Initial thoughts on Maryland


CTG Psychiatrist - Dr. Tim
Thought I would post this over here, wrote in response to a question from some other people at another site.

On your question regarding MD football this year from yesterday. Terps have a pretty good team coming back this year. Very deep on the offensive line, but Ralph did suspend two of the key players for the first two wks for team violations. MD had a freshman last year Jarrod Gaither who stepped into play LT when Heyer went down with a knee injury for the year. He is 6' 9" and 350 and has tremendous feet and athletic ability for a kid that big. He only had one year of football before coming to MD and is just a natural. Heyer returns this year and Gaither may move to the right side. Anyway our OL is very strong and deep. RB should be strong also with Josh Allen returning (will really help as a receiver out of the backfield), and last year's starter Lance Ball. The wide receivers are a speedy bunch but don't have a lot of experience. RS Freshmen Darrius Heyward Bey runs a 4.2 forty and should figure into the mix this year. Drew Weatherly has the most experience of any returning wide receiver. Hollenbach will be back at QB and has really improved with more playing time. He makes good decisions and is primarily a pocket passer. He doesn't have great mobility which Friedgen would like so he could run more option plays like he did with McBrien and Hill before so in that sense the offense will be limited. Overall, I am expecting them to really be able to run the ball effectively this year and I think the passing game will come along with experience. OC Charlie Taafe stepped down after last year (not his best year play calling) and Ralph will call the plays himself this year.

Defensivley MD has a new coordinator as Blackney retired last year. Cosh comes in with good experience at Illinois, Mich State and Kansas State and is known for an aggresive attacking defensive style. All of our DL returns led by Conrad Bolston who was solid all year long and led the team in sacks. DE J. Navarre looks ready to have a breakout season and has really impressed in the spring. The LB crew is extremely solid and led by W. Jefferson who is always around the ball. Erin Henderson (EJ's brother) returns from injury and should be a great addtion to an already solid corps of LB's. The secondary looks strong as well with a lot of returning experience led by corner Josh Wilson. I expect the defense to be better this year overall, as they have good experience and depth at just about every position.

Special teams - Podlesh is one of the best punters in the country. Ennis started off well at kicker but faltered down the stretch and will be challenged for his job this year.

Schedule - Terps play WVU, GT, VA, Clemson and BC on the road this season and will need to win at least two of those games to have a good year imo.

Conf. games at home - NCST, FSU, Miami and Wake. Need to go 3-1 here and be able to get one of the games vs. either FSU or Miami which is not as far fetched as it may seem. I am going to call for an 8-4 season and return to bowl games.
Hmmmm, interesting assessment . . . . . . . 8-4, huh? Thanks a lot for doing this, Tim!
Den - I can't admit to be completely impartial lol..., but I really do think this team will be better this year. They should be able to run the football effectively which will take a lot of pressure off Hollenbach. Ralph will be the offensive coordinator and call the plays this year. That should be an improvement as Taafe had a sub par year imo, calling the plays last year. Allen will really help the RB's out and offer a change of pace to Ball who is more of an inside runner. Allen is a very good receiver out of the backfield, something we sorely missed last year. OL is very deep and should be a strong point of the team. Lack of experience at WR, but much improved speed from last year. Cosh comes in highly regarded as a defensive coach and has a lot to work with on that side of the ball. MD will need to get the big win at home against either FSU or Miami to make their season.
College Football

Several Injuries Threaten Terps' First Scrimmage

Saturday, August 12, 2006; Page E02
A recent spate of injuries may force Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen to call off today's scrimmage, the first scheduled for training camp. Running back Keon Lattimore turned an ankle at yesterday's practice and could be off the field for a few days.
Meantime, several offensive linemen are nursing injuries.

