ACC: Mack Frost

Preseason predictions: Maryland

July, 20, 2009
7/20/09
3:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

MARYLAND

1. First-year defensive coordinator Don Brown will have the right plan but the front seven will be a step behind in executing it. Brown was a great hire, and his aggressive defensive philosophy will be an upgrade, but Maryland's front seven is comprised of relatively unknown, unproven players. The Terps will rely heavily on linebackers Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten to replace a group of four linebackers who combined to play in 144 games and 54 starts. They also have to replace Mack Frost, Jeremy Navarre and Trey Covington up front. The secondary should impress.

2. Quarterback Chris Turner will have the most consistent season of his career. Turner has been known as a gamer, and has been at his best against ranked opponents. But he lost the starting job to Jordan Steffy at the start of last year because Steffy had been a better practice player. Turner knows, though, that he has to play at the same level -- not to the level of his competition -- this year. He also has to stay healthy, because there's no game experience behind him.

3. The Terps' receivers will outshine Da'Rel Scott & Co. Yes, all three of Maryland's running backs return in Scott, Morgan Green and Davin Meggett, but there is an abundance of speedy young talent waiting to take over in the second season of James Franklin's offense. This should be one of the deepest units in the conference, and that should help ease the transition into the first season without Darrius Heyward-Bey. Torrey Smith is the only returning starter, but Ronnie Tyler might be the most athletic of the bunch. Considering they're both sophomores, they're only going to get better.

Maryland spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009
5/07/09
9:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Maryland Terrapins
2008 overall record: 8-5

2008 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters: Offense: 6, defense: 4, punter/kicker: 1

Top returners: QB Chris Turner, RB, Da'Rel Scott, OL Phil Costa, WR Torrey Smith, LB Alex Wujciak, CB Anthony Wiseman, FS Terrell Skinner, P Travis Baltz

Key losses: C Edwin Williams, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, CB Kevin Barnes, DT Jeremy Navarre, LG Jaimie Thomas, TE Dan Gronkowski, LB Dave Philistin, DE Mack Frost, LB Moise Fokou, PK Obi Egekeze

2007 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Da'Rel Scott* (1,133 yards)
Passing: Chris Turner* (2,516 yards)
Receiving:
Darrius Heyward-Bey (609 yards)
Tackles:
Alex Wujciak* (133)
Sacks:
Moise Fokou (5)
Interceptions:
Jamari McCollough* (4)

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 at California
Sept. 12 James Madison
Sept. 19 Middle Tennessee
Sept. 26 Rutgers
Oct. 3 Clemson
Oct. 10 at Wake Forest
Oct. 17 Virginia
Oct. 24 at Duke
Nov. 7 at NC State
Nov. 14 Virginia Tech
Nov. 21 at Florida State
Nov. 28 Boston College

Spring answers

1. Leader on the line. Phil Costa has been tasked with taking over at center for Edwin Williams, and although he has never played in a game at center, it was the position of least concern on the offensive line this spring. Costa proved capable of being the leader of an otherwise inexperienced group (see below).

2. New additions at linebacker. One of the concerns coming into the spring was the depth at linebacker, and the staff was pleased with the addition freshmen Darin Drakeford and Avery Murray. With Alex Wujciak and Ben Pooler out with injuries, others proved dependable, including former tight end Drew Gloster and Demetrius Hartsfield.

3. What can Don Brown do for you? Brown's new defensive scheme earned rave reviews from the players and coaching staff this spring. The corners stepped up to the challenge of the press coverage and picked off Chris Turner six times in two scrimmages.

Fall questions

1. The rest of the offensive line. The Terps lost three starters, and will have four players in new positions. Bruce Campbell is the only player returning to his old spot at left tackle. The two starting guard spots are up for grabs, as Lamar Young and Andrew Gonnella flip-flopped all spring on the left side. Justin Lewis played better toward the end at right guard.

2. Separation at receiver. There are nine who can play, and every one of them seemed to have his moment at a different time this spring. Still, nobody grabbed hold of the "go-to" guy, previously held by Darrius Heyward-Bey. The staff is still looking for consistency from this young but talented group.

3. Replacing the placekicker. The Terps still don't know who will fill the placekicking shoes of Obi Egekeze. Walk-ons Mike Barbour and Nick Wallace will continue to compete this summer, and highly touted incoming kicker Nick Ferrara will have a chance to win the job.

