Ryan Doyle Makes Seamless Transition to Guard

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Bruised, bloodied, even broken – the nose, several times now – Terps junior offensive guard Ryan Doyle stepped up to the media one morning this month after a spring football practice trying to keep the blood off the bridge of his nose from trickling down his face.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Bruised, bloodied, even broken – the nose, several times now – Terps junior offensive guard Ryan Doyle stepped up to the media one morning this month after a spring football practice trying to keep the blood off the bridge of his nose from trickling down his face.

The nose certainly looked disfigured (“It’s been a recurring theme for me ever since last season. Bad helmet one game, and hasn’t been able to heal since. Couple times [broken it],” he said), but Doyle hasn’t missed a beat being Maryland football’s “Mr. Versatility” in the trenches this spring. The former tackle is now plugging away at left guard on the newly-configured line with some of the elite freshmen starting to come on, and Maryland gearing up for Year Two in the run-heavy Big Ten.

“I think that Ryan Doyle is having a really good spring,” Randy Edsall said. “I think the one thing is I think he feels very comfortable in there at guard, knows what he is doing, and you can see by the way he is playing and everything else he is having a really good spring and feels comfortable.”

Said Terps OL Coach Greg Studrawa after three weeks of camp:

“Well, he’s learning the left guard position, and he really took to it really well,” Studrawa said. “It’s tough when you are playing at this level of football and you play on the edge, and that was tough for him [last year at left tackle]. I think he fits inside more, I think he is comfortable there, and he took to it right away.”

Studrawa said Doyle has gotten stronger and has become better at drive blocking “the heavier, bigger guys inside. So that has been a real plus for us.”

Doyle said the move has been smooth so far, what with he and junior right guard Andrew Zeller two constants up front while young, future stars Damian Prince and Derwin Gray, not to mention Brendan Moore and Sean Christie, work their way in this month and bring great promise for the future.

“I feel like it’s been pretty good, and moving to guard has been a transition but Coach Stud has been great and all the other guards are kind of helping me make sure I know the system from a guard standpoint,” Doyle said. “Having played both sides of the ball, tackle over there, I can also make sure the two new tackles kinda know what they are doing, too. So it’s good, we are working to get a better sense of cohesion amongst the O-line so everyone knows what we are doing and on the same page.”

Doyle said many Terps having the ability to play multiple spots is key, especially late in spring ball when junior starter/tackle Michael Dunn (back) was shut down to heal up.

Doyle, who has grown his long mane since last summer and looks the part of an extra on a pirate film these days (especially with the gashed nose), said little things like how he sets on pass plays and new assignments on run block schemes, have changed his duties each day at left guard.

Of the young guys he is helping mentor this month in camp, he said:

“God, they are working hard,” Doyle said. “All of them you can tell they want to improve, and are doing their absolute best. And an older guy looking at that, well you can appreciate that. I kinda see like…. it’s sounds corny, but I see myself when I was a freshman trying to work as hard as I can because I want to get on the field. You can tell that by their work ethic.”

Doyle said after Year One in the Big Ten the theme was getting bigger, stronger, nastier up front for run push. He said all of the Terps OL’s strength numbers have shot up, including his own in power clean and squat. “And there’s a, you see a change in what kind of linemen you need moving from the ACC to the Big Ten. You got to be big, thick, and be able to move people,” Doyle said.

Doyle said the cohesion is the biggest thing up front with some of the moving parts and the new guys. Doyle is up to 310 pounds, while as for his hair he quipped, “I am going to keep growing it until my dad probably just says he is going to disown me.”

But Ryan Doyle has become the kind of "Everyman” the Terps need up front as a bricks and mortar guy, all as they transition into Year Two in the BIG, not to mention bring along the future stars more each day.


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