Preseason predictions: Maryland

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


1. First-year defensive coordinator Don Brown will have the right plan but the front seven will be a step behind in executing it. Brown was a great hire, and his aggressive defensive philosophy will be an upgrade, but Maryland's front seven is comprised of relatively unknown, unproven players. The Terps will rely heavily on linebackers Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten to replace a group of four linebackers who combined to play in 144 games and 54 starts. They also have to replace Mack Frost, Jeremy Navarre and Trey Covington up front. The secondary should impress.

2. Quarterback Chris Turner will have the most consistent season of his career. Turner has been known as a gamer, and has been at his best against ranked opponents. But he lost the starting job to Jordan Steffy at the start of last year because Steffy had been a better practice player. Turner knows, though, that he has to play at the same level -- not to the level of his competition -- this year. He also has to stay healthy, because there's no game experience behind him.

3. The Terps' receivers will outshine Da'Rel Scott & Co. Yes, all three of Maryland's running backs return in Scott, Morgan Green and Davin Meggett, but there is an abundance of speedy young talent waiting to take over in the second season of James Franklin's offense. This should be one of the deepest units in the conference, and that should help ease the transition into the first season without Darrius Heyward-Bey. Torrey Smith is the only returning starter, but Ronnie Tyler might be the most athletic of the bunch. Considering they're both sophomores, they're only going to get better.