Maryland recruiting needs

January, 14, 2009
1/14/09
12:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The Terps rebounded from their disappointing finish in the regular season with an impressive win over Nevada in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl, and a bowl win never hurts recruiting.

The Terps' main focus was to stock up on linebackers, especially with the departure of Rick Costa, Moise Fokou and Dave Philistin. Maryland will have to replace three seniors on its offensive line, and that was the staff's second priority. The Terps are still shopping in that department, but have a good start with three commitments in Pete DeSouza (Hyattsville, Md.), Bennett Fulper (Gretna, Va.) and Ryan Schlieper (Wexford, Pa.).

With backup quarterback Josh Portis transferring and Jordan Steffy graduating, the Terps also had to fill a void there. Chris Turner is a veteran with a winning record, but his backup, Jamarr Robinson, is a redshirt freshman who hasn't thrown a pass yet. Maryland is expecting two commitments at the position in C.J. Brown (Cranberry, Pa.), and Danny O'Brien (Kernersville, N.C.).

The Terps are always looking for defensive linemen and defensive backs. Kevin Barnes is the biggest name in the defensive backfield who will have to be replaced. The defensive line will also lose a lot of depth in Jeremy Navarre, Mack Frost, Dean Muhtadi, and Olugbemi Otulaja. De'Onte Arnett, a highly regarded defensive end from Forestville, Md., is an early entry who might contribute immediately.

Maryland will need a kicker to replace Obi Egekeze, and they've got a commitment from Nick Ferrara of St. Anthony's in New York.

The most glaring departure on offense was star receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who decided to leave early for the NFL draft, but the Terps have several talented, young receivers who emerged this season. That position will be more of a focus for the class of 2010.

ACC's internal affairs: Week 12

November, 12, 2008
11/12/08
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

FLORIDA STATE: The Seminoles are expecting a similar defense from the one they saw in their loss to Wake Forest, but the Noles are more confident in their offensive line and running game this time around. Coach Bobby Bowden said tackles B.J. Raji and Ron Brace are probably the best they'll play to date, and his task will be to "mix the running game in there." Bowden said BC has a different defensive alignment than Wake, but the zone is similar. "We have to execute," Bowden said. "A team like that gives you things. You can have a little hook out there but you better not miss it. We must protect the passer and then execute and then get a running game going where they can't just tee off on the passer."

WAKE FOREST: Placekicker Sam Swank likely won't play again, and coach Jim Grobe is still trying to further integrate the I-formation with the spread offense, so the defense will once again be heavily relied upon this weekend at NC State. In the first half of the season, Wake was spending three-fourths of its practices on throwing the ball, blitz pickup, reads for the quarterbacks and route concepts for the receivers. Now, Grobe said, they're "probably 50/50 or 60/40 run-pass, which I think has helped us on Saturday, because we have the ability to do more than one thing." Running back Josh Adams, who has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, is likely to return on Saturday.

MARYLAND: After allowing the Hokies a school-record rushing performance last week, the Terps made some changes to their defensive line in order to give their rushing defense a boost, and it starts inside. Travis Ivey will start at defensive tackle in place of Jeremy Navarre, who has been moved to defensive end, and redshirt freshman Dion Armstrong will start at nose tackle in place of Olugbemi Otulaja, who has started every game this season. Navarre, who started every game at defensive tackle, leads all ACC defensive linemen with 5.3 tackles per game. Mack Frost, who started five games at end this season but hasn't completely healed from knee surgery last year, is his backup.

VIRGINIA TECH: Things have been coming together for the Hokies on offense and special teams lately. Overshadowed by the record-setting success of tailback Darren Evans, true freshman Dyrell Roberts has also shown big-play capabilities for the Hokies. The former tailback turned receiver has found his niche as a return man. Roberts has 10 catches for 158 yards, but is averaging 26.9 yards per return -- ninth-best in the country. He has had returns of 55 and 54 yards in the past two games. Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring has also said he'd like to continue to use the "Wild Turkey" formation, with 280-pound tight end Greg Boone rushing out of the shotgun formation, but wants to make sure he only confuses defenses, and not his own players.

