Maryland football’s 2018 spring practice is underway, and the Terps’ spring game is not far out.
Maryland’s entering its third season under head coach DJ Durkin. The Terps dropped from 6-6 to 4-8 in their second season under his watch, but that was a rather expected occurrence. Maryland wasn’t gifted an easy schedule in Year 2 under Durkin, and went 2-7 in the Big Ten.
The spring game will be fans’ first glimpse at what the team might look like in 2018.
Maryland spring game 2018: Date
Maryland’s 2018 spring game is on April 14.
Maryland spring game 2018: Time
Maryland football’s 2018 spring game is at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Maryland spring game 2018: TV channel
Maryland football’s 2018 spring game will be televised on Big Ten Network.
Maryland football 2018 spring game roster
Find Maryland football’s full roster here.
Maryland football 2018 spring game preview: Three story lines to watch
Who’s playing quarterback…and who’s catching passes?
Maryland’s quarterback situation was a disaster in 2017, though no one is particularly to blame for this one. Tyrrell Pigrome started the season at quarterback only to see his year end in the season opener with a torn ACL against Texas. Kasim Hill took over and was quickly felled by the same injury two games later.
With 11, Max Bortenschlager played the most games at quarterback for Maryland in 2017. No. 2 was Ryan Brand, a preferred walk-on who won’t be with the team in 2018. Caleb Henderson, who was eligible last season after transferring from North Carolina, also saw his season derailed by injuries and has moved to an off-the-field role with the team.
That leaves Bortenschlager, early enrollee Tyler DeSue and walk-on Legend Brumbaugh as the lone healthy quarterbacks this spring. They’ll be the ones seeing action in the spring game.
With the loss of DJ Moore to the NFL draft, Maryland will also be looking for some wide receivers to step up, too. Seniors Jahrvis Davenport and Taivon Jacobs are the top options there, but junior DJ Turner and a whole bunch of redshirt freshmen will be in the mix too.
Will we get our first look at Anthony McFarland?
Anthony McFarland was the crown jewel of Maryland’s 2017 recruiting class. The 4-star recruit from nearby DeMatha Catholic High School chose the Terps over Miami, but he didn’t play at all in 2018 after his recovery from a high school ankle injury took a little longer than anticipated.
McFarland is healthy now, and that’s good news for a Maryland team with an explosive backfield that underwhelmed last season. McFarland will join senior Ty Johnson, juniors Lorenzo Harrison and Jake Funk, and sophomores Javon Leake and Tayon Fleet-Davis. It won’t be easy to break into that rotation, but McFarland has the talent to do so.
“Anthony really finally looks like his old self right now,” Durkin said this spring, according to The Diamondback. “He’s been tremendous at practice. … He’s explosive, he’s dynamic.”
What will the defense look like?
Maryland had warts all over in 2017, and the defense wasn’t immune. The Terps were 85th in S&P+ on defense, compared to 113 on offense, last season. That defense loses its leader in middle linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr., its most athletic player in CB JC Jackson as well as two more linebackers and three defensive linemen.
That’s good and bad news. Maryland’s run defense and pass rush have been simply bad over the last few seasons. Some former elite recruits, including Adam McLean, Cam Spence and Breyon Gaddy on the defensive line, are going to have to show up for Maryland’s defense to improve.
The team will have pass-rusher Jesse Aniebonam back for his final season. His progress recovering from an Achilles injury suffered in the 2017 opener against Texas will be another thing to watch in Maryland’s spring game.