As first reported by friend of the site Pete Volk, Maryland running back Wes Brown was arrested last month for a variety of charges, including illegal wiretapping.
On Friday, Terrapin Station published details of Brown’s suspension from the University of Maryland for the entire 2013 season. He could return in January, should Brown meet “certain benchmarks.”
Read the entirety of the Terrapin Station report for complete information, because it’s an especially unusual case.
No matter the particulars, Brown’s suspension strikes a major blow to the Terrapin offense in a pivotal season for the program. Last year, the running game had to buoy the struggling Maryland offense. Maryland ran through its entire cache of quarterbacks due to injury, at one point starting a converted linebacker.
Dual-threat and 2011 starter CJ Brown returns from the ACL injury that sidelined him for the duration of the 2012 season.
CJ Brown is cornerstone to offensive coordinator Mike Locksley’s scheme, which relies on a multifaceted rushing game. That’s where Wes Brown came in.
Locksley’s signature teams were the 2007 and 2008 Illinois Fighting Illini. Rashard Mendenhall broke out as the workhorse alongside dual-threat Juice Williams, with versatile Arrelious Benn keeping defenses spread out.
With Stefon Diggs operating in a similar role as Benn, Wes Brown could have been the breakout ball carrier a la Mendenhall. He was coming into his own midway through the season, taking 48 of his 90 total carries in late October games against North Carolina and Boston College. An injury sidelined him for the final weeks.
Brown’s absence leaves Brandon Ross as the sole returning running back to hit the century mark. Albert Reid, currently in competition with Ross for starting duties, rushed for 92 yards last season.
Reinvigorating the offense is critical for Randy Edsall in his third season at the helm of the Maryland program. UM started 4-2 last year, but finished 0-6 after the myriad injuries his offense sustained.
An offense built around a capable featured running back has been a hallmark of Edsall’s career. His many bowl-qualifying teams at Connecticut all featured workmanlike backs, including 2000-yard rusher Donald Brown in 2008.
The Terrapins have the make-up of a potential surprise team in 2013, should their offensive woes get solved.