With its season opener against Florida International 11 days away, the Maryland football team held its final open practice on Tuesday afternoon at the on-campus practice facility.
Preseason camp is set to break Thursday after morning meetings with the players moving into their permanent residences that afternoon. The Terps will hold a walk-thru Wednesday morning with a full practice later in the day.
Head coach Randy Edsall addressed the media following practice on Tuesday and touched on several topics including the status of the offensive line heading into the season opener.
“Once we get into game week and we have to put out a two-deep we will,” said Edsall about the starting five. “But we looked like we’ve got some guys who can settle in there. We had Mike Madaras at left [tackle], De’Onte Arnett at left guard, Sal [Conaboy] at center, Mike Dunn at right guard and Ryan Doyle at right tackle. That’s pretty much how I think that will be; we just hope not to get any injuries.”
A popular topic amongst the media for the past two weeks has been the competition for the No. 2 quarterback spot. Edsall hinted this competition could extend into the start of the season.
“Right now, we’re in a situation where it’s still an “or” situation,” Edsall said. “Nobody really separated themselves. It’s really Caleb [Rowe] and Ricardo [Young]. Perry’s [Hills] probably down. I think Perry’s still coming back a little bit from that knee injury. That’s where we are, but anything can change. I’m waiting for somebody to step up. If not, we’ll just make a week-to-week decision or situation-to-situation decision.”
Edsall touched on the development of wide receiver Stefon Diggs as a leader at media day to begin camp and believes the wideout is embracing the role so far in camp.
“I think he’s really stepping up more as a leader,” said Edsall. “That’s the one thing I challenged him with is that he needs to be more of a leader, not only by example, but also being vocal. I think he understand what his role is and what he needs to do. He is stepping up and doing it, and he’s getting better at it each and every day. It’s good to see that development take place.”
Davis Earns the Nod at Safety: Edsall said sophomore Sean Davis has earned the starting job at one of the safety positions. But junior A.J. Hendy remains very much in the mix particularly on special teams and in the Terps’ dime package.
“Right now, we have Sean with the No. 1’s, but that one was as close as you can probably get. That’s what we told the kids. It was close. Sean knows that he’s got to perform each day. A.J. has practiced very hard, he has before too.
“As I told A.J., you’re a starter on this football team. He’s starting for us on dime and special teams. We had to get these guys to understand how important special teams are because I think we’ve got enough talent to be pretty special on special teams.”