What To Make Of Maryland's Loaded Backfield
By Kevin Smith
Heading into spring football practice for Maryland, the Terrapins have an enticing dilemma on their hands.
That's because head coach Randy Edsall and his coaching staff will have to deal with a loaded backfield.
With four — count 'em, four — running backs on the Terps' depth chart, Maryland finds itself in a pickle. Brandon Ross, Albert Reid, Jacquille Veii and Wes Brown are all vying to be either the starter at running back or the backup.
All four candidates have immense talent, but the only two who really stand out as the top running backs on the list are Ross and Reid.
Ross has been the Terps' leading rusher the last two seasons with a combined 1,116 rushing yards and was the starter last season. His combined rushing total is 202 yards more than Reid, Veii and Brown have rushed for combined.
Ross seems to be the front runner for the starting position heading into next season, with Reid not too far behind. However, it is plain to see those four backfield entries may be playing musical chairs on the depth chart down the road depending on their consistency.
Ross will most likely get the bulk of the touches while Reid, who has rushed for 386 yards in two seasons, is a perfect complement to Ross when Ross needs a rest or when Maryland decides to use two backs on certain plays.
Veii and Brown are in line to see action on third down and goal line situations, which will be a key for a Maryland squad that only converted 32 percent of its third downs last season.
Veii and Brown have their work cut out for them in a crowded backfield. Veii has a shot at being a third stringer, but his carries are bound to be low since he only put up 146 rushing yards last season.
Meanwhile, Brown is coming off a semester suspension following his arrest last July for second-degree assault, theft and wiretapping. What remains a concern is how the weight that he lost the past couple months will affect his running game next season.
Brown is considered a power running back so his weight loss is a legitimate concern in regards to how much it will put a damper on his speed.
While Enshall will probably stick with Ross as his starter at tailback next season, it’s still too early to sell Ross' three other competitors short just yet.