Aug. 28, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Quotes from Tuesday's news conference in advance of Maryland's game against William & Mary Saturday at 3 p.m. inside Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
Head Coach Randy Edsall
"Before I get into anything about William & Mary it's not every day that you get a chance to bring young men into your office and visit with them. Some of the men are paying their own way through the University of Maryland. To bring them in and tell them through their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the program we are able to help them for this year and potentially beyond that. I was fortunate today that I could bring Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil in and put him on scholarship and to see the reaction from all of the guys. Some of them were very emotional. To be able to do that makes you feel good for them and their families. To let them know that if you work hard and have ability and do what people ask you do to there are rewards out there for you. For these six young men I am so proud of them and happy for them and their folks. Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil, Greg Parcher, Kwabena Ofori, Clarence Claiborne, Jeff Hernandez and Alex Walker they will all be on scholarship for this year. We are all very proud of them and thankful for their hard work. I know their parents will be proud of them and what they accomplished.
"William & Mary is a team that is extremely well coached defensively who can create a lot of problems for you with their scheme. They are very aggressive and active on defense. Offensively they are very sound and multiple with what they do. They are also very sound and solid in the kicking game. We are going to have to make sure that we are doing the things we are supposed to out there. I have been very impressed with B.W. Webb their corner and return man. He stands out on film. I have the upmost respect for Jimmye Laycock and his staff. He has been there for 33 years and has just done and fantastic job. We are looking forward to the opportunity and hopefully we won't have any more injuries this week."
On if senior place-kicker Nick Ferrara is injured:
"Nick [Ferrara] is kind of a day to day situation. Today they told us he could kick ten field goals. We will see where he is at. With Nick not being out there Bradley [Craddock] has won that job in terms of place-kicking and punting will be a game-time decision if we go with Brad or Nate [Renfro]. Brad has been consistent with his placement kick attempts and with Nick not being there he is our guy. We will see how Nick plays out through the rest of this week."
"He [Ferrara] had a hip procedure done after the season. He started kicking during the preseason and all of a sudden he had some issues. That's when I decided to shut him down and he was sore. That's when the trainers shut him down in the last week or so."
On William & Mary's quarterback Brent Caprio:
"He is a very smart guy. He has a good command of what they are doing. He can make the throws they want him to make. He runs their offense to the best of what they can with the people they have there. That's why they named him their starter."
On freshman quarterback Perry Hills' progression:
"I can't read a crystal ball but I think Perry [Hills] will do well. The reason I think he will do well is he prepares very well. Any time it's a first year guy going out and playing no one knows how he will do or react. All signs point to him going out and playing well. Perry won't be able to do it all himself everyone else around him will have to go out and do it as well. He has people surrounding him who are very capable. It's my job and Mike Locksley to get Perry to understand to just go out and do his job. He just needs to execute his offense and do the things he is supposed to do as a quarterback. If everyone else does his job he will be fine. I'm not going to lose any sleep about going in with a true freshman because he doesn't play or conduct himself as a true freshman."
On using last year as motivation:
"I haven't mentioned anything about last year. It's a new year. It's about what we have been doing since January. There are a lot of people who doubt what we can do. Whenever you have that it motivates you because you have that chip on your shoulder. The only thing we can do is go out and play on Saturday. We have a chance to go out and show who we are and what we are all about and take it from there."
On the team's injuries:
"We don't have to put out an injury report until Thursday. I think Keith Bowers is probably doubtful but Kenny [Tate], [A.J.] Hendy and Matt [Robinson] are probably out. I think Keith is the one who has the best chance to play. It doesn't look good that we will have any of those guys for this game."
On the running back position and why he chose Brandon Ross as the starter:
"We just thought that he was the most consistent guy with what we were looking for. That's why he is number one. We have some backs that have some different problems. We will probably play three guys in the game based on what we want to accomplish. Brandon had the overall consistency every day that put him in the number one spot."
On the defensive line:
"We will have six guys to rotate. We have Joe [Vellano], Quinton [Jefferson], A.J. [Francis], and Justin Anderson at the end position. We have Darius [Kilgo] and Alex [Walker] at nose guard. But Isaiah [Ross] won't be ready this week either."
On helping prepare the freshman quarterback:
"We as a staff we have to make sure we don't go in with too much. We need to do the things he can handle. He needs to know he has ten other guys out there. Perry [Hills] needs to go out and make first downs and have the team move the ball. He needs to know every play doesn't have to be a big play. His job is to move the chains and work the ball downfield. He doesn't have to make a spectacular play every time. He needs to utilize his weapons and make the right reads. We need to make him feel comfortable with the game plan. He has played in front of a lot of people in high school and with our scrimmage so I don't think he will be star struck. He is a very cool and easy going customer. He will be well prepared and play well."
On which true freshmen will play:
"The ones you see in the two deep are the ones who will most likely play. Mike Madaras and Nick Brigham will probably play. Perry Hills, Stefon [Diggs], Quinton Jefferson, Avery Thompson will all play. The guys who are backups will play on special teams. Alvin Hill and Anthony Nixon will see time. Wes Brown and Albert Reid will see some time on special teams. I have a list of guys who we are thinking about redshirting but our plans can change with injuries or other situations."
On how much has been installed:
"When we come out of training camp that's the stuff we are going to use. We aren't going to reinvent the wheel. We installed a lot. We won't use everything we worked on in training camp in this game though. We will look at what they do defensively and put together a plan that can attack what they do. With the true freshmen we won't have the same package we would with a fifth year senior. It is an extensive package he has picked up though."
On recruiting Perry Hills:
"We were fortunate that he came down to our camp so we had a chance to work with him. To watch him make all the throws, move, and his poise and presence are what impressed me and the staff. He committed early to us in the summer. He had a really good year. Talking to the coaches he played against, they raved about him. I have always had good luck with guys who are wrestlers who play football. With wrestling there is a lot of discipline and sacrifice. His experience as a wrestler is something that I really liked as well."
