Former Terps find NFL homes

Torrey Smith, Da'Rel Scott headline Terps who will play on Sundays

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Though only two former Terps were drafted, it wasn't long before the rest of the Maryland football alum found homes in the National Football League.

In the days following the end of the NFL lockout, a turbulent period of offseason transaction has caused an escalated pace of free agent signings for veterans, rookies and undrafted free agents. By Friday, seven Maryland alumni had found homes with teams across the league.

Among the drafted players, Torrey Smith, the second-round selection (No. 58 overall) of the Baltimore Ravens, has agreed to a four-year contract. The former Terps wideout, an all-Atlantic Coast Conference choice a year ago, will vie for a starting job opposite of perennial All-Pro Anquan Boldin, along with fellow rookie Tandon Doss (Indiana).

Smith accumulated more than 1,600 al-purpose yards in 2010, including 1,055 receiving yards. The ability to play receiver and return both kicks and punts should allow Smith to immediately compete for playing time. Ranked third in career receptions (152) and second in receiving yardage (2,215) at Maryland, Smith finished seventh on conference's career all-purpose yardage list.

Joining Smith in nearby Baltimore is LaQuan Williams. The wide receiver caught just six balls for over 100 yards and two scores last season, but proven to a clutch commodity out of the slot and in the red zone. With Derrick Mason released by the team earlier in the week, the Ravens are looking for depth at the position.

The other Terp taken in the draft was Da'Rel Scott, who also notched a four-year deal with the New York Giants. The combine standout, a seventh-round selection, ran an impressive 4.34 40-yard dash during pre-draft workouts, the fastest among running backs, compelling Giants GM Jerry Reese to compare him to a young Willie Parker.

With the future of starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw cloudy, Scott could be a candidate to receive touches pending the outcome of free agency. Scott rushed for 730 yards and five touchdowns, and added 14 catches for 170 yards and three touchdowns during his final year in College Park. He played in all 13 games for the first time in his career.

Another ex-Terp who dealt with injuries during his senior season was tight end Will Yeatman. A transfer from Notre Dame, Yeatman starred on both the lacrosse and football squads, but impressed scouts during the team's pro day in mid-March.

Yeatman's potential proved more than enticing to the New England Patriots, who signed the 6-foot-6, 268-pounder to their long list of tight ends, including former Pro Bowler Alge Crumpler, 2010 second-rounder Rob Gronkowski and former Florida Gators standout Aaron Hernandez.

Dealing with hand injuries throughout the season, Yeatman was able to manage 13 receptions for nearly 150 yards and one touchdown.

Adrian Cannon also found a home this week, joining the San Diego Chargers, a team with a plethora of questions regarding the future of their wide receivers.

The second-leading receiver on the Terps last season, Cannon caught 36 passes for over 300 yards in 2010, and has more than 900 yards and six touchdowns in his four-year career.

On the defensive side of the ball, a pair of standout linebackers were signed this week. Alex Wujciak, a three-time All-ACC performer, was signed by the Cleveland Browns, while Adrian Moten inked a deal with the Indianapolis Colts.

Starting all 38 career games with the Terps, Wujciak registered more than 100 tackles in each of his three full seasons, a feat accomplished by just six Maryland defenders. Among them, D'Qwell Jackson, who is now a teammate of Wujciak's in Cleveland.

Moten will provide some much-needed depth to a Colts team with just five linebackers officially listed on their roster. He has the ability to play all three linebacker positions, and is a proven playmaker at the position. In 2010, Moten finished with four interceptions, the second most among linebackers in the country.

Joining Moten in Indy is special teams gem Travis Baltz, who, because of injuries and struggles by sophomore placekicker Nick Ferrera, served as the Terps' punter and kicker in 2010.

Baltz was successful on 14 of 18 field goal attempts (77 percent) and made 53 of 54 PAT. He notched a 52-yarder against North Carolina State in the team's regular season finale.

As a punter, Baltz averaged nearly 42 yards, including a season-best 62-yarder. He landed 23 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line, and drove a dozen more than 50 yards.

The Colts signed Baltz despite re-signing Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri earlier in the week, and having incumbent punter Pat McAfee under contract. Also on the roster is Brett Swenson, a kicker from Michigan State.

The 2011 crop of Terps joining the professional ranks puts the total of alum at over 35. More than 24 Terps have been drafted in past decade, including former standout offensive tackle Bruce Campbell, wideout DarrisHeyward-Bey and defensive backs Nolan Carroll and Josh Wilson.

Versatile offensive lineman Paul Pinegar, a 2010 honorable all-conference choice, and safety Antwine Perez are two Terps who participated in the team's pro day and have yet to sign deals with NFL teams.


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