"We'll see what we can do," Friedgen said. "I want to scrimmage. We need to."
Linebacker Erin Henderson , listed as a starter on the preseason depth chart, hyperextended his knee when he slipped and fell in the training room. Starting guards Donnie Woods and Andrew Crummey injured their hamstrings.
The injuries have come despite limited contact during the first week of practice. Nevertheless, Friedgen said the players haven't shied away from hitting each other.
The scrimmage is scheduled for 5:25 p.m. . . .
The NCAA yesterday denied nose tackle Robert Armstrong a waiver that would have let him play this year. Armstrong missed last year because of an injury before failing to qualify academically.
U-Md. Backup Quarterback Waits for Playtime to Begin

By Dan Steinberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 13, 2006; Page E01
Jordan Steffy hears the question incessantly: at the mall and at the grocery store, when he goes to the movies or when he visits friends back home, near Lancaster, Pa. First, they ask the Maryland quarterback how things are going. Then, they ask when they can expect to see Steffy on the field.
"All the time," he said. "There's not a place that I go that people aren't coming up and asking about it."

Maryland backup quarterback Jordan Steffy is planning a charity golf tournament for next summer to help a young girl who has cerebral palsy. (By Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)

The answer depends on whom you ask. Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen said incumbent Sam Hollenbach is the starter, although he would like to use both quarterbacks early in the season, before the Terps begin ACC play. Quarterbacks coach John Donovan said Hollenbach has taken the majority of snaps with the first-team offense in practice, but that Steffy "has been a pleasant surprise so far" and that "nothing's set in stone." Hollenbach's photo graces the cover of Maryland's media guide, and most preseason analysts have placed the Terps' hopes on Hollenbach's right arm.
All the while, Steffy has remained almost unnaturally confident. He said he was told before fall practice began that he would have a chance to compete for the starting role. He said he's as healthy as he has been in his Maryland career, with past knee and arm injuries no longer a factor. He said he's still convinced he'll be Maryland's starting quarterback before his three years of remaining eligibility are up. This is what he tells people when they ask the inevitable question: "It's only a matter of time."
Still, the past two years haven't been exactly what Steffy expected, not after setting every quarterback passing record at Conestoga Valley High and beginning to study Maryland's playbook during his senior year.
"If you would have asked me in high school what would have happened, I would have came in here and maybe sat out one year and then played four years straight," he said. "Maybe not even sit out, you know?"
Which is why people have been asking that familiar question about playing time ever since the three-sport star committed to Maryland. Friedgen addressed the question when he spoke at a banquet in Lancaster shortly after Steffy committed; at the time, Friedgen said Steffy might have a chance to play immediately. The question came up the following summer, when Steffy rose to No. 2 on the depth chart while older players -- including Hollenbach -- competed for the No. 3 spot. The question grew more important that fall, when starter Joel Statham struggled and Friedgen flirted with the idea of starting Steffy as a freshman.
Steffy played often that fall, and he took over for Statham in the second quarter of a late-season loss at Virginia Tech. But after he was knocked out of that loss with a concussion, the question was put on hold. The concussion kept him from starting the season finale. Then came surgery to repair a damaged knee. The knee swelled, sidelining him for most of spring practice. That same month he was hit by a car, suffering cuts and bruises. He had another surgery, to repair a nerve problem in his throwing arm. He never saw the field last season as Hollenbach assumed the starting role.
In the meantime, Steffy worked not only on learning the playbook but on expanding his interests, "sort of prioritizing and putting things in order," as he puts it. He never worried about schoolwork in high school and needed to take the SAT twice to qualify at Maryland; in college, he's received academic honors and is now considering a double major in kinesiology and business. He dabbled in community service in high school; now, he's in the process of forming his own charity to help children with medical problems. He has started to plan a charity golf tournament scheduled for next summer, and he has continued a friendship with Katie Hull, a 12-year-old Lancaster girl who has cerebral palsy.
"Football's not the end of the world for him," said Jeff Hull, Katie's father. "He's the real deal."
That Steffy continues to field questions about his playing time only hints at his status in the Lancaster area. He started for Conestoga Valley's football and basketball teams for four years, earning more than 400 mentions in the city's two daily newspapers. One story called him agile, mobile, flexible, strong, powerful, tough, fast, quick, nimble, determined, gritty and tenacious -- within the first four sentences. Another referred to the post-Steffy era as "A.J.S" -- "After Jordan Steffy." Following his games, he would be approached by dozens of autograph seekers -- "literally surrounded by children," said his high school basketball coach, Bob Borden.
"If you go around Lancaster, everybody knows who Jordan Steffy is," said high school teammate Stephen Smalls, now a Maryland freshman. "He's kind of a local hero, basically."
And the impossible expectations have followed him to Maryland. This month, one Lancaster paper speculated that Steffy "has physical tools that could enable him to make it to the NFL and possibly the hall of fame."
Before that happens, though, Steffy will have to get on the field at Maryland, which could be an increasingly difficult task. Coaches have praised Hollenbach's maturity and decision-making, and his status as the Terps' opening day starter seems secure. Highly regarded freshman Jeremy Ricker, a top quarterback recruit, has been impressive in early practices. The Terps also brought in Florida transfer Josh Portis, an electric talent who will be eligible next year. Steffy has often been asked about this glut of quarterbacks; he said he doesn't doubt that he will earn playing time, and that he has never thought of transferring or regretted his decision to attend Maryland.
"In high school I didn't lose many games, and when I get out here now, I don't plan on losing many games," he said. "I mean, at the end of the day the cream always rises to the top. I'm not scared of competition at all."
His friends said his confidence has never wavered, and that they have yet to hear a word of discouragement. Still, people keep asking when Steffy will get his first start. His high school football coach, Gerald Novak, said that he won't come to a Maryland game as a fan until he knows Steffy is going to play. His mother, Shari, said she is asked about her son's playing status at least once a day.
Even opponents sometimes wonder. After a seven-on-seven scrimmage last month, Steffy was approached by a player from the other team.
"You running the show this year?" the Bowie State player asked.
"That's the plan," Steffy said.
What's up Pags, I know you are ready for CFB.

