TT's Summer Football Thoughts: Fullback

The most intriguing off-season Terps positional move was the switch of former Elite 11 quarterback and Gilman standout signal-caller Shane Cockerille to fullback. That makes Maryland's fullback corps two-thirds former Gilman Greyhounds, with senior starter Kenny Goins returning for one more season.

The most intriguing off-season Terps positional move was the switch of former Elite 11 quarterback and Gilman standout signal-caller Shane Cockerille to fullback. That makes Maryland's fullback corps two-thirds former Gilman Greyhounds, with senior starter Kenny Goins returning for one more season.

It was interesting year for the rising sophomore Cockerille, the highly-decorated but mostly running QB threat at the Baltimore prep power, who after a slow final two weeks of spring camp (a spring camp he was given a shot to wrest the top job from Perry Hills with Caleb Rowe rehabbing), came up short in the final stretch drive and the Spring Game.

Cockerille was becoming a better pocket quarterback and passer, improving on a side-arm delivery and reading defenses better in the first two weeks of spring camp, but by camp's end he had reverted back to some of his old form, and had a very rough outing in the Spring Game, when he looked frazzled. Neither quarterback shined in the game amidst a sea of picks, etc., but it sent Cockerille questioning his tumbling depth spot, and looking for a way to get on the field. He went to the coaches last month, who saw fullback as the best new role for the rugged athlete who isn't afraid of contact.

So off to fullback he went, where he could be a hybrid-type threat both running and catching the ball out of the backfield, and obviously he has good knowledge of offenses. Cockerille will need to continue to bulk up to become a better lead blocker, and with the Terps likely transitioning off the zone read offense more, conventional fullbacks/tight end sets will be more needed beginning this fall.

Fullbacks didn't get a ton of run last year in said offense, but this fall there should be an up-tick. And Goins is still the Terps best battering ram, improving each season as a hole-clearer despite his mighty-mite size, yet still he needs work as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, his one area of weakness. And maybe Cockerille will see some H-Back type work as well, given his versatility, and likely better ability in space than Goins.

Gone is graduated Ty Cierski, a one-time starter a few seasons back, while the Terps still have junior Andrew Stefanelli in the depth.

TerrapinTimes Top Stories