MIAMI: The Hurricanes spent their bye week focusing on special teams, but a consistent key to beating the Hokies has been a high-scoring game. Miami is 11-2 against Virginia Tech when it has scored 20 or more points against the Hokies. The Hurricanes lead the ACC in scoring offense with 30.4 points per game in ACC games. The Hurricanes could be without injured left tackle Jason Fox, though, and that could obviously hurt. Starting in his place would be senior Reggie Youngblood. Fox has started 22 straight games, and he and Xavier Shannon are the only two players on offense who have started every game this season.

FSU, Maryland and Virginia Tech injury reports

October, 3, 2008
10/03/08
7:43
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

FLORIDA STATE

Out for the year:
DB Ed Imeokparia (right knee)
LB Aaron Gresham (right knee)
RB Tavares Pressley (left knee)
OL Evan Bellamy (blood clot)
DT Emmanuel Dunbar (back)
DB Nick Moody (shoulder)

Out this week:
DE Toshmon Stevens (calf strain) and DE Jamar Jackson (knee)

Questionable:
WR Richard Goodman (knee)

MARYLAND

Out for season:
WR Kevin Dorsey (foot)
LB Dominique Herald (knee)
RB Paul Lariviere (knee)
OL Ben Pooler (knee)
DB Richard Taylor (knee)
DL Joe Vellano (shoulder)

Out:
LB Louis Berman (leg)
OL Tyler Bowen (leg)
DB Nolan Carroll (leg)
DL Ricardo Dacosta (leg)
TE Matt Furstenburg (leg)
LB Adrian Moten (arm)
QB Jordan Steffy (hand)
WR LaQuan Williams (leg)
OL Lamar Young (leg)

Questionable:
DL Mack Frost (leg)
DL Travis Ivey (leg)

VIRGINIA TECH

OL Barrett Mears (ankle) -- Out

Maryland gets some help back on defense

September, 27, 2008
9/27/08
11:48
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

CLEMSON, S.C. -- It looks like Maryland will get some help on its defensive line with a surprise comeback by defensive end Mack Frost, who was out with a knee injury last week and listed as doubtful coming into this game.

It doesn't look like Frost is going to start, but even a minimal contribution from this starter would be an edge against Clemson's young line. He's one of four players on the Terps' roster from South Carolina.

Checking in on practices

August, 7, 2008
8/07/08
9:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here are a few notes from Wednesday practices around the league, according to each program's daily practice report:

MARYLAND

* The secondary has to replace three of four starters from a year ago, but this group led a ramped up defensive charge in the first day of full pads. DB's Nolan Carroll, Jeff Allen and Kevin Barnes each made interceptions. Carroll produced what was perhaps the play of the day when he dove to make a shoestring catch on a pass deflected by defensive lineman Mack Frost.

* The defense implemented blitz package drills for the first time.

* Is former Florida QB Josh Portis finally making a move? Ralph Friedgen said Portis looked the best on Wednesday.

* The standout offensive play, though, came from redshirt freshman receiver Tony Logan, who caught a touchdown on a deep fade pattern, prompting offensive coordinator James Franklin to exclaim, "That's beautiful! I love these touchdowns -- the defender can't find the ball!"

CLEMSON

* It was a rough day for the Tigers, who had final exams AND a two-and-a-half hour practice in 100-degree heat.

* Highlights: A 44-yard touchdown pass from Cullen Harper to Aaron Kelly on a slant pass in the third-and-long drill. Harper was 4-5 for 72 yards for the five plays.

* Injury update: Wide receiver Jacoby Ford was upgraded to a green jersey and hopefully will be back to full speed by Saturday's first scrimmage. Starting tight end Michael Palmer missed the practice due to a pulled hamstring. Offensive tackle David Smith was still out with a dislocated toe, while wide receiver Xavier Dye was in a green jersey as he attempts to get back on the field after suffering a bruised shoulder. Rendrick Taylor was excused from practice by Tommy Bowden, so he could attend to some personal matters.

GEORGIA TECH:

* Highlights: A long run by sophomore B-back Jonathan Dwyer to the left side drew the biggest applause from fans braving the heat. Redshirt senior receiver Andrew Smith also broke a long run down the right sideline on a reverse. Tech's defense continued to make plays as well, forcing fumbles and in turn dreaded up-downs Tech players have to do after a miscue.

