The senior running back hopes to stay healthy in 2010 while regaing the form that made him an All-ACC selection in 2008.
With many new faces on this Navy defense, the returning team leading tackler for Navy plays safety.


The top six rushers are back for the Terps, including senior Da'Rel Scott who was a First Team All-ACC selection in 2008 before the blocking disappeared in College Park and he began sitting games with nagging injuries. He missed five games last season with a broken wrist, his numbers have fallen and he recently has found fumbling to be a problem. All this opened the door for other backs to get more work. One of those was top reserve Davin Meggett (son of former NFL running back Dave) who runs extremely hard. His heavier frame gives Maryland some power between the tackles but it is Scott that gives this team the danger of going all the way in for six points on any given play. Taylor Watson was set to take over at fullback before he tore his ACL in spring practice and now is in rehab. Fortunately, Haroon Brown excelled this spring and appears to be a dominating blocker. Without a doubt, what is killing this offense has been the poor play of the offensive line. This has not been a very cohesive bunch and finding the right five-guy combination still appears to be a big time problem. They also lost their best two blockers in center Phil Costa and NFL bound Bruce Campbell at tackle. The wildcard factor in this ground game is quarterback Jamarr Robinson whose lively feet adds another rushing dimension the Terps have not seen in several years from this position. Given the current woes of this offensive line, will the option come more into play now much like when it was oft-used during Friedgen's first three (and best) seasons?

The Naval Academy graduation ceremonies this past spring left some serious turnover in the Midshipmen's 3-4 defense. Gone are the top five linebackers of 2009. And linebackers are the heart and soul playmakers of this defense. This unit a year ago was widely considered one of the best in the program's history according to a few coaches. What's left is at least comprised of mostly juniors and seniors. The most experience exists with senior Tyler Simmons and even he did not record a single start in 2009. After that, the other spots are up for grabs. The defensive line too has a few holes to plug. But there are two mainstay tacklers back with defensive end Jabaree Tuani and safety Wyatt Middleton, who is the team's co-returning leading tackler (Simmons is the other).

If Maryland is to take a significant edge in one of these breakdowns, this area has the most potential simply due to the massive player turnover on Navy's front seven. That's important, as Maryland needs to work the first down chains and push some time of possession in their favor. While the Terps struggled badly to get the ground game going last fall due mostly in part to inept blocking, the focus has shifted this off-season in College Park to relocating that success. This area gets a big boost because of the wheels on new quarterback Jamarr Robinson, who will also pad the rushing statistics when he drops back to pass and decides to take off running. Whether Robinson can scramble and make plays with his feet is what most Maryland fans are waiting to see.




The Navy triple-option attack is very much alive and well in Annapolis under third year head coach Ken Niumatalolo, a long time understudy of former head coach Paul Johnson who literally built this attack from the ground up. First, what makes this system continually finish in the top five nationally for total rushing yards is a sound quarterback and boy howdy does this offense have one of those. Senior Ricky Dobbs is easily the best athlete on either side of the ball for Navy. The former Georgia prep football/basketball star was hailed long ago as the future of Navy football. He has been building momentum and 2010 looks to be the year he takes the nation by storm. His 1,203 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns (an NCAA record for touchdowns by a quarterback) last fall easily puts him in the limelight for this match up and everyone there after. On the other hand, there may be at least six slot backs capable of starting this year, but it won't have the one who was capable of becoming a star. Marcus Curry was dismissed from the team this off-season leaving sophomore Gee Gee Greene as the one likely to garner the most of those handoffs and pitch outs. He and his running back mates will get plenty of blocking from senior fullback Vince Murray, who also rushed for 971 yards last fall despite playing sparingly in the first four games. Coach Niumatalolo has called three-year starters Jeff Battipaglia and Matt Molloy the best tackle tandem of the triple-option era. This offensive line will be solid.

One of the great individual match ups in this game will be between Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs and Maryland inside linebacker Alex Wujciak. Two senior leaders of both teams going head-to-head on occasions should be quite thrilling. Wujciak's instinctive, physical style has made him the active leader in career tackles in the ACC with 264. He took some practice time off this spring to rest his sore knees, but those knees did not seem to slow him down last year as he earned First Team All-ACC honors. In fact, all three starting linebackers return...an area that has been strong at Maryland for quite some time. That aspect will not be altered as senior Adrian Moten started 12 games last year and also packs a big play reputation. Up front Maryland is still young and inconsistent, but they do have upwards of nine different linemen who saw action in the rotation last fall returning. Sophomore tackle Joe Vellano was the talk of spring ball emerging as a force. Other sophomore tackle A.J. Francis was a Freshman All-American on a few post-season award lists. Where Maryland might be hurting in this one is on the outside where the ends are very fresh faces.