Terps' Receivers Hope to Grow Old Together

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 15, 2006; Page E01

After spring practice, Maryland wide receivers coach Bryan Bossard challenged his young wide receivers to defy time.
"In my mind, they have to play like juniors," Bossard said of a unit that features 11 underclassmen. "I told them that after the spring game, they were sophomores. And after what they did this summer with the quarterbacks, they had to come back like juniors."

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Senior Drew Weatherly is the one Maryland wide receiver who has a lot of experience -- he has 19 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown in his career. (By Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)

Maryland Terrapins


After spring practice, Maryland wide receivers coach Bryan Bossard challenged his young wide receivers to defy time.

Without the benefit of a time machine, Maryland's wide receivers needed to gain some experience the hard way -- through voluntary workouts during the summer. And as the second week of training camp unfolds, coaches are starting to see the benefits. "I feel we're so much farther along," said Drew Weatherly, one of only two seniors on the wide receiving corps. "But at the same time, there's always room for improvement."
The lack of game experience has put the pressure on Coach Ralph Friedgen and his staff to find capable replacements for tight end Vernon Davis, whom the San Francisco 49ers selected sixth overall in last April's NFL draft. Maryland also lost its other leading pass catchers from last season in Dan Melendez, Jo Jo Walker and Derrick Fenner. Of Maryland's 13 wide receivers this season, only three have caught passes at the collegiate level. Two are upperclassmen. All told, their stats add up to 26 catches for 210 yards and one touchdown. The bulk of those numbers comes from Weatherly, who has 19 catches for 186 yards. "They're saying we're the weak link or whatever," Weatherly said. "I think we'll just keep getting better and get out there and shut some mouths up." While their experience is lacking, the Terps' potential is tantalizing. Of Maryland's top five receivers this season, only Danny Oquendo is shorter than 6 feet 2. Meanwhile, all five bring the element of speed, with Darrius Heyward-Bey leading the pack with a 40-yard dash time of 4.2 seconds. "We all have the natural ability," said Oquendo, who caught three passes for 20 yards last season as a freshman. "It's all about performing on the field, and I think we'll do that." Weatherly did his part during summer workouts, using his experience to function as a coach for the wide receivers.

"He was tremendous," Bossard said. "He really has taken on that leadership role, motivating them, helping them. When you get that big brother system going in with your group, they start to develop. They start to understand how to practice, what we do, what's acceptable and not acceptable. He did a great job." With Weatherly serving as a guide, Bossard said the group noticeably improved its route-running and timing by the time training camp rolled around.

