Crowded Backfield A Boon for the Terps Offense

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - When Wes Brown was asked about the competition at running back on the Maryland football team this spring, the talented sophomore raved about the camaraderie at the position.

“If there is an order, we don’t care,” Brown said. “We’re just going out to play because we all support each other no matter who’s in the front or who’s in the back.”

The talent level in the backfield means there could be changes in that order at any time. Brandon Ross and Albert Reid return after combining for 1,185 yards last season. The shifty Jacquille Veii adds even another element to the Terps attack.

“Practice has been going great,” Ross said. “Everybody is getting reps, so we’re trying to make the best of the reps we do get … Each rep we’re going hard.”

Ross wants to make sure he uses each play in practice to improve on all aspects of his game.

“From a physical standpoint, I want to improve on running lower at the point of contact, and definitely no fumbles,” Ross said. “I feel like I can work on it [running north-south] a lot. It’s just a matter of looking at your reads. I think I’m a better back when I’m going north-south. “

Veii, the most inexperienced member of the group, tries to extract attributes from each of his talented teammates to add to his own game.

“From Brandon, I learned to just be a vet and try to get the mental part of the game right,” Veii said. “From [Albert Reid], he’s a tough runner and a hard worker, so I just try to practice like how he does. Wes is a tough back and runs low, so I try to run low. I’m small guy so I got to do that.”

Regardless of who is getting the carries, the Terrapin offense will be in good hands and Veii believes the challenge of shining in practice will make the group one of head coach Randy Edsall’s best units.  

“It’s a challenge because they know everything,” Veii said. “Everything comes easier to them. It’s a blessing because that can teach you. You try to standout and that’s just what I’m trying to do.”