Out of the almost 120 players on Maryland's roster this past year, only 14 were seniors. Add junior offensive tackle Bruce Campbell, who recently declared for the NFL Draft, to that list and you have more than 90% of the team returning. Maryland has a young team that is likely to get better with the strong recruiting class Coach Friedgen has coming in next year. That class starts with Pennsylvania quarterback Tyler Smith.
Smith, one of Maryland's top recruits in the 2010 class, will be sticking with the Terps, and has no plans to back out of his commitment. The Wilson Area High School (Pa.) senior threw for 3,130 yards and 32 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in 12 games for the Warriors, and ran for three more scores.
Absolutely, it's Maryland all the way, he said. Yeah, they had a down year this year, but that's good for me, it's good for me to be in a program that played a lot of young linemen and a lot of young players this year, that way when I get there they'll be older and experienced.
Smith led the Warriors to an 11-1 record and a loss to Allentown Central Catholic in the District Championship. He will compete with current sophomore Jamarr Robinson, transfer Clay Belton, 2009 recruits C.J. Brown and Danny O'Brien, and fellow 2010 recruit Devin Burns for the starting spot over the next few years.
[The competition] is not necessarily [a bad thing], he said. I know I'll have to compete when I get there. To start right away is obviously the goal, and when I get down there I'm just going to work real hard, and if I don't start, I'll just wait my turn and wait for my opportunity. I think it'll bring out the best in all of the quarterbacks and make the program that much better.
Smith will be ready to sign with the Terps on National Signing Day, February 3rd of next year.
I can't wait, he said. It can't come soon enough, once signing day comes I can start learning the offense little by little, and I just want to be prepared the best I can to give myself a little edge.
The quarterback also said that he was not surprised to hear that Coach Friedgen will be returning next season.
I figured he would be [back], Smith said. And even if he wasn't I figured Coach Franklin would take over, so I really didn't pay any attention to it, I just figured he would be back. It was obviously good to know, but I expected it.
Smith, who is 6'4 and weighs 195 pounds, is rated as a three star prospect and the 29th best quarterback in his class by Scout.com's recruiting experts.