per catch in ’10.
With TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth serious question marks to return, a player like Spencer could be the exact addition the Ravens need. But Spencer has a lot of work to do between now and the last weekend of April to prove he’s a solid option.
WR Jock Sanders (West Virginia)
If nothing else, the former Mountaineers standout might very well have the best name in the NFL Draft.
Sanders’ size (5’7″, 179 pounds) is an issue. His athleticism is not. He’ll be expected to post a very quick time in the 40 at the Combine/and or his own Pro Timing Day in Morgantown. He’ll also be expected to be involved in the return game no matter where he ends up being selected.
He’s absolutely an athlete, having also lettered in basketball at St. Petersburg Catholic High School in Florida. The question now is whether or not he’s really a football player-particularly at the NFL level.
He can certainly stretch the field; but his size will mean he absolutely HAS to be behind defensive backs to be able to make plays. If he ends up in one on one battles with defenders, he’s going to lose. That’s problematic for teams like the Ravens who don’t want to risk turnovers.
He’ll stick around later into the draft; maybe even after that. At some point, he’ll be a player the Ravens will at least want to consider.
LB Adrian Moten (Maryland)
He might not be a natural rush backer, but Moten certainly showed the ability at times (despite battling wrist injuries) to get to the quarterback. During four seasons under Ralph Friedgen, Moten tallied 15 sacks.
Not only did he show an ability to pressure QB’s, Moten also finished his four year career with 205 tackles, two forced fumbles and six interceptions-including four in his senior campaign.
Moten is a player who will be available late in the draft and could fit a need for the Ravens if any of their current restricted free agent LB’s depart this offseason. He has good size (6’2″, 230 pounds); but would benefit well from shaving his 40 time under 4.6.
He’s no slam dunk to get picked, but the former Terp could well be an option for Baltimore.
Thanks to WNST.net (The AP), NFLDraftScout.com/CBSSports.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official Athletic sites for helping us put together the profiles
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…
Posted on 29 December 2010 by Luke Jones
WASHINGTON — With the backdrop of Maryland’s dominating 51-20 victory over East Carolina in the Military Bowl serving as a final act, it was obvious who the day was really about.
For just a few hours on Wednesday afternoon in front of 38,062 at RFK Stadium, Ralph Friedgen was able to put aside the sleepless nights and disappointment and do what he loves one more time: coach his Maryland Terrapins to victory.
There were no mentions of Mike Leach and his potential arrival in College Park.
The day wasn’t about athletic director Kevin Anderson who so clearly exercised his clout over the last two weeks.
Declining season-ticket sales and unsold luxury suites were afterthoughts as the Terps rushed for 297 yards against a porous Pirates defense.
And even his assistant coaches were able to go out and do their jobs despite not knowing where their future lies — in College Park or anywhere else for that matter.
For the last time as head coach of the Terrapins, Friedgen coached his team to victory in convincing fashion, finishing a 9-4 season and a seven-win improvement from the disastrous 2-10 record of a year ago. The Powerade coolers received plenty of use as Friedgen and several assistants — defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Dave Sollazzo and defensive coordinator Don Brown among them — were doused by jubilant players wanting to send off the coaching staff as winners.
However, reality set in as the final seconds ticked away, and there was only one thing left to say to the man who leaves the Maryland football program in better shape than he found it 10 years ago:
Surprisingly, the emotional head coach was composed through most of his post-game press conference despite all but two questions focusing on his departure as the game took a backseat to the real story of the day.
“It really kind of got to the point where I just wanted to get this game over with and try to get on with the rest of my life,” said Friedgen, who was overwhelmed by the amount of support he received over the last two weeks.
“I had some really special memories here. The biggest thing is I’m not going to be able to be around these kids. I really cherish being around them. Being there when we were 2-10 [in 2009] and now we’re 9-4 and hopefully we’re in the top 25. When you go through something like that, with pretty much the same individuals, you get pretty close. I really think they have a chance to be special. That’s what I’m going to miss.”
Putting aside the disappointment of being invited to the ACC’s eighth-place bowl and traveling only a few miles to Washington, D.C., the Terps made the most of their opportunity against an inferior opponent, containing one of the most prolific offenses in the nation while also accumulating 478 total yards of offense.
As convincing as the performance was and the optimism that exists for next season with so many key offensive players returning, even the seniors realized this game was about their head coach and sending him out on a high note.