Navy would get an edge in this department no matter who the opponent would be. As if preparing for the triple-option were not enough, Navy has now decided to implement a no-huddle scheme, making it easier for Dobbs to make his checks at the line of scrimmage. Defending this attack requires the utmost responsibility from the people on the corner and the Terps are very short here. The match ups with the Navy offensive tackles give the Midshipmen another distinct advantage. Terrapin defensive coordinator Don Brown better be ready to unveil this defensive speed he has been talking about. His linebackers have to be put in a situation where they can make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Few teams accomplish this feat against a quick hit offensive design.



Respect the fullback dive! Murray ran for 971 yards last year despite not starting until the sixth game of the season.
1970s rock star look-alike Alex Wujciak also doubles as an All-ACC linebacker. His 264 career tackles rank first among active players in the league.
Smith broke his own single-season ACC record for kickoff returns with 1,309 total yards. He can do the same at receiver when he gets the ball in his hands.
The defensive end Tuani is the best pass rusher Navy has and he is the only returning starter on this front seven that has earned a top spot on the depth chart.

Where Maryland is really special in terms of raw talent is at the offensive skill positions, which mostly entails the receivers. This may be the deepest group in the entire ACC as nine of the top ten pass-catchers are back. It all starts with Torrey Smith who dazzles running routes and returning kicks. The All-ACC receiver has racked up 3,617 all-purpose years in just two seasons of play. Adrian Cannon was second on the team in receptions last fall. He is big and strong with good hands. Ronnie Tyler is the third wide out with a rep for making tough grabs over the middle. Quintin McCree will play more this year after being one of the most impressive receivers this spring. Two tight end sets will still be used on an occasion since Maryland has a ton of them with the ability to play on any given snap. All these names are great, but it is obviously the quarterback that ultimately holds the keys to success. No one is quite sure how Jamarr Robinson will handle the passing game. His strong arm and feet are no match if the offensive line continues to be ranked 110th nationally in sacks allowed. This aspect has to change first and foremost before Robinson's future can be discussed intelligently. He did manage to pile up 233 passing yards against Virginia Tech last fall and hit for 20-of-27 passing in his next start against Florida State. His ability to take off running might also open a few more doors and passing lanes.

The premier player on the defensive side for Navy is safety Wyatt Middleton, the team's returning leading tackler and interception king. Middleton has been starting since his freshman year and has a rare combination of tackling and cover skills. He is now on the Lott Trophy Watch List. Depth is no problem for this secondary either as every position has two or three worthy options. Emmett Merchant will play the other safety spot. He wound up starting all but one game last fall and had a key interception of Terrell Pryor as the Mids almost upset Ohio State. Senior cornerback Kevin Edwards is a former 400-meter track champion in the state of North Carolina. While defensive end Jabaree Tuani is one of the better defensive players the Terps have to watch out for, the pass rush from Navy is not by any means a true weapon.

Jamarr Robinson will get time to throw in this game, putting his arm out on display for everyone to grade. The spring and practice reviews may sound great from the College Park campus every year, but the reviews of the past on Maryland quarterbacks once the stadium seats get filled have not been so admirable. Navy might have some quality covermen and plenty of them, but they are no match for the athleticism the Terp receivers will put on this Baltimore Ravens stadium turf. The difference would probably be much more noticeable if one could be sure just how well Robinson will perform in the pocket for the first time as the true Terrapin signal caller.




Understatement of the century...”Navy doesn't throw the football.” While ranking 4th nationally in running with the pigskin a year ago, the Midshipmen ranked next to last (119th) throwing it. But that is due to the fact they only threw the ball an average of eight times per game. That is how this system rolls. Ricky Dobbs only completed close to half of those pass attempts (53.3%) and rushed for more yards then he actually had passing. The best athletes are usually not playing receiver in this program, most of the time. The returnees did not exactly stand out to the head coaches liking this past spring and they also lost one of their better athletes at this position when Mario Washington was dismissed from the Academy.

Maryland was hit fairly hard by graduation in the secondary. Gone are four major starters/contributors from a year ago. But this group is not short on talent and speed. Safeties play a major role when facing this type of offense that Navy runs and the Terps have some quality athletes at this spot. Local DeMatha prep talent Kenny Tate is still waiting to become the star that most had hoped for. Standing 6'4, he is a hard hitter and has potential to make plays when the ball is in the air. Southern Cal transfer Antwine Perez will line up at strong safety for his final college campaign. Cameron Chism carries the most experience over from 2009 on the corner. As the season wears on, these young corners could face some growing pains. If they are to find any in this Labor Day special, it will come from trying to contain the pitchman on the outside.