Friedgen said he could see the improvement of several players during Saturday's scrimmage, when sophomore Isaiah Williams caught three passes for 31 yards. "Isaiah had a very good scrimmage and kind of showed you what he's capable of doing," Friedgen said. "That would be huge if he would come on. He's growing as a kid. He would give us a threat there if he could build on what he had this Saturday."
While Williams has shown signs of emerging into a dependable starter, coaches say Heyward-Bey has shown the most improvement.
"He's a different player than he was this spring," Bossard said. "To his credit he worked tremendously hard this summer. He was a 'maybe.' Now, if he keeps progressing, he's a guy who is going to figure into the mix."
Redshirt freshman Terrell Skinner has also made a move to secure more playing time. Friedgen said while the top five seems to be set, he wants to see more players emerge to provide added depth. But Skinner, another big target at 6-2, said it's only a matter of time until the questions are answered. "Eventually, we're going to mature together," he said. "And once we mature together, it's going to be something pretty."
Friedgen Tests His Kickers' Mettle

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 18, 2006; Page E10

Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen wore a hint of a smile earlier this week as he sat in a golf cart parked just a few yards from kicker Dan Ennis.
As the senior lined up for a field goal attempt, Friedgen started in.

Oh, I'm in your head now," he bellowed.
From there, Friedgen trash-talked Ennis the way a defender would a ballhandler in a one-on-one basketball game. With the words still flying, Ennis kicked the football right through the distant goal posts.
"I'm trying to toughen [the kickers] up," said Friedgen, who has also taken to making the rest of the team run after missed field goals. "I'm doing everything in my power to get them more confidence."
In a rematch of a position battle from last year's camp, the incumbent Ennis is trying hold off sophomore Obi Egekeze for the place-kicking spot.
It's a critical position for the Terrapins, especially after Ennis struggled down the stretch last season after a hot start.
Ennis, a Glenelg graduate who converted his first 11 tries but finished 17 for 25 for the season, has held a slight lead during most of camp. But Friedgen said Egekeze seems to have responded to the pressure ploys, nailing a 48-yarder yesterday, his second made kick from that distance in the past two days.
Friedgen said Egekeze has missed just once in his last 15 attempts and could be pulling even.
"He's tuning me out and been kicking pretty good," Friedgen said. "I'll probably have to do that when I send him in, put a tape recorder on him that says 'you'll choke.' Whatever works."
Ennis missed two field goals and had another blocked yesterday. Friedgen said he has been pleased with Ennis's reaction after missed kicks.
"He's kind of like 'I'll show you,' " Friedgen said. "He doesn't let you get to him."
Ennis didn't miss a field-goal attempt until six games into the season against Temple. But that miss triggered a slump that saw him miss 4 of 6 kicks. He rebounded to go 2-for-2 against Florida State then missed two more against North Carolina, though he booted the game-winner against the Tar Heels in overtime.
After making his only attempt against Boston College, Ennis closed the year with two misses in a 20-14 loss to North Carolina State.
"I feel I'm more of a mature kicker after having a year under my belt," Ennis said earlier this week. "It's going pretty well and I'm confident heading into the season."
Meanwhile, Egekeze was on the receiving end on what both agree has been Friedgen's funniest one-liner.
"He told me he has my head in a jar in his desk," Egekeze said. "He does everything. Man, once you start lining up for your field goals, everything's game. He tries to get in your head."
Friedgen says Egekeze has the stronger leg, and the sophomore has been coming on.
"This week, he's had his best week since he's been here," Friedgen said. "This week, Obi's kicked better."
Egekeze suffered a thigh injury late in camp last season that forced him out of the competition for the starting spot. He served as Ennis's backup and didn't attempt a field goal last year.
Friedgen said Saturday's scrimmage could be a key in deciding who will get the job, though he hasn't announced a timetable for the decision. The winner, he said, will be the player that stands up to the pressure best.
"What I'm really trying to do is distract them and break their concentration," Friedgen said. "I want to get them to focus on making the kick and forget everything else, to 'set the mechanism' like they say in that movie and block out everything."
Notes: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who had been having a strong camp, was injured when he landed on his shoulder while making a play yesterday. Friedgen is unsure of his status. "It's a shame because he had been doing a very, very good job," Friedgen said. . . .
Starting cornerback Josh Wilson is day-to-day with an injury to his right foot. Wilson had practiced since suffering the injury on Tuesday, though he didn't tell the team until yesterday. X-rays were negative.
Terps' Gaither, Thomas Return From Suspensions

