Maryland’s seemingly never-ending string of bad luck when it comes to season-ending injuries has crossed over from the offensive side of the ball to defense.
Demetrius Hartsfield led the Terps in tackles this season. (Photo by Bill Bride)
Senior linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield, a captain and one of the most respected voices in the team’s locker room, tore his ACL Saturday during Maryland’s game against Georgia Tech and will miss the Terps’ final three games of the season.
“This is another tough loss for the program,” coach Randy Edsall said in a statement. “Demetrius is a captain and has been a leader of this defense both on and off the field. I feel terrible for him because I know how much the game means to him. To have his senior year cut short is just disheartening. We will be here to support him through the rehab process and help him with his transition towards the next stage of his career.”
Hartsfield is the fourth Maryland player to suffer a torn ACL this year, joining quarterbacks C.J. Brown, Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe. He is also Maryland’s second captain lost to a season-ending injury, along with Brown, and eighth player to be sidelined for the year.
Hartsfield suffered the injury on a Georgia Tech running play with 2:20 left in the second quarter when he was cut low by a Yellow Jacket defender. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Raleigh, N.C., native was helped off the field by team trainers and did not return to the game.
Postgame, Hartsfield remained optimistic on Twitter, tweeting, “Thumbs up !!! I'm so thankful” and “I'm good nothing serious.”
That turned out not to be the case.
Hartsfield had been one of Maryland’s best players on defense this season, recording a team-high 78 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception and two fumble recoveries. The senior linebacker’s 338 career tackles rank 15th in school history.
With Hartsfield sidelined, sophomore L.A. Goree will likely start in his place. Goree, who received significant playing time as a freshman, played in Hartsfield’s place Saturday and finished with three tackles. He has recorded nine tackles, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble in five games played this season.