“We just wanted to make a statement,” said senior running back Da’Rel Scott, who rushed for 200 yards on 13 carries and was named the game’s MVP. “It was good to play at home — we could have gotten a better bowl — but it is what it is. We just tried to go out with a bang and make sure coach Friedgen went out as a winner. I think that was the team’s main focus.”
Despite the win, the hurt feelings remain apparent in such a tenuous situation. Rarely do coaches have the opportunity to knowingly coach their final game at a school — other than retirement situations. The reality is even tougher to swallow when that coach is finishing a 9-4 turnaround season.
That pain will linger for a long time, as Friedgen said he gave his best for 10 seasons only to find out he wasn’t wanted anymore.
“Everybody has their own opinion,” Friedgen said. “Obviously, the powers that be didn’t feel like I was good enough to go to the next level. Only time will tell whether that was accurate or not.”
Time is running short as Maryland has set January 4 as the deadline to have its new coach in place. The fate of the assistant coaches — including Brown who masterfully frustrated the East Carolina offense all afternoon — remains in limbo.
Whether the new man is Leach or one of the other names thrown around by various media outlets, the bar will be high as Anderson’s “good-to-great” proclamation will bring pressure and obstacles that Friedgen never faced when he arrived on campus 10 years ago.
“I can tell you this, it’s not an easy job,” Friedgen said. “There’s a lot of things that really have to change to help [the football program] reach its potential. To be honest with you, I don’t know if the university is willing to do that. You kind of have to know that going in, and I did. I think that was a benefit to me.”
After coaching at his alma mater, Friedgen must now face the uncertainty that goes with being an unemployed 63-year-old football coach, a reality that even he has labeled as surreal.
“Everybody thinks that I can’t live without football,” said Frieden, who received a call from former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer assuring him there is, indeed, life after football. “I don’t know. This is what I’ve done for 43 years, going to be 44. It’s probably what I do. We’ll have to see.”
It had to be sobering coaching his final game in the unspectacular Military Bowl — with memories of the 2001 season, an ACC championship, and a trip to the Orange Bowl in the back of his mind — but closing his career with a win for the players he’s repeatedly called his favorite group to coach should count for something.
“If you have to go out, this is the best way to do it. I am happy to watch this team and I wish them the very best. I am with them in spirit every step of the way.”
NOTES: D.J. Adams ran for four touchdowns, a career high as well as a season high for Maryland. … Scott’s 91-yard touchdown run was the longest by a Maryland running back since an 80-yard scamper by Bruce Perry in 2003. … Scott’s 200 yards was a personal best and season best for the Terps. It was the best running performance by a Terp since Perry ran for 237 at Wake Forest in 2003.
Posted on 22 December 2010 by Ryan Chell
Former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin meant a lot to the University of Maryland, especially this year in the Terps’ 8-4 campaign helping springboard his coach in Ralph Friedgen to ACC Coach of the Year and his quarterback Danny O’Brien to ACC Rookie of the Year for 2010.
His work this season was also enough to garner attention on the national stage, as Franklin-at one point named the coach-in-waiting at College Park-was hired as the Vanderbilt Head Coach last week, the 27th man to do so in the Commodores history.
Franklin joined Thyrl Nelson and Glenn Clark on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” as an opportunity to not only wish the best for the fans cheering him on in Maryland, but to explain how hard his decision to leave an organization he has been a part of for so long in Maryland to take the head coaching position at Vanderbilt.
“I wanted an opportunity to be a head coach and I wanted to have an opportunity to do it at a great school with a great history, great tradition, and one that was in the best conferences in America,” Franklin told Nelson and Clark. “I really had narrowed it down to specific schools, but when I got the call and got a chance to talk to the people here-and in my mind that’s what it’s all about anywhere-it’s about the people.”
The school was won over by Franklin’s interview-he used the same skills in recruiting players to execute Ralph Friedgen’s offense to impress Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos and Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics David Williams II.
“The hiring of Coach Franklin represents a new day for Vanderbilt football,” Zeppos said in a press release. “He has my full support and commitment that we will help him create an environment where the successes on the field equal the university’s extraordinary successes off the field. Coach Franklin will have an immediate and positive impact on our students, alumni, faculty, staff and broader Vanderbilt community, and I welcome him to Vanderbilt.”
Ultimately though, Franklin admitted that the school won him over from the spot more than some other high-profile jobs out there that Franklin could have had.
“When I got a chance to sit down and talk to the Chancellor…and he was totally committed to winning at the highest level here.”
