One of the biggest reasons why Maryland finished with a 2-10 record, the worst in school history, was the Terps defense. Maryland finished 11th in the ACC in total defense, allowing a whopping 396.3 yards per game. Help, however, is on the way. St. Johns College High School (Washington, DC) defensive tackle Andre Monroe will be in a Terps uniform next fall. If his high school stats are any indication, Monroe should be able to be a disruptive force in the backfield of opposing offenses. In his senior season, the 6-foot, 282-pound Monroe finished with 67 tackles, 21 of them for a loss, 9 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
One advantage Monroe has over other linemen is his speed. Monroe, who runs a 4.96 40-yard dash time, believes that this could really help the Terps once he arrives in College Park.
“I can bring speed to the table, which is always a great thing,” said Monroe. “Also, heart and determination, and that's what I have a lot of.”
Monroe, who passed on offers from New Mexico, Ohio, Miami (Ohio), Bowling Green, and Akron, is excited for the opportunity to play for an experienced coach like Ralph Friedgen. Monroe is pleased that Friedgen has been retained for the 2010 season, and likes the direction of the program under Friedgen, despite the disappointing 2009 campaign.
“He's (Friedgen) been through it all before, he's seen a lot, and he'll know how to work with us as we come in. Hopefully I'll be a part of their success, and keep it going,” Monroe said.
“He's a great guy and I like the way he coaches. Not only does he talk about football, but I like how he sets us up for life, and sets us up for success. He uses football as a tool to do those things.”
Before he gets to play for Friedgen, however, Monroe has to finish his high school career. Although football is over, Monroe wants to stay fit to be ready for spring practice. He says the Maryland coaching staff has given him a regiment to follow for the next few months before he arrives in College Park.
“I basically just do what they ask of me, know what I'm supposed to know, stay in shape, and see what happens from there,” said Monroe. “Hopefully during spring ball, I can get in practice, watch film, and all of that so I can get a hang of this defense.”
With a new starting quarterback next fall, an improved defense would really make things easier for the offense. Andre Monroe and his speed could be key on a defense looking to make big improvements in what could be Ralph Friedgen's final season as head coach of Maryland.