Former Terrapins running back Anthony McFarland played just 23 games for Maryland, but he certainly left his mark on the program.
As a redshirt freshman in 2018, the running back totaled 1,034 rushing yards on just 114 carries, breaking the school's all-time single-season rushing yards record by a freshman. He had multiple games of over 200 yards on the ground and immediately became the Terps' most feared weapon on offense.
McFarland was unable to replicate the same product as a sophomore in 2019, dealing with an ankle injury for much of the season. Still, he averaged over five yards per carry and led the team with nine total touchdowns.
The running back declared for the NFL Draft this winter, foregoing his final two seasons of college eligibility. While McFarland's production was derailed a season ago by multiple nagging injuries, he proved several times throughout his college career that he can be a star at the next level. He's likely to be a mid-round selection in this month's NFL Draft, but will likely have the chance to make an immediate impact.
The former Maryland star joined the Redskins Talk podcast, where he explained what type of player and person whichever NFL team that drafts him will be getting.
1. He's willing to take on any role and will work hard in it.
Over the past two seasons, McFarland was the lead back for the Terrapins. He deferred some carries to his fellow backfield mate, Javon Leake, but there was no question who the No. 1 running back on the roster was.
McFarland understands that he likely won't be the top running back on the depth chart for whichever team drafts him. That doesn't mean he won't be later in the season, or even towards the end of training camp. The path to becoming a starting running back in the NFL has many different routes.
But whichever team drafts the former Terps star will be getting a player willing to contribute in multiple ways.
"I'm a hardworking player. I'm a very hardworking player," McFarland said. "I'm coachable. I'm, I'm willing to do anything, you know, to make a team or to be viable to a team."
McFarland rarely played special teams with Maryland, outside of occasionally returning kickoffs. But that's a role he said he's willing to play, too.
"I just want to let coaches know, I know coaches know that I'm explosive and all that good stuff," he said. "And I want them to know stuff that they probably, you know, really don't know about me and that's I'm willing to do whatever. You know, I work hard. I'm humble. I'm a humble person, or I'm just as humbled as the next man, but I'm going to work my hardest as the next man, I'm not going to get too big-headed. You know, never too high, never too low man. I just, I just want to show coaches and players that I'm a good person on and off the field."
2. He's a home run threat every time he touches the ball.
Throughout his two seasons with the Terrapins, McFarland showcased his big-play ability countless times. He notched nine career games of 100-plus yards on the ground and had two outings with over 200 yards in back-to-back weeks.
The running back has a rare combination of size and explosiveness that allows him to break one off any time he touches the ball.
"I feel like I'm a home run hitter. I feel like anywhere on the field, I'm able to take the distance," he said. "No matter where I'm at in the field, I always believe every play is the big play. And that's the thing about I feel like me playing running back because I feel like literally, every single play is a big play and it can happen anytime."
The best example of this is from McFarland's 2018 outing against Ohio State, without a doubt the best game of his collegiate career. McFarland finished with a career-high 298 rushing yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns, one an 81-yard scamper and the other from 75-yards out.
Anthony McFarland broke a huge TD run against Ohio State.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 17, 2018
Five minutes later, he did it again. pic.twitter.com/cU8eVYGvAB
Despite McFarland's heroic efforts, the Terps came up short in overtime, 52-51. The loss is still something that bugs him today.
"I wanted to win so bad, man," he said. "I wanted that win bad as ever. That game still haunts me."
3. McFarland models his game after Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk.
When former Rams running back Marshall Faulk played his last NFL snap in 2005, McFarland was just seven years old. However, the Maryland product looked up to the Hall of Famer growing up and tries to resemble Faulk's game with his own.
"My favorite running back is Marshall Faulk, just because I feel like I have the versatility he brought to the game," McFarland said. "I always felt he was the all-purpose back that I wanted to be like."
Versatility was arguably Faulk's biggest strength, as the running back was just as much of a threat in the passing game as he was as a rusher. Faulk is one of three running backs in NFL history with 10,000 career rushing yards and 5,000 career receiving yards, and the only rusher ever to have surpassed 12,000 rushing yards and 6,000 receiving yards in their career.
At Maryland, McFarland showed he has the ability to be a pass-catching back, but wasn't fully used in that aspect of the offense. In 23 games with the Terps, McFarland totaled just 24 receptions and one touchdown.
McFarland (5-foot-9, 198 lbs.) has a similar stature to Faulk (5-foot-10, 210 lbs.) and believes he has the ability to be just as impactful as a pass-catcher as he is a runner. While he never watched Faulk play live, he was hooked once he first saw the Hall of Famer's highlight tape.
"I watched his highlights, and I'm like, 'Who is this?'" he said. "I started studying, and I'm like 'That's my favorite football player.'"
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