Posted: 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013
By Alex Kirshner
Tonight, we offer a profile of Maryland's 2013 starting center, Sal Conaboy.
Major: Criminal Justice
Twitter: Not that we could find
Collegiate Stats: 14 games (9 starts)
High School Stats (Senior Year): N/A
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals (#18 in Pa., #17 OG), Scout (#12 OG), ESPN (#21 OG)
High School: Abington Heights
Hometown: Clarks Summit, Pa.
High School Highlights:
None that we could find.
How'd He Get to College Park?
Conaboy played tight end at the start of his high school career and didn't move to the offensive line until he'd already put a few seasons under his belt as a pass-catcher. Conaboy had 17 scholarship offers coming out of high school and chose the Terps -- whose recruiting effort was led by Lee Hull -- over Pitt, Michigan State, Oregon, Illinois and West Virginia, among others. Conaboy redshirted for his first season in College Park and spent most of last year starting at center on a flimsy Maryland line. He made seven starts (the others by Evan Mulrooney) and appeared in nine of the team's 12 games. In 2011, he started twice and played in five games, helping out a strong Terps run game that season.
Nickname: "Paradise" Conaboy
Career Highlight: Spending most of last year as Maryland's starting center and taking that position into the new season.
Conaboy, now an upperclassman, anchors a vastly improved offensive line, holds nose tackles at bay and spends the season creating Route 1-wide lanes for Brandon Ross and Albert Reid to run through. Conaboy finds his way onto the Rimington Award watch list heading into next season and easily fends off any pressure from his primary backup Mulrooney.
Conaboy, first and foremost, must be a stable inside presence and not let inside pass-rushers harass C.J. Brown. It'll be interesting to see how Conaboy performs in run-blocking, because he's never consistently started in front of a college quarterback as mobile as Brown. Will the coaching staff have Conaboy pulling to the outside and helping lead the way along the hashmarks for Brown and the running backs, or will he execute a more traditional, grind-it-out-inside center's role?
Conaboy has experience at guard and played skill positions in high school, so he should have the versatility and athleticism to be a contributor on inside and outside running plays, and there's no reason to think he'll be overpowered in pass-protection.
If things go as planned, our next player will share fairly close working quarters with Conaboy this season.