While it may be tough to say that Maryland has an edge here since Navy won't throw the ball too often, it's safe to say that athletically these covermen are far more gifted than their opposing receivers. If the Terps can get Navy into a passing situation, it will mean they are winning the game in the fourth quarter. Coach Friedgen would surely love to have that option of knowing when Navy has to throw. The advantage definitely falls his way under this state of affair.


This will be the year that puts the senior quarterback on the national award map. His arm is magnificent...at pitching the ball to a slot back.
Local DeMatha product Kenny Tate stands at 6'4 and has some big expectations to fill from his safety position.

Other than a horrible punt return game that ranked 100th in the country, special teams play should be a source of strength for the Terrapins. Torrey Smith is still on a terror returning kicks after breaking his own ACC single season record from the season before with 1,309 return yards. Kicker Nick Ferrara was 7-of-10 from 40-plus yards as a freshman last season. Punter Travis Baltz, a First Team All-ACC selection in 2008, struggled with injuries in 2009 but is on pace to resume a healthy career.

Navy is in the same boat so to speak in regards to kicking and punting being a plus. The return game on the other hand will have to be handled by a few new faces. Kicker Joe Buckley was 10-of-13 on field goads while punter Kyle Delahooke boasts a career average of 42.4 yards that ranks second in program history.

Let’s call the punting/kicking game even here. The difference though is kick return extraordinaire Torrey Smith, who could easily swing this game in the favor of the team in red with a zip up the sideline for six points. He is that dangerous and Navy does not have anyone remotely resembling his return talents.



Sam Hollenbach threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Drew Weatherly with 61 seconds left, capping a frantic 82-yard drive that carried Maryland past Navy in a 2005 game played at the same exact stadium in Baltimore. Yes, this is definitely for long time bragging rights in the state considering the fact this will be only the second meeting between Maryland and Navy since 1965.

Last season was one most of the Terrapin faithful would rather forget after seeing their squad lose a school record 10 games, by far the worst campaign in Ralph Friedgen's tenure as head coach here. A ton of pressure is on this coaching staff right now and job security is at an all-time low. Will Friedgen be back to coach the Terps next season? Here is a fairly bold prediction – not unless he gets five or more victories. A final product resembling last year’s 2-10 performance means he is absolutely gone.

Injuries certainly played a factor in the disappointment of a year ago but the truth be told, this team was not very deep to begin with. That statement was not true however for the running backs and receivers, which is still the case today since they all return. So what is the problem? It all starts up front for Maryland. Their difficulties recruiting talent here has hurt the program and this is where Navy gets an edge.

It's hard to imagine Navy being considered to have an edge on the line of scrimmage against any BCS level opponent considering their smallish size, which is generally around 265 pounds per man. But that is how poor the Terps have been performing in the trenches. They have not been plugging holes on defense or opening them on offense. The ball carriers have no where to run and they have not protected the quarterback either, which can make life tough for even the Peyton Manning's of the world.

While Maryland is trying to right the ship, Navy is about to launch theirs full-steam ahead. Will Ricky Dobbs be remembered as the greatest rushing quarterback in Naval Football history? If he stays healthy the answer is yes. Maybe the answer is the same even if he cannot stay healthy seeing that he played six games with a broken kneecap last year but still broke the all-time NCAA record for touchdowns by a quarterback. This ground attack has potential to be very special, especially with two of the best blocking tackles Navy has ever deployed in Molloy and Battipaglia. Maryland will not stop Navy from moving the ball.

One can just get the sense here locally that this is an extremely important debut for the Terps. There is a new quarterback that not many people know much about, the offensive line is still a question mark, it’s a very young team and this is likely the last season for this coaching regime if they sit home at Christmas time ineligible for the post-season. There are just so many questions surrounding this ball club.

Navy on the other hand knows what they have because of the winning stability created within their own schematics. A veteran quarterback on this club always equates to greater things for this team. The front seven of defense is a huge question mark though and the Terps have to take advantage of this situation or Navy could win by double digits. What is odd is that Maryland has the edge in every single category according to this breakdown mostly due to an overwhelming abundance of size and athleticism pretty much like every team Navy faces will maintain. They just cannot overcome the big edge Navy has when doing what it is they do best...option football at it's finest.





