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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Just because spring practice ended in April doesn't mean members of the Maryland football program have not been busy preparing for the 2011 season which gets underway Monday, Sept. 5 when the Terps play host to Miami at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
The spring semester ended last month and the players began summer classes and the team's off-season conditioning program with strength coach Drew Wilson two weeks ago.
Head coach Randy Edsall visited with the local media Tuesday at the Gossett Team House for a post-spring/pre-summer update. He released a post-spring depth chart and touched on a number of topics during the 30-minute session in Young Dining Hall.
On the team captains:
"I was able to appoint captains about a week or so ago. They are just four outstanding guys who I think will be great leaders for our program - Kenny Tate and Joe Vellano on defense and Davin Meggett and Andrew Gonnella on offense. It's really important to me from the standpoint that you have that leadership in place and I had a chance to really sit back and take a look at the big picture and really evaluate all the guys on our football team before I came to that decision. These young men are going to be guys that will be strong. They know what we need to do to be successful in all areas, not just on the field, but off the field and in the workouts. With not being able to be around our players in the summertime, it's really important that the leadership of this team takes over and that's what those four young men will bring to us. I'll be meeting with them on a weekly basis during the season. I had a meeting with them this morning just to touch base with them and let them know what the plan was for preseason practice and asked them for their input on some things. I'm really, really excited about those four and the leadership that they're going to bring to our team."
On the injured players:
"We're in pretty good shape from that standpoint. Pete DeSouza ended up having surgery and had different rods put in [his leg] and other ones taken out, so he's recovering. He's still got a long way to go. Justin Gilbert (knee) is coming along. We know that he is not going to be ready until October. Justin Lewis is doing the things that he needs to do to get himself ready. If he's not, then we have other people that have proven that they can play and really I think other than that everybody else is good. Those were really the three main ones. Avery Graham is out there [in summer workouts]. He'll be fine when we get going."
On the fullback depth with the departure of Taylor Watson and Haroon Brown:
"We've got Rahsaan Moore and Jeff Hernandez who are on the team. We have Tyler Cierski who will be coming in as a freshman and those are the three that we'll go with."
On the quarterback depth in the program:
"Maybe it's for me, but a lot of times with quarterbacks you hope you can go through [the season] where you never get to your third guy and most of the time you can. But I feel very confident with who we have [at quarterback] and again, people make decisions and they move on. We looked at the possibility of bringing in somebody else, but at this point in time, there was nobody there and you don't want to take somebody just to take somebody. I really believe as we evaluated our recruiting that we felt that there were some really, really good quarterbacks that we were recruiting for 2012 that could have been more beneficial to us than trying to say hey we've got to get a guy in here now. And all that means is that we will probably take two this class."
On the team's academic standing:
"Well, I think from where we were and where we're at right now, I think the young people did a pretty good job. We had 65 percent of our team get over a 2.5 [grade point average] or better in the spring semester and they understand what we want from them from an academic standpoint. [Assistant athletics director/academic support & career development] Michael Harris has done a very good job since he's been here and [associate athletics director/academic support & career development] Chris Uchacz the same. Working together collectively I like the direction we're going. We still have a lot of work to do, but like I said, we've got the program in place to make sure that these young men can be successful. Now, they've got to do their part, but what we're doing is we're giving them every opportunity to be the best they can be in the classroom. I'm pleased with the direction we're going and I'm pleased with the results. Are we where I want us to be? No. But I'm pleased with from where I got here in January to where we are now. I'm pleased with the progress we've made."
On selling season tickets:
"I'd love to have 54,000 season tickets sold. Again, I'm trying to do my part in engaging people and talking to people and being visible, and I think you're going to see more of a campaign taking place here as we start in July to do that. You just hope that people get on board because when you see the seven home games that we have and you've got a quarterback in Danny O'Brien and [linebacker like] Kenny Tate - two guys that have national recognition - and then couple them with the other people that are on this team who understand what the pageantry and excitement that college football is all about, you would hope that those numbers increase. We'll just hope to continue to work and do the things to get people to try and buy those tickets."
Football Season Tickets: Season tickets for the 2011 football season are available and start as low as $130. Click here to place an order for the seven-game home slate which includes games vs. Miami, West Virginia, Clemson and Virginia.
Roster Update: The Terps have gone through some changes with their roster this spring. Ryan Donohue, Gary Douglas and Tyler Smith decided to transfer, while Haroon Brown and Taylor Watson will graduate this summer and not play with the team in the fall. In addition, Nigel King, a true freshman who enrolled in Maryland in January, has not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse to play in 2011. He will remain with the program and redshirt. Edsall also announced that Zachariah Kerr "did not meet his academic requirements" in the spring and will not be eligible to play for the Terps in the fall. His future with the program has yet to be determined. Former Maryland basketball player Cliff Tucker, who spent the spring with the football team, will not play this fall. There was not a scholarship available for Tucker.
Edsall Open: The Terps held the inaugural Edsall Open on Monday at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md. The golf tournament served as a fund raiser for the Maryland Gridiron Network (MGN) which helps support the football program. There were 31 foursomes who played in the event and 220 people attended the evening's dinner and silent auction. ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt served as the emcee and a foursome which included Rick Furlough and defensive line coach Greg Gattuso had the low round of the day.
Edsall Open Sponsors
Presenting Title Sponsor
Rich and Laura Novak
John and Diane Alahouzos
Utz Quality Foods
Harry and Nicole Geller Foundation
Harry Martin (Intelligent Decisions)
Terrapin Sports Marketing
Saco Construction - Steve Allen
Stan and Sara Goldstein
Colin and Ann Potts
Upcoming Dates for Maryland Football