ACC position rankings: Defensive line

July, 17, 2008
7/17/08
6:03
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

1. Georgia Tech: This veteran defense should help take some heat off the offense while it figures itself out. Senior tackles Vance Walker and Darryl Richard, along with defensive end Michael Johnson are legitimate NFL draft picks and should have their best seasons yet under first-year coordinator Dave Wommack.

2. Clemson: Three of the four starters return, including seniors Dorell Scott and Rashaad Jackson, and junior Ricky Sapp, who had 10 tackles for loss, five sacks and 22 quarterback pressures as a sophomore when he started all 13 games. And don't forget freshman Da'Quan Bowers, who will work his way into the rotation at defensive end with Kevin Alexander as they try to fill the void left by Phillip Merling.

3. Boston College: The Eagles had the No. 1 rushing defense in 2007 (75.5 yards per game), and that was without academically ineligible B.J. Raji and injured end Alex Albright, who had 8.5 sacks despite missing the last few games with a broken left forearm. Now they're back, along with senior tackle Ron Brace.

4. Florida State: Defensive end Everette Brown is the leader of this group and could be one of the best in the ACC. He led the team in sacks last year, when he was in a part-time role, and led all linemen in tackles and tackles for loss. Benjamin Lampkin converted from linebacker to end in the Music City Bowl. Budd Thacker started eight games last season and missed four because of an injury. Paul Griffin didn't start a game last year, but had 6.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

5. Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have to replace their top end in Jeremy Thompson, and fifth-year senior Anthony Davis, his backup, will inherit the job. Matt Robinson missed 2006 with a broken kneecap and then suffered a high ankle sprain last season and missed the three games. He was granted a sixth year of eligibility and will play as a grad student. Their strength will be inside with returning starter Boo Robinson at nose guard. John Russell is simmering with potential. Ted Randolph moved from tight end to defensive tackle midseason last year.

6. Virginia Tech: Only three ends with playing experience and one tackle return. Redshirt senior Orion Martin is the only returning lineman who started every game last season. Redshirt sophomore Jason Worilds should be No. 1 at the other end spot heading into fall and Nekos Brown and Steven Friday are competing for the backup spots. Demetrius Taylor has moved inside to tackle and will compete with John Graves, Cordarrow Thompson and a few others.

7. Duke: Junior tackle Vince Oghobaase is the real deal. He had 12 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last season. He's one of four returning starters, along with defensive ends Greg Akinbiyi and Wesley Oglesby, and defensive tackle Ayanga Okpokowuruk.

8. Miami: Hurricane fans have good reason to be excited about freshman Marcus Forston, but there's little that's certain about this line. Allen Bailey's move here from linebacker should help, but this offseason he's been slowed by a pectoral injury. Eric Moncur has struggled to stay healthy, along with Courtney Harris. Senior left tackle Antonio Dixon, Joe Joseph and Dwayne Hendricks are competing with Forston for the tackle spots.

9. North Carolina: The Tar Heels have to replace two of the league's best linemen in tackle Kentwan Balmer and end Hilee Taylor. There are plenty of options at tackle, where Aleric Mullins is a returning starter, but Taylor's absence will be felt. Darrius Massenburg broke his wrist and didn't participate this spring, Darius Powell is more of a third-down guy, and Vince Jacobs is a converted tight end.

10. Maryland: Jeremy Navarre is the veteran of this group, having started a team-high 35 games, and should move from end to tackle. Mack Frost is expected to take Navarre's end position, but he missed this spring because of knee surgery. Trey Covington has plenty of experience at the Terps' LEO position, which is a hybrid defensive end/linebacker. More is expected of nose tackle Travis Ivey, who played sparingly last year mostly in goal-line situations. Walk-on Bemi Otulaja passed him on the depth chart this spring.

11. NC State: Defensive end Willie Young and tackle Alan-Michael Cash are two certainties in an otherwise questionable line. While the move of Ted Larsen and John Bedics helped out the offensive line, it hurt the depth on defense. Markus Kuhn is a viable option at defensive end, and Antoine Holmes could help at tackle.

12. Virginia: With Chris Long and the lone answer to his departure, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, no longer on the team, the Cavaliers have a serious hole to fill, and there's not much experience at end to choose from. Alex Field played sparingly in every game and Sean Gottschalk played in nine.

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