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 22, 2006; Page E04

Maryland tackle Jared Gaither practiced yesterday for the first time since Coach Ralph Friedgen suspended him and a teammate just before preseason workouts began.
"That's over and in the past," said Gaither, who with backup offensive lineman Jaime Thomas received a two-week suspension for violating team rules. "I'm just looking forward to getting back out there."
After serving a two week suspension for violating team rules, offensive tackle Jared Gaither, right, says he's ready to return. (Robert A. Reeder - The Washington Post)

With the return of Gaither and Thomas, the offensive line played as a full unit for the first time all camp. Aside from the suspensions, three other linemen suffered injuries that required them to miss at least one day of practice.
At one point, six of the line's top seven players were unable to play, forcing the offense to deal with severe mismatches during scrimmages and practice.
"Our full group of people is back," offensive line coach Tom Brattan said. "Now we can get to work."
During his suspension, Gaither said he spent time running, lifting weights and reviewing tape from spring practice. He also took time to reflect, which led to plenty of talks with his family.
"There's going to be a lot of bumps in the road," Gaither said. "But you take them with a grain of salt, come back and do the best you can."
Gaither, a 6-foot-9, 350-pound sophomore, is one reason the Terrapins' offensive line is expected to be one of the team's strengths. As a freshman, Gaither established himself as a physical presence, not allowing a sack in 13 games at left tackle. He took over as the starter in the fourth game of the season against Wake Forest and held on to the job the rest of the year.
Because senior left tackle Stephon Heyer is back after missing last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Friedgen listed Gaither as the starting right tackle on the preseason depth chart. But in the wake of the suspension, Friedgen said Gaither will have to earn that spot again.
"These guys have been out here and they've been busting their [rear ends], we can't forget that," Friedgen said. "We'll work [Gaither and Thomas] in and see how they continue to progress."
Gaither said he accepts and understands the demotion.
"I never once thought I could sit out two weeks and come back to my starting spot," Gaither said. "That wouldn't be fair to the rest of my teammates. I wouldn't want my coaches to put me in that situation and I know he wouldn't do that."
Despite missing time, Friedgen said that Gaither and Thomas looked good yesterday.
"There were a couple of situations, from a mental standpoint, that I would have probably bet money that they missed," Friedgen said. "They didn't. I was pleasantly surprised."
Terrapins Notes: Cornerback Josh Wilson (bruised right foot) could be out for another week. "We definitely don't want to bring him back too early," Friedgen said.
Meantime, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulder) is still day to day. Both Wilson and Heyward-Bey are slated to return kickoffs, though neither participated in a scrimmage Saturday that featured special teams. . . .
Friedgen said a final decision on the place-kicking battle will likely come Thursday, after the final preseason scrimmage. Sophomore Obi Egekeze is ahead of senior incumbent Dan Ennis.
Friedgen: Naming-Rights Deal a Major Step

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 25, 2006; Page E03

Moments after being called a blue-chip recruit by university president C. Daniel Mote Jr., Chevy Chase Bank chief executive B. Francis Saul II smiled and accepted a red Maryland football jersey.
An audience of bank and school officials, joined by Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., looked on as Saul inspected the large No. 1 and his last name emblazoned on the back of the gift.
The University's football stadium will be known as Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium beginning this season. (Jonathan Newton - The Washington Post)