MARYLAND OFFENSE (returning starters in bold)
QB Jamarr Robinson-Jr (6-0, 195) Charlotte, NC/Myers Park School
Danny O'Brien-RFr (6-3, 215) Kernersville, NC/East Forsyth HS
FB Haroon Brown-Jr (5-10, 260) Hampton, VA/Phoebus HS
Taylor Watson-Jr (6-2, 240) Accokeek, MD/Gwynn Park HS
TB Da'Rel Scott-Sr (5-11, 200) Conshohocken, PA/Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS
Davin Meggett-Jr (5-9, 215) Clinton, MD/Surrattsville HS
WR Torrey Smith-Jr (6-1, 200) Colonial Beach, VA/Stafford HS
Quintin McCree-Jr (6-1, 190) Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park HS
WR Adrian Cannon-Sr (6-2, 204) Pontiac, MI/Avondale HS
Kevin Dorsey-So (6-2, 205) Forestville, MD/Forestville Academy
WR Ronnie Tyler-Jr (5-9, 185) Wagener, SC/Wagener HS
LaQuan Williams-Sr (6-1, 195) Baltimore, MD/Polytechnic Institute
TE Devonte Campbell-So (6-2, 255) Forestville, MD/Forestville Academy
Lansford Watson-Jr (6-4, 260) Brooklyn, NY/Lincoln HS
OT Justin Gilbert-So (6-6, 300) Richmond, VA/Monacan HS
Nick Klemm-RFr (6-5, 290) Marietta, GA/Wheeler HS
OG Andrew Gonnella-Jr (6-5, 305) Monroe, NY/Monroe-Woodberry HS
Pete White-RFr (6-4, 330) Washington, DC/St. John's College HS
C Paul Pinegar-Sr (6-4, 290) Brookeville, MD/Sherwood HS
John Dillon-So (6-2, 285) Rockville, MD/Wootton HS
OG Bennett Fulper-So (6-4, 295) Gretna, VA/Gretna HS
Justin Lewis-So (6-3, 315)
Johnsonville, SC/Johnsonville HS
OT R.J. Dill-So (6-7, 300) Mechanicsburg, PA/Trinity HS
Pete DeSouza-RFr (6-6, 310) Silver Spring, MD/DeMatha HS
K Nick Ferrara-So (6-0, 200) Hicksville, NY/St. Anthony's HS
P Travis Baltz-Sr (6-3, 210) Whitehouse, OH/Anthony Wayne HS
NAVY DEFENSE (returning starters in bold)
DE Jabaree Tuani-Jr (6-1, 265) Madison, TN/Brentwood Academy
Josh Dowling-Fitzpatrick-So (6-2, 220) Westerville, OH/St. Francis De Sales
NG Shane Bothel-Sr (6-3, 252) Marlton, NJ/Cherokee HS
Chase Burge-Sr (6-4, 270) Rushville, OH/Fairfield Union HS
DE Billy Yarborough-Sr (6-5, 240) Columbia, SC/Ridge View HS
Wes Henderson-So (6-2, 240) Wexford, PA/North Allegheny HS
OLB Aaron McCauley-Jr (5-10, 194) New Smyrna Beach, FL/Seabreeze HS
Andrew Sharp-Jr (6-0, 214) State College, PA/State College HS
ILB Tyler Simmons-Sr (6-3, 237) Goldsby, OK/Washington HS
Max Blue-Jr (6-0, 207) Carrollton, TX/Hebron HS
ILB Caleb King-Jr (6-0, 223) Port Orange, FL/Warner Christian HS
Matt Warrick-So (6-2, 223) Chesterfield, MO/Marquette HS
OLB Jerry Hauburger-Sr (6-2, 220) Baltimore, MD/Eastern Tech HS
Collin Sturdivant-So (6-3, 219) High Point, NC/WS Carver HS
CB Kwesi Mitchell-Jr (5-10, 189) Hoover, AL/Hoover HS
Corey James-Jr (5-8, 160) Jacksonville, FL/University Christian HS
CB Kevin Edwards-Sr (6-2, 187) Charlotte, NC/Vance HS
David Wright-Jr (6-2, 188) Jacksonville, FL/Englewood HS
ROV Wyatt Middleton-Sr (6-2, 191) Norcross, GA/Marist HS
Tra'ves Bush-So (5-10, 185) Johnston, SC/Strom Thurmond HS
FS Emmett Merchant-Sr (5-10, 195) Riverdale, GA/Riverdale HS
