Going One-on-One With LB Ryan Donohue

Maryland sophomore linebacker Ryan Donohue talks to TSR about the Terps upcoming season.

The Maryland Terrapins are now without three linebackers they had expected to play this season, as Avery Murray and Javarie Johnson transferred while Ben Pooler is out for the year with a torn ACL. That leaves players like Ryan Donohue, previously a “wait til next year” type, stepping in to large roles for this upcoming season.

“Camp's going pretty well,” he said. “The defense is looking good. We look a lot faster than we did in the spring, a lot of the young kids are stepping up, so we've just got to keep on rolling, keep getting faster.”

Donohue, a sophomore, was originally recruited to the Terps as a weak side (Will) linebacker after playing middle (Mike) in high school, but switched back to Mike before this season. Now, with the depth problems Maryland currently has, the Montvale, NJ native is playing both positions.

“It's a little hard to learn both right now,” he said. “Especially with Navy's offense coming up. I don't really prefer either one, I like both, but I have a little bit of a better feeling at Mike than at Will right now.

“I feel like you can read the line better from Mike because you're more in the middle of the field and out of your peripheral vision you can see both sides of the line, while at Will sometimes it's hard to see the backside puller and you've just got to listen and hope that another linebacker yells it out for you. It wasn't too hard of a transition, a lot of it I remember from camp last summer. I feel like I can play both pretty well for us.”

Donohue impressed in the spring game, with seven tackles, and in yesterday's scrimmage he led all players with ten tackles. He said that those two performances have really helped him improve his stock on the team.

“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “This spring I was hurt, a little beat up, and then in the spring game I exploded. They were like 'Whoa. This is what we have to see out of you in camp', and all camp they've been telling me 'You're looking good, you're looking faster', and I just keep rolling with it.”

Donohue is Alex Wujciak's backup at middle linebacker, and doesn't expect to see the field too much at that position.

“Wujciak's a great player,” he said. “He's the leader of our defense so it's rare you see him come off the field, but you never know. Hopefully everyone stays healthy and we'll see what happens.”

Donohue and Wujciak look remarkably alike, and Donohue joked that people sometimes confuse the two.

“It's just a Jersey linebacker thing with long hair,” he quipped. “We've got to keep it going.”

The Terps are focused on their September 6th opening matchup against Navy, something that Donohue pointed at when talking about his ambitions for this season.

“Definitely our first goal is,” he said. “On national television, to beat Navy. And then hopefully make it to the ACC Championship game.”

Donohue is a Kinesiology major and says he's “loving school.”

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