I just saw a tremendous commitment to excellence in everything we do, and it was an unbelievable opportunity,” he said. ” To me, it’s not about looking around country and say what jobs would I like, it came down to the people that are on those campuses and the opportunities presented to you.”
Vanderbilt will look to the offensive-minded Franklin to turn around a Commodores team that finished 2-10, and 1-7 in the tough SEC conference.
The school was looking to find a candidate who could supplant themselves as an institution at Vanderbilt-one that could bring stability to a struggling program.
“They’ve been so supportive, and they understand where we’re at, and I think after us sitting down and talking, they know where were going. They’re in this for the long haul, and they want to do this the right way. They want to build something that’s going to be built to last. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”
“And they’ve been committed to that from the first time I’ve talked to them. But we have to keep improving, just like we did at Maryland this year. We got better every single game throughout the season, and if we do that, we’ll take that same approach here at Vanderbilt.”
In July, Bobby Johnson stepped down as coach of the program after 8 seasons on the Commodore sidelines, but he finished with a 29-66 record during his time in Nashville. Robbie Caldwell took over for Johnson and led the team this year with the interim title attached to his name, and he resigned after the season was completed.
Franklin-who is the school’s first ever minority candidate-brings with him an impressive resume to the SEC school. Franklin, 38, has been in the coaching ranks since 1995 both at the college and professional levels.
His first big stop at the college level came in 1998 when the was a graduate assistant to Mike Price at Washington State, followed by a stop at Idaho State as their receivers coach the following season.
He came to College Park in 2000 and a little less than a season in, the Terps head coach at the time-Ron Vanderlinden -was relieved of his duties and replaced by(continued…)
Posted on 18 December 2010 by Luke Jones
Any head coach wants to go out on his own terms, but it so rarely happens as Ralph Friedgen has painfully learned this week after 10 years at Maryland.
Despite being told by new athletic director Kevin Anderson that he would return to coach the Terps in the final year of his current contract in 2011, Friedgen has been forcefully asked to take a buyout and retire, ending his 10-year run as head coach of his alma mater.
With Friedgen exiting, it appears former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is the Terps’ desired successor. Sources tell WNST.net the hiring of Leach is imminent with the controversial coach being targeted as the big name needed to revitalize a struggling program.
Leach declined comment when reached by WNST.net Saturday afternoon, as he and Friedgen are close and the high-profile candidate wished for more clarity to the situation before speaking further.
Of course, given Leach’s controversial exit from Lubbock, Anderson could face opposition from influential university supporters in the days to come. Leach was suspended and eventually fired at Texas Tech after the controversial treatment of a football player who had suffered a concussion. The 49-year-old, however, believed his termination was due in part to the bitter contract negotiations taking place at the time.
Leach has a close relationship with Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, a former Maryland football player and major contributor to the athletic program. Plank would likely sell Leach as the collegiate football face of Under Armour should he take the job at Maryland.
Other names such as former Maryland assistant and New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley and former Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham are not considered as candidates for the head job at this time, as numerous sources claim Leach is the school’s only current target.
Friedgen’s departure comes after he was named the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year following a six-game turnaround from a disastrous 2-10 record in 2009. According to several sources, Friedgen’s wish for a contract extension was not well-received by the new athletic director who couldn’t ignore the program’s lackluster record and financial problems in recent seasons.
Friday’s announcement of Vanderbilt hiring offensive coordinator James Franklin as its new head coach likely sped up the timetable of Anderson’s desire to make a new mark on a program that’s struggled in recent years. Franklin had previously been the coach-in-waiting and the program’s top recruiter, which likely would have led to fallout with recruiting even if Friedgen had remained next season.
With the program’s financial struggles hardly a secret, reports indicate Maryland football will fall $2 million short of expected revenues this season. As the recently-renovated Tyser Tower holds unsold suites at Byrd Stadium and season tickets sales have declined for five straight years, this bold move is about pumping new blood in the program.
In a teleconference regarding Franklin’s exit on Friday afternoon, Anderson would not confirm Friedgen’s return in 2011. The athletic director also said he did not make a counteroffer to persuade Franklin to remain with the Terps, adding fuel to the speculative fire that he was aiming to clean house entirely.
Maryland will play East Carolina in the Military Bowl on December 29 in a game now looking far more intriguing given this week’s drama and the immediate and long-term future of the program. Friedgen is, however, expected to coach at RFK Stadium in his final game with the Terps.
WNST.net’s Glenn Clark and Drew Forrester contributed to this article.