The Outlook for Football Season: Part One

6/23/2010 5:45:14 PM

Since the summer is pretty much the worst time ever to be a college sports fan (though if you're a soccer fan, the past few weeks have been pretty sweet), it's time to start looking ahead to the fall, and of course, football season.

I would discuss last year as a point of reference for this one, but any mention of that atrocity makes me vomit on my screen, making blogging a tad difficult. Instead, I'll just review the individual performances from last year that inspire hope for 2010. Next time: the recruits, no longer starring Javarie Johnson.

Alex Wujciak - We all know about the wild-haired linebacker, who last year racked up 130+

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="140" caption="Uh-Oh, Alex can't feel his face, à la DeShawn Stevenson"][/caption]

tackles for the second straight season. On a game-to-game basis, he was by far the most consistent performer on a defense that was much better to watch than on paper. The offense was so atrocious that it gave Wujciak plenty of opportunities to bring down ballcarriers, and the rest of the defense plenty of opportunities to feel their legs turn into cement. If the offense improves significantly, Wujciak may get fewer tackles but the defense will also improve.

Wujciak plays like a poor man's Brian Urlacher, chasing the ball from sideline to sideline, rarely missing a tackle. In two full seasons (he has an unfortunate injury history) he was voted onto the second and first All-ACC teams. Since he's a known commodity, I think he easily finds his way onto an All-ACC team again in 2010, and will generate some buzz for All-America status and some of the major defensive awards, especially if Demetrius Hartsfield, formerly Cinquante Neuf, and Adrian Moten help occupy blockers and pressure the QB.

Torrey Smith - Already Maryland's second all-time all-purpose yardage...gainer after just two years, Smith is the most explosive player in the country that nobody outside the ACC knows about. He would have broken the ACC single-season all-purpose yardage last year had C.J. Spiller not beaten him to it. He's an electric return man, and is improving constantly as a receiver. I doubt he sticks around for two more years, considering Al Davis is still the owner of the Raiders.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="228" caption="Baller"][/caption]

This year, I expect Smith to become only the second Maryland receiver in history to net 1,000 receiving yards in a season. He's only been playing receiver for three years, and flashed some incredible ball skills last year, and should only improve by leaps and bounds. Considering the chemistry he showed with Robinson in the last two games of 2009 and in the spring game, expect a full-fledged breakout from the guy on the team with easily the best dreads. Easily.

Da'Rel Scott - Remember him? Last year, the Terps' lone first team All-ACC selection in 2008 broke his wrist, missing the part of the schedule where they, uh, lost every game, coming back at the end when the season was already lost. He's a senior this year, and the ringleader in a crowded backfield that also includes Davin "Son of Dave" Meggett, D.J. Adams and Caleb Porzel. I think he's poised to return to form, and should be helped by a (slightly) more experienced offensive line and a wrist that's not fractured. He's immensely talented, gifted with good size and quick feet, and I'd be surprised if he, Smith and Robinson don't form a lethally fast three-headed monster.

Jamarr Robinson - Though he only played in two games last year, Robinson established himself as the front-runner for the starting job in 2010. He solidified himself with a strong showing during spring practices, showcasing an improved ability to read defenses that he lacked last year, as well as his quick feet and the ability to stretch the field with an arm that can fire perfect spirals 60 yards downfield with apparent ease. The man I like to call Jamarrrrrrrr should plunder some yards from opposing defenses next year. As long as Franklin calls as many running plays for him as he did for Turner last year, we should be OK.

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