It seems that everyone has a different opinion on Aboushi and Tate this season. You can decide for yourself on Saturday at 3 p.m. when the Cavaliers and Terrapins battle on NESNplus.
Virginia hasn't started the season as well as they likely would have hoped, but they can turn their fortune around against Maryland at Scott Stadium in Chartlottesville. The Cavaliers started their season off hot topping Richmond and Penn State before losing four straight, including an embarrassing Week 6 loss to ACC bottom-dwellers, Duke.
Maryland fans may have been disappointed by a Week 3 loss to UConn, but the Terps showed their skill keeping it close with No. 5 West Virginia in Week 4. The Terrapins are coming off a 19-14 home win against Wake Forest.
The Terrapins haven't been producing top NFL talent recently, but they have three prospects to watch on Saturday, while Virginia has two intriguing players as well.
#6 Kenny Tate, Maryland, Safety/Linebacker
Tate was once considered a top prospect at safety, but a switch to linebacker may change some of those plans. Tate is 6-foot-4, 220-pounds and could play either position in pros. He's fluid for his size and has a lot of versatility, even lining up with his hand down at defensive end to rush the passer. If he plays linebacker in the pros, he could have trouble fighting through blocks to get behind the line of scrimmage, but he may lack the top end speed teams look for in a safety. Still, he's a smart player who has nice closing speed and should be able to cover the new breed of tight ends in the NFL. Tate will be a mid-round prospect and may draw interest from the Seahawks, who typically love players built like Tate at both defensive back and linebacker.
#72 Oday Aboushi, Virginia, Offensive Tackle
Aboushi could wind up hearing his name called in the second day of the draft. He moves very well for his size at 6-foot-6, 310-pounds and doesn't have any problem with his strength at the point of attack. His footwork is clean in pass blocking, but he does have a tendency to stay a bit too high at times. He does a nice job in run blocking and keeps his balance well.
#9 Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland, Outside Linebacker
Hartsfield is a big linebacker in the mold that the Patriots usually look for. He'll likely be a strongside linebacker at the pro level and has a good size/speed combination. He's a strong player who fights through blocks well, but has some issues in pass coverage. His instincts didn't flash as being too impressive; he's sometimes slow to react on a play.
#53 Steve Greer, Virginia, Linebacker
Greer mans the middle linebacker spot for Virginia and has been a productive defender. He moves well laterally and has a nose for the ball. Greer doesn't look overly athletic, which may make him a seventh-round to undrafted prospect. He's smooth in coverage and looks like a smart player out on the field.
#72 Joe Vellano, Maryland, Defensive Tackle
Vellano is a space eater at the college level and may not have the strength to do it in the pros. He doesn't look overly athletic and doesn't use his arms or hands violently enough to get into the backfield with any consistency. He's quick off the snap at times, but it's not enough. Vellano looks like an undrafted player.