"We'll get you in the game," Terrapins Coach Ralph Friedgen joked. "You've earned that right." Saul and Friedgen helped formally announce a 25-year, $20 million stadium naming-rights deal between Chevy Chase Bank and the university. The windfall from the agreement, along with $35 million borrowed from the state, will provide the funding needed for a long-planned expansion project that will add 66 luxury suites and other amenities to the newly renamed Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium. Officials said a search has started for an architect for the $50 million project. Athletic officials hope construction begins after the 2007 season and will be completed in 2009. Friedgen called the deal a major step in building a national championship-caliber football program. "This is going to send a message about where we're going -- not just as a football program, but as a school," he said. "There are going to be a lot of recruits listening to this who now know where we're going. That goal is still to win a national championship. I'm not backing down from that." Large signs representing Chevy Chase Bank will be displayed in several major parts of the stadium, including both scoreboards, the Tyser Tower press box and on both sidelines. The name change also will be reflected in highway signage, said Brian Ullmann, associate athletic director for external operations. "It's a big price tag," said Pat Clancy, Chevy Chase's executive vice president. "But the benefits are long-term and the benefits are to the community." As part of the deal, the bank will be given a luxury suite at the stadium. Ullmann said the athletic department could also create promotional deals for Chevy Chase account holders.

Terrapins Notes: The kicking situation has taken another turn, with Friedgen declaring the race a dead heat. Incumbent Dan Ennis, who fell behind Obi Egekeze, connected on his only attempt from 42 yards during yesterday's scrimmage. Egekeze, who pulled ahead in the competition for the job earlier this week, hit a 43-yarder early in the scrimmage but later missed from 37. . . .
Quarterbacks Sam Hollenbach and Jordan Steffy turned in productive scrimmages. Hollenbach went 14 for 20 for 124 yards while Steffy finished 10 for 13 with 115 yards and a touchdown. . . .
Bobby Sheahin, who had been the team's No. 3 quarterback, didn't play in the scrimmage because of a shoulder injury suffered last week. Friedgen said the third-string job has fallen to redshirt freshman Chris Turner. . . .
Cornerback Isaiah Gardner (shoulder) and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulder) sat out the scrimmage with injuries. Friedgen also held out linebacker Erin Henderson (knee) as a precaution.
Thats it Tim...I have now heard it all.

I thought Louisville's stadium name was bad(Papa John's Stadium)...but this is the topper..

"Chevy Chase Bank Stadium"

I can see it now..

'Yeah, we're heading up to Chevy Chase to tailgate'

Whats next?

Looks like both your QB's were pretty efficient
Lol Big Al - It's all about the money these days and this will help MD keep building the program. Ironic in that this is why Bobby Ross left in the 80's because the commitment just wasn't there to take the next step for the program. These naming rights deals are really lucrative.
They sure are. Its kinda irony that college athletes don't get pauid for being student-athletes but the schools will reap upon them setting foot in their stadium.

Lattimore Back in The Mix For Terps

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 26, 2006; Page E01
A few days after the final game of last season, Maryland running back Keon Lattimore trudged up to Coach Ralph Friedgen's office to talk about what had been a disappointing season.
The player called his performance the result of a shoulder injury that never quite healed. The coach cited a lack of toughness. In any case, neither player nor coach saw things quite the same way.

Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen says junior running back Keon Lattimore, above, "has raised his game to another level" and has earned playing time. (By Katherine Frey -- The Washington Post)

