Signing day has passed, and rosters around the Big Ten are taking shape. As we review the results of last week, peering ahead to the 2016 season, our ESPN.com reporting team examines how every team in the conference fared.
Next up: Maryland Terrapins
Team’s position of strength: Wide receiver
If it’s possible to list anything about Maryland’s passing game as a strength after the Terrapins threw nearly twice as many interceptions as touchdowns (29 to 15) in 2015, it’s the wideouts. Top targets Lavern Jacobs, D.J. Moore and Taivon Jacobs return, each with more than 20 catches last season. Maryland added a pair of pass-catching threats, including four-star prospect Tino Ellis. His high school teammate at Beltway power DeMatha Catholic, DJ Turner, also signed with Maryland. The Terps, in fact, added four players from DeMatha, a nice pipeline for first-year coach D.J. Durkin to establish.
Team’s biggest need heading into signing day: Defensive back
Maryland wasn’t especially good at much of anything other than special teams last year, but it got decent play from the secondary -- well, as decent as you can get from a pass defense that allowed 258.4 yards per game, 103rd nationally. Cornerback William Likely is a star, and he’s returning as a senior. The other starters, who ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, in tackles, are gone. Their backups are primarily untested, so, yeah, Maryland’s new defensive backs coach, Aazaar Adbul-Rahim, needs help.
How Maryland addressed the need: Very well, thank you, with some Florida handiwork.
Time will tell, of course, if the Terrapins stocked their secondary of the future on signing day. At minimum, it looks good, with six defensive backs, including five from the state of Florida -- headlined by Orlando’s Tyrek Tisdale, rated by ESPN as the No. 37 athlete nationally. Cornerback Antwaine Richardson of Delray Beach ranks 49th at his position, and twins Elijah Daniels and Elisha Daniels also look like solid prospects. Qwuantrezz Knight, a member of the Big Ten recruiting all-name team, completes the Florida quintet. Travon Stott, among 10 signees from Maryland, completes the class of defensive backs.
Biggest need remaining: Quarterback
Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe, who shared starting responsibilities last season, return to compete for the job this spring. Both are seniors. Maryland needs to find its future QB, and it may be Gage Shaffer, a redshirt freshman in 2016. To provide competition, the Terps plucked Max Bortenschlager from Indiana and added Tyrrell Pigrome, the 2015 Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama, as a signing-day decision. Pigrome is a dual threat, with more than 1,300 rushing yards as a senior, and he may fit well in the up-tempo offense of new coordinator Walt Bell.