The Maryland Terrapins officially became a member of the Big Ten this week, so it’s time to look forward to how well they’ll make the transition on the football field this fall. The Terps have a lot of improvement to make after a disappointing exit from the ACC in 2013 and will be leaning on their veteran leaders to make them competitive in their new surroundings. None of those leaders will be looked to more than middle linebacker Cole Farrand.
Farrand will be a senior this fall and has developed into a vocal leader in the middle of the Maryland defense. Last season, he finished second on the team with 84 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble as he led the Terps’ front seven. He will be tasked with doing even more this fall after Maryland finished No. 8 in the ACC in total defense a year ago and No. 7 against the run.
Because now they will face off against the Big Ten which boasted two of the top 10 rushing attacks in the nation last fall. The Ohio State Buckeyes (No. 5) and the Wisconsin Badgers (No. 8) have a reputation for being physical between the tackles and will test the Terps when they face off this season with their running game. The rest of the Big Ten isn’t shy about running the ball, either, and will undoubtedly go after the heart of the Maryland defense to see if they can stand up to the challenge.
As the middle linebacker, that puts Cole Farrand in the crosshairs heading into 2014. How well he holds up will determine just how quickly the Terrapins find success in the Big Ten. The pressure will be on the senior to step up and carry his team into their new home. Will he be up to the challenge?