On William & Mary's offense:
"They are going to run the zone, the power and play action on offense. They may move the pocket or do different step drops. They are multiple with what they do. They will take shots down field. They do a great job of executing the game plan."
On who the number two quarterback will be:
"There are things that we like that Caleb [Rowe] does, and there are things that we like that Devin [Burns] does. It could depend on the situation if something happens who we put in there. I will have a better feel at the end of the week. They both have strengths and things to improve on."
On sophomore defensive lineman Darius Kilgo:
"Darius earned the right with his play to be number one at nose guard. That allowed us to move A.J. [Francis] to end. All of those guys can play either position. We were looking for the three best guys. We knew A.J. had the ability to play end. With what we are asking the nose guard to do it allowed us to move A.J. to end and have Darius at nose guard."
On the competition at the inside linebacker spot opposite of Demetrius Hartsfield:
"There is still competition going on. Cole [Farrand] was more consistent throughout preseason. We also understand that we have confidence that L.A [Goree] can go in and do the job as well."
On the special teams:
"There is only so much that you can do during the preseason. I thought we did a good job with the opportunities we had. We have the right people in there and it's just about going in there and executing on Saturday. I feel really good about Stefon [Diggs] as the return guy."
On the offensive line:
"I think the offensive line has made really good process during camp. They are only going to continue to get better as they play more. The fact that Justin Gilbert is healthy and more confident, De'Onte [Arnett] and Sal [Conaboy] have gotten better, Bennett [Fulper] has settled in and Nick [Klemm] has gotten better. All of the backups are either true freshmen or redshirt freshmen. They have all done very well. We just need to play with a lower pad level."
Senior Defensive Lineman A.J. Francis
On the defensive line:
"It's going to be interesting to see how we all work together. Me and Joe [Vellano] have had chemistry since we started playing together two years ago; that's why we're such good friends now. Hopefully [Darius] Kilgo can come in and build on that and make our season better. It's a lot easier to make yourself better when you have great players around you; that's what Joe's done to all of us. He's a great player, he made everyone better around him."
On starting the season:
"It's huge to start off the season on a good note because everyone's goal going into the season is to play in the National Championship game, and unless you're from the SEC, you're not going to do that unless you go undefeated. You've got to go out there, and the first way to go undefeated is to win your first game. We started last season on a good note, we just couldn't prolong it, and this year, hopefully we can mimic that first week of success and build off of it, which is something we didn't really do a good job of last year. Hopefully this year can be a great year for us."
Senior Offensive Lineman Justin Gilbert
On offensive lineman Nick Klemm:
"Klemm has definitely taken control up top. He's a guy that's been a great backup for us the past couple years and now it's finally his time. Things worked out where he's taking over as head man, and he's definitely run with it. He hasn't taken it for granted that he was the next guy in line or anything like that. He's came in with a sprain coming into camp and he's really done a good job of improving his game, as well as that of the entire offensive line."
On the biggest improvement on the OL:
"I would have to say Sal [Conaboy]. Sal played in those games last year, he took over the starting role. He's definitely our guy now, he's starting in center. He showed the coaches in the last games last year, he showed the coaches during the spring. He's stepped up and really improved; he's playing a lot better. He's put some weight on, and he's going to be a really good football player. He's got a couple years left, and I'm excited to watch him progress."
On the season opener against William & Mary:
"We're excited about it. You go the whole year -- winter workouts, spring ball, summer workouts, camp and then finally you see all that work comes together. I know a bunch of us were walking out there the other day and saw they put all the season ticket seats in the stadium, and that's when it really hits you. This is it. All the hard work you've done is about to pay off in that first game."
Freshman Quarterback Perry Hills
On playing his first collegiate game:
"I'm always a little antsy getting into football season. I love playing football, I love this sport. I've been doing it since I was six years old. I'm just really excited and I can't wait."
On being recruited for both collegiate wrestling and football:
"I wasn't really sure going into my junior year if I was going to wrestle in college or play football. It all depended on really who offered me, or for wrestling, how much of an offer it was. My heart's always been with football. I love wrestling, but football is where my heart's always been. But Maryland's a great school, so if it wasn't for football, I definitely would've considered it for wrestling as well."
On the youth of the team:
"We have a great freshman class this year, a great group of guys. We all get along very well. Over the summer we got along, [during] all the workouts we got to know each other really well, like a family, like a brotherhood. That's what you're looking for in a team."
On adjusting to being the starting quarterback:
"Obviously learning the playbook [has been the hardest]. But I always looked at it as hey, I want to be a starter, I don't want to be the backup. I prepared like I was going to start, and Coach always told us, `Hey, you're one play away from getting in.' I always just tried to prepare myself in case something did happen, and God forbid something did happen, I was ready to step up and take over the job. But the playbook, that's the biggest part going into college, is definitely picking up a new playbook."
Senior Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano
On changing the freshmen's mentality:
"There's no flinching, there's no hesitation. If you're wrong, just go hard. We can correct it. I think it's just communicating; don't do something without communicating down the line."
On the importance of a win this Saturday:
"It's a program win. We want to get Maryland Football back on track, and I think we're heading in the right direction. We just have to go out there one game at a time and get some plays under our belts, get the freshmen going a little and then just go out there and play as hard as we can."
On quarterback Perry Hills:
"I think he's really come along in practice. He's known for the last couple weeks that he is the guy, so that's a huge thing going into the game instead of having to jump in there second quarter. I think he's been really hitting the film hard and Coach Locksley's been working with him really hard, and the offensive line. I think he's ready to go."