"In that 30 minutes, we got a lot accomplished," Lattimore said.
But neither man could possibly see just how much had been done until they arrived at camp, where Lattimore not only got back into the coach's good graces but carved himself a role on a unit that should be a team strength this season. "I think he has raised his game to another level right now," Friedgen said earlier during camp. "I think he's had trouble with his vision, but he's made some pretty big-time cuts. He's just playing free. He's just having a good time out there." Friedgen spent most of training camp, which wrapped up yesterday, lavishing praise on his running backs. The unit is expected to be one of Maryland's strengths when the season starts Sept. 2 against William & Mary. Junior Lance Ball looked solid throughout and should get the majority of the carries after earning the starting job toward the end of last season. Senior Josh Allen, the starter in 2004, also turned in a strong camp after missing all of last year rehabilitating a torn ACL. Even junior J.P. Humber, who nearly quit after being mired on the scout team, earned a spot by impressing coaches in practice despite playing through a painful rib injury. But Lattimore, who failed to win the starting job from Ball last season, made the biggest strides. "It's definitely a chance to redeem myself," said Lattimore, a junior, about this season. "When the team is depending on you, and your head coach is depending on you and you don't do the job, I feel like I disappointed a lot of people." When Allen went down with his injury, the running back spot came open. Lattimore had his opportunity to step in first, starting against Temple and Virginia. But Lattimore said he never felt mentally recovered from a dislocated right shoulder he suffered in 2004. The pain made him tentative on the field, afraid of contact, a fact he couldn't hide. The injury forced him to miss three of the team's final four games, and he finished with just 181 yards on 58 carries. "It was a lack of focus and I think that lack of focus came from the injury," said Lattimore, a wide receiver in high school who coaches hoped would bring a pass-catching element to the backfield. While Lattimore struggled, Ball closed the season with 100-yard rushing performances in four of Maryland's last seven games. He finished third in the ACC with 903 yards rushing and earned second-team all-ACC honors. "From spring, the coaches have said that the running backs have to step up and be part of this offense," said Ball, whose solid performance earned him the top spot this year.
Lattimore started doing his part after the postseason meeting with Friedgen, who challenged the running back. "The time's going fast for you here, son," Friedgen said he told Lattimore. "The sands are going out of the hourglass. It's time to step up." Lattimore underwent a six-hour surgery to repair the shoulder in December. From there, he worked hard during his rehabilitation process, missing all of spring ball while the shoulder healed. But by the time he arrived in camp three weeks ago, Lattimore had become a new player despite missing all of spring ball. Even though he fumbled a few times during camp, Lattimore reached an important point in his development. Finally, he was playing free. "There's no reason he shouldn't be able to do that come game time," Friedgen said. "I'd be very disappointed [if he doesn't]. He has worked very, very hard, and he's not making mistakes." Lattimore passed a major test earlier in camp, when he suffered a minor foot injury. "I thought he was going to need four days," Friedgen said at the time, taking a dig at his mental toughness. Instead, Lattimore endured the pain and practiced the next day. "I didn't even know he said that, but I knew what he was thinking," said Lattimore, who made it a point to not miss a day. With Lattimore's emergence and the rest of the running backs performing well, Friedgen added formations to his playbook that require the use of two tailbacks. "I kind of think they're 1A, 1B and 1C," Friedgen said regarding the status of Ball, Lattimore and Allen on the depth chart. "That's how I see it."
Great thread guys!!! I love all this info on Maryland football. Cograts to all who contibuted. Good luck with your picks this week.
Glad to have you as forum mate here, Tim.
We've been on a lot of forums together.
Love your stuff on Maryland football.
Your terps up here vs BC is going to be a big game for both.
I think your overall assessment may be a bit optimistic but that's OK.
Hell, I'll drink to your beating both Miami and FSU. :cheers:

At least you've got both at home.
I think BC goes to Florida twice.
Thanks fellas! Bull I may be a little over optimistic, but I think this team is going to surprise a few people this year. MD should be pretty good on both sides of the ball this season. One of the real strengths is the OL and I expect MD to be a more physical team this season. The WR's need some seasoning and with the early schedule not being that tough, should provide some much needed experience. As I said, my 8-4 was premised on beating one of the two Miami or FSU at home and then also getting two road wins out of Clem, Va., BC and GT which admittedly will be very difficult with Va. providing the best oppty. and the other three all being very tough. I like the fact that Ralph is going back to calling the plays this year. Taafe's play calling last season left a lot to be desired, though I thought he was a fine coach for his tenure at MD. Should be a good season in the ACC, with a lot of teams capable of having good seasons.
Area Notebook

Terps' Randolph Tagged to Start

By Marc Carig and Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, August 30, 2006; Page E03

A few years ago, Dane Randolph called his mother on the phone. He wasn't happy.
The high school defensive end wanted to tell his mom that Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen had just moved him to offensive tackle. The move would mean a better opportunity for playing time, but Randolph -- then a true freshman -- only grudgingly accepted the change.

