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If you were to skim over the most recent Maryland depth chart, you may look twice when you caught the starting defense end. Clarency Murphy, who?
With the graduation of Drew Gloster and a new defensive-minded head coach entering the picture, Murphy had an entire spring to impress a new coaching staff. And as the depth chart was released before summer practices begin, it is his job to lose.
Redshirted in 2010, Murphy was the no. 90 defensive end in the nation, according to Scout.com. A Florida native, he earned all-country honors after registering 75 tackles, 12 sacks and three pass breakups. He chose to continue his playing career at College Park over Wisconsin, Michigan, South Florida and Colorado State.
Murphy was a three-star recruit out of Hollywood Hills High School (Fla.), a part of the 2010 recruiting class that includes fellow defensive end David Mackall, who will play opposite Murphy at the ROCK position. At 6-2, 240 pounds, he was touted for his size, strength and toughness as a recruit, exactly what you would expect from an Edsall-coached player.
His performance in late April translated into a starting job, along with fellow redshirt freshman Andre Monroe on the defensive line and one of three first-time players overall. With Vellano, Monroe and Mackall, Edsall's new defensive line will attempt to match the 28 sacks registered in 2010, which ranked seventh in the conference. Not one Terrapin ranked among the ACC's top 20 in sacks or top 19 in tackles for loss.
That being said, the defensive line will hold more responsibilities in 2011, playing a much different role in Todd Bradford's defense.
After the 2-10 disaster of a season in 2008, Don Brown helped the Terrapins make strides with an attacking style. Brown helped transform the defense to no. 8 in the ACC. He has since left to assume the same position at Connecticut. Replacing Brown, a favorite among the players
Inheriting the defense is Bradford, who spent the previous three seasons at Southern Mississippi, managing the defense to impressive marks. In 2010, the Golden Eagles owned the second-best defense, scoring defense and rushing defense, no. 3 pass defense and finished second in Conference USA with 17 interceptions, five of which went for touchdowns.
"We want to get as many guys on the field that can run as possible," Bradford told reporters during a press conference in late April. "We want to get guys into position where they can do what they do best. We want to put pressure on the quarterback and our position changes are focused on doing that."
Murphy's skill set fits in well with Bradford's scheme, ideally as a run-stopper from the end position. He is the favorite to start heading into Aug. 8 practices.