Maryland tries to avoid a two-game losing streak with a tough trip to Happy Valley, and Kevin Willard is home to three talented basketball rookies in this week’s “Terps Top Three”:
Slammed: Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford will lose some of his key protectors on the offensive line for Saturday’s game with Maryland (3:30 pm, Fox).
Starting left guard Landon Tengwall is out with a late season injury, Nittany Lions manager James Franklin announced this week. He also said that the status of Olu Fashanu’s talented left tackle is from week to week.
Fashanu, screened by multiple outlets as a first-round NFL draft pick, missed Penn State’s last game at Indiana. Right tackle Caeden Wallace also lost time due to injury. The unit as a whole has only allowed 13 layoffs this season, fourth best in the Big Ten.
On the injury front for the Terrapins, center Mason Lunsford is a scratch against the No. 14 after being in concussion protocol and missing last week’s game in Wisconsin.
Cultural change: In 2021, Maryland at times felt like it was struggling for most of the season. Two straight three-game losses in October and November were split in two by a three-point home win over Indiana on October 30 alone.
Maryland (6-3) have yet to lose two consecutive games this season. It’s something manager Mike Locksley said on Thursday that he wasn’t aware of, but that he attributed to a greater responsibility on the part of the players not to let one setback turn into more.
“I think the way our boys prepare during the week, the consistency in which we prepare, is as important as anything else … this team has kept showing up,” Locksley said.
Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa echoed the same sentiments this week.
“Knowing that we have a team like Penn State that we have to get up there, [there’s] there is no time to get into your feelings or get excited, think about leaving or whatever, “said Tagovailoa.” We are all together and we are all ready to work and change this and get back on the right path. “
Stay home: Kevin Willard is completing his first recruiting class as a men’s basketball manager while retaining a trio of four-star players in the DMV.
Guard DeShawn Harris-Smith, striker Jamie Kaiser Jr. and guard Jahnathan Lamothe all joined the Terrapins on signing day earlier this week. Harris-Smith and Kaiser are the No. 1 and n. 4 in Virginia, and Lamothe is the No. 3 overall in Maryland according to 247 Sports.
Harris-Smith played basketball at Paul VI in Chantilly, Virginia, helping him lift it to a state title and earning Player of the Year honors in his junior season. Kaiser averaged 20.7 points in his junior season at fellow Washington Catholic Athletic Conference school Bishop Ireton before playing at the IMG Academy.
Baltimore native Lamothe attended St. Frances Academy, where he was teammate with current Maryland forward Julian Reese. His presence helped bring St. Frances to a 35-8 record last season.
The three are in the 11th-ranked class in the country by 247 Sports and are the largest number of players from this region to have signed with Maryland in 15 years.