Terps Gear Up For Saturday's Scrimmage
Aug. 16, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A day after it was announced junior quarterback C.J. Brown would miss the 2012 season with a torn ACL, the University of Maryland football team hit the practice field for the second time with Perry Hills as the number one signal-caller.
The Terps completed a spirited early morning workout Thursday at the on-campus practice facility and held an evening practice there as well. They'll hold one more practice Friday morning before moving out of the dorms and into their permanent residences, and then hold a scrimmage open to the public Saturday at 3 p.m.
Working with the first team for the second day, Hills helped lead the team through a 22-period practice with an emphasis on 11-on-11 work, including two-minute drills at the end of the session.
Hills, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound product from Pittsburgh, impressed head coach Randy Edsall and his teammates with his poise at the line of scrimmage.
"I think the biggest thing is you have to take a look first and foremost who can control the huddle," said Edsall. "Can they get to the line of scrimmage and there's no delay of games, and getting everybody lined up and doing all those things. Then it's up to a lot of the other people around him.
"I've been pleased with what I've seen. I've been pleased with what I've seen out of Caleb [Rowe] too. We're going to be fine there, it's just that we've got to keep getting them as many reps as we can and then again, doing the things we know they can do."
With Rowe taking the second-team snaps, sophomore running back Justus Pickett also came away impressed with the pair.
"They've been doing very well," said Pickett. "They look poised in the pocket, and they've been able to make plays you wouldn't expect them to make as freshmen. They've been able to take control of the offense and just run it as if they were back in high school and look as comfortable and are doing just as good of a job as C.J."
Hills and Rowe, along with third-string quarterback Devin Burns, will have a number of veterans around them to provide advice. The Terps have a pair of senior wide receivers in Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins, who combined for 82 receptions last year. There is also a senior trio of tight ends in Matt Furstenburg, Devonte Campbell and Ryan Schlothauer.
The offensive line, meanwhile, has been working with four juniors or seniors on the first team. One who has impressed so far in camp is right guard De'Onte Arnett.
"I see a guy that's playing with a little more confidence," said Edsall. "He is a little bit stronger, he's got a little bit more weight to him, and he understands everything. Those five guys upfront are going to be important. Those guys have come a long way but we still have a lot of work to do before September."
Robinson to Miss Three Weeks: Edsall said sophomore safety Matt Robinson will miss a minimum of three weeks with a shoulder injury. In his absence, freshman Sean Davis has been taking first team reps at strong safety. Another freshman, Anthony Nixon, has been getting reps with the second team at free safety. "The thing I like is they play very hard and they play very aggressive," said Edsall. "They're not afraid to stick their nose in there and come up and hit people. So now it's just a matter of getting them to understand the techniques a little better, them getting their assignments down, but I like all the things they've shown so far."
Johnson Taking Snaps at Safety, Too: Edsall said defensive back Jeremiah Johnson, who was listed as a starter at one cornerback spot heading into camp, also took some snaps at safety. "Jeremiah was a guy that came in yesterday and said `Hey if you need me at safety I can go there too.' So we just took a look at him at safety for a few snaps today."
C.J. Brown Update: With Brown, who missed nearly all of 2010 after suffering an injury in the season opener, set to miss all of 2012, Edsall said he has had discussions with Brown and his father on applying for a sixth year of eligibility. "Usually you have to miss two full years due to injury, and he only played a few handfuls of plays [in 2010] so I would think that that would probably count. But that's something we'll work with our compliance people on and continue to research. Because I don't think you can apply for that until after that eligibility, that fifth year is done. But that is something that's in our plans and we've talked about."
Fan Appreciation Day Set for Saturday: Saturday's scrimmage, which will be held in Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, is open to the public and will give Maryland football fans a close-up glimpse of the team and the new FieldTurf. Gates open at 2 p.m. and the scrimmage will start at 3:00. Terrapin fans will have the opportunity to gather autographs from players immediately following the session. Athletics department officials will be on hand for select-a-seat and mezzanine upgrade opportunities for the 2012 season. Season tickets for this year's six-game home slate start as low as $114. Free parking is available on Saturday in Lot 1 and fans can access Byrd through Gate I.