Brian Blick-Jr (6-2, 211) Greenville, NC/J.H. Rose HS
NAVY OFFENSE (returning starters in bold)
QB Ricky Dobbs-Sr (6-1, 203) Douglasville, GA/Douglas County HS
Kriss Proctor-Jr (6-1, 195) Big Bear City, CA/Big Bear HS
FB Vince Murray-Sr (6-1, 217) Union, KY/Ryle HS
Alexander Teich-Jr (6-0, 217) Conroe, TX/Caney Creek HS
SB Gee Gee Greene-So (5-8, 180) Columbia, SC/Richland Northeast HS
Bo Snelson-So (5-7, 180) Pasadena, TX/Pasadena Memorial HS
SB Aaron Santiago-Jr (5-8, 167) Kapolei, HI/Kapolei HS
Andre Byrd-Sr (5-7, 153) Jacksonville, FL/The Bolles School
WR Greg Jones-Sr (6-0, 182) San Antonio, TX/Ronald Reagan HS
Mike Schupp-Sr (5-10, 176) Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep HS
WR Doug Furman-Jr (6-3, 196) Twinsburg, OH/Twinsburg HS
Jonathan Gazaille-So (6-1, 205) Grand Prairie, TX/James Bowie HS
OT Jeff Battipaglia-Sr (6-4, 256) Newtown, PA/St. Joseph's HS
Ryan Basford-Jr (6-5, 270) Jacksonville, FL/Bishop Kenny HS
OG Josh Cabral-So (6-3, 270) Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/Tesoro HS
Francis Archibald-Jr (6-2, 280) Rye, NY/Rye HS
C Eric Douglass-Jr (6-2, 267) Owasso, OK/Owasso HS
Kahikolu Pescaia-So (6-0, 255) Kailua, HI/Kamehameha HS
OG Brady DeMell-Jr (6-3, 295) Mentor, OH/Mentor HS
Zach Dryden-Jr (6-5, 262) Longwood, FL/Lake Brantley HS
OT Matt Molloy-Sr (6-3, 260) Berlin, MD/Stephan Decatur HS
John Dowd-Jr (6-4, 260) Staten Island, NY/St. Peter's Boy School
K Joe Buckley-Sr (5-9, 176) Downingtown, PA/Malvern Prep
P Kyle Delahooke-Sr (6-1, 200) Sierra Madre, CA/Maranatha HS
MARYLAND DEFENSE (returning starters in bold)
DE Drew Gloster-Sr (6-2, 255) Germantown, MD/Good Counsel HS
Derek Drummond-Jr (6-4, 245) Pomfret, MD/McDonough HS
NT A.J. Francis-So (6-4, 295) Severn, MD/Gonzaga College DC
Zachariah Kerr-So (6-2, 320) Gaithersburg, MD/Quince Orchard HS
DT Joe Vellano-So (6-2, 285) Rexford, NY/Christian Brothers Academy
De'Onte Arnett-RFr (6-4, 275) Capitol Hts, MD/Forestville Academy
DE Justin Anderson-So (6-5,265) Blythewood, SC/Blythewood HS
Carl Russell-So (6-6, 275) Washington, DC/H.D. Woodson HS
SLB Adrian Moten-Sr (6-2, 230) Suitland, MD/Gwynn Park HS
Darin Drakeford-So (6-0, 240) Washington, DC/Theodore Roosevelt HS
MLB Alex Wujciak-Sr (6-3, 245) West Caldwell, NJ/Seton Hall Prep
Avery Murray-So (6-0, 230) Florence, SC/West Florence HS
WLB Demetrius Hartsfield-So (6-2, 235) Raleigh, NC/Southeast Raleigh HS
Ben Pooler-Jr (6-2, 230)
Morristown, NJ/Lawrenceville School
CB Trenton Hughes-Jr (5-11, 185) Virginia Beach, VA/Kempsville HS
Dexter McDougle-RFr (5-10, 200) Falmouth, VA/Stafford Senior HS
CB Cameron Chism-Jr (5-10, 190) Forestville, MD/Bishop McNamara HS
Michael Carter-Sr (5-10, 175) Windsor, Ontario/Erie Comm. College
SS Antwine Perez-Sr (6-1, 210) Westville Grove, NJ/Woodrow Wilson HS
Travis Hawkins-RFr (5-10, 190) Gaithersburg, MD/Quince Orchard HS
FS Kenny Tate-Jr (6-4, 220) Forestville, MD/DeMatha HS
Eric Franklin-So (6-2, 205) Baltimore, MD/Archbishop Curley HS