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Backup quarterback Jordan Steffy returned from a finger injury as the Terps prepare to open their season Saturday against William & Mary. (By Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)

"I didn't enjoy it," Randolph said. "But he was right. He was telling the truth."
Friedgen tabbed Randolph yesterday as the likely starter at right tackle when Maryland plays William & Mary during Saturday's season opener.
Randolph (Wilde Lake), a 6-foot-5, 285-pound sophomore, performed well during spring practice and earned praise from coaches while he held down the tackle spot during Jared Gaither's two-week suspension in camp.
Friedgen said last week that Gaither, a 6-9, 350-pounder who emerged as a star last year, would have to earn his starting spot again, opening the door for Randolph. "I came into camp with the mentality that I would get the starting job," Randolph said. "And whether Jared was there or not, I worked as hard as I could to fight for it." Gaither still seems to be favored to eventually reclaim the starting job, though Randolph said it won't be without a fight. "I'm going to hang on to it as long as I can. I know I can keep it," Randolph said. "I'm going to make Jared work hard if he wants to get it." A few days ago, Randolph called his mother again. "I'm going to be in the whole game now instead of that last quarter," he told his mom, who along with nine other friends and family members will watch from the stands as Randolph makes his first career start.

[FONT=Arial,Helvetica][SIZE=-1]No Side Effects for Steffy
Backup quarterback Jordan Steffy looked comfortable while throwing the football yesterday, just three days after spraining the middle finger of his right (throwing) hand at the start of practice on Saturday.
With his hand taped up, Steffy threw a touchdown pass during a competitive goal-line drill yesterday. He was also accurate at Monday's practice, his first day back. "It's playable," he said. . . .
Crews worked throughout the day changing stadium signage to reflect a $20 million naming-rights deal announced last week. Road signs bearing the football venue's new name, Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium, were already up around the Capital Beltway late last week. . . .
Friedgen said Maryland's primary kicker against William & Mary could be a "game-time decision." Incumbent Dan Ennis rebounded last week, pulling even with Obi Egekeze. "It's been very, very close," Friedgen said. . . .
Starting cornerback Josh Wilson is practicing at 100 percent after sitting out most of last week because of a sprained right foot. Coaches sat Wilson, afraid that the injury could worsen.

[FONT=Arial,Helvetica][SIZE=-1]Cavs Lose a Receiver
Backup wide receiver Bud Davis has withdrawn from Virginia for personal reasons and will no longer play on the football team, leaving an already thinned rotation further depleted as the Cavaliers prepare for their opening game at Pittsburgh on Saturday evening.
Deyon Williams, Virginia's best receiver, missed nearly all of the preseason after having surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, and Davis had lost a competition to sophomore Kevin Ogletree to be the starter in Williams's stead.
Davis's decision to leave was not related to playing time, Virginia Coach Al Groh said.
"This has been an issue Bud's been dealing with for a while," Groh said.
Still, Davis's untimely departure surprised teammates.
"Definitely, it was a big shock to me," said Fontel Mines, the starting receiver opposite Ogletree. "I just went over and told the guys somebody has to step up, and that's what football is all about. Nobody gets recruited to sit on the bench."
Replacing Davis on the depth chart is junior Mike Robertson, who has played in three games and is yet to catch a pass. Mines compared Robertson, who redshirted after walking on as a freshman in 2003, to quarterback Christian Olsen in that he's an experienced player in Virginia's system but has yet to receive much game action.
"You can always trust him to be in the right spot," Mines said. . . .
Senior Tony Franklin, Virginia's leading returning tackler with 5.5 per game, was listed as the backup at strong safety to sophomore Byron Glaspy.
"I didn't know that," Glaspy said. "Last year at this time, I was trying to make the travel squad."

[FONT=Arial,Helvetica][SIZE=-1]Hokies Set on Kick Teams
Virginia Tech has its special teams aces in order. Receivers Josh Morgan and Eddie Royal (Westfield) and cornerback Victor Harris will team to return kickoffs and punts, and Jared Develli will kick off. Senior Brandon Pace, Virginia Tech's place kicker, will also handle some of the kickoffs this season, Hokies Coach Frank Beamer said. If Pace is to make the NFL, he'll need to prove he can kick off, and Beamer wants to allow Pace to show his talent. . . .
Beamer said freshman Kam Chancellor will be the first backup at cornerback, basically ensuring he'll see some playing time. Freshman Sergio Render will start at guard, while any other freshmen likely would play special teams, if at all. Freshman defensive tackle John Graves, who had impressed in camp, will redshirt, Beamer said.
Carig reported from College Park; Kilgore reported from Charlottesville.