2010 Roster Preview- Defensive Line

TSR previews the Terps position by position. Today previewing the defensive line.

After giving you some time to digest the state of the Terps' offense, we're back on the grind, previewing the Terps' defense. First, the defensive line:

Drew Gloster – SR (RS), Germantown, MD, 6'2”, 255 – Most Maryland fans know the story of Gloster. A highly prized recruit coming out of high school, Gloster has switched from tight end to linebacker and now finally to defensive end, with very limited success as a Terp. He is a fantastic athlete, and has taken well to his new position this season.

Derek Drummond – JR (RS), Pomfret, MD, 6'4”, 245 – Drummond has seen some playing time in his two years so far as a Terp, and has looked good off the end. He is probably the favorite to start opposite of Gloster on the line at the beginning of the year, but Justin Anderson will be competing for the job as well. Drummond is very fast, and has the ability to drop back to linebacker as well.

A.J. Francis – SO (RS), Severn, MD, 6'4”, 295 – One of the standouts on defense for Maryland last year as only a freshman, the sky is the limit for the hulking nose tackle. Francis is huge, and is great at shedding blockers and taking up space. He will also be incredibly key against Navy's triple option attack, where a bulk of the responsibility falls on his position to take out runs up the middle.

Joe Vellano – SO (RS), Rexford, NY, 6'2”, 285 – If you attended spring practice, all you heard about was Joe Vellano. Coach Friedgen said over and over that Vellano was the most improved player in camp, and how he looked like a completely new player this year. I spoke to both Francis and Vellano earlier in the year, and they talked about how well their different styles of play complement each other. This is a duo that could garner All-ACC awards for the Terps for the next three years.

Zachariah Kerr – SO, Gaithersburg, MD, 6'2”, 320 – Kerr is another guy who takes up a massive amount of space, and is skilled enough at making tackles up the middle. Another great option for the Terps to stick inside.

Justin Anderson – SO, Blythewood, SC, 6'5”, 265 – Anderson will see a lot of time at all positions on the defensive line this season, and should be the first guy off the bench (after Kerr in certain situations). He's a strong, quick kid who got playing time as a true freshman.

De'Onte Arnett – FR (RS), Capitol Heights, MD, 6'4”, 275 – Arnett is currently sidelined for around two months, but he should get plenty of playing time in the D-Line rotation this year.

Isaiah Ross, Bradley Johnson, and Marcus Whitfield will see playing time too, but it will mostly be a seven-man rotation.

Overall – B+. The Terps have a lot of talent and a bevy of options along the line. Even if some of the guys don't perform well immediately, there are plenty of players they can cycle through until they find the right fit. This is definitely one of the strengths on the team.

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