Washington may miss Tech trip Talks to Duffner, returns to practice Maryland notebook

September 24, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Absent from practice earlier this week in part because of frustrations over a lack of playing time, reserve running back Larry Washington probably won't travel with the Maryland football team to its game tomorrow at Virginia Tech.

Washington, a junior from Randallstown who was The Sun's Offensive Player of the Year in 1990, was not available for comment yesterday. He did not attend Wednesday's practice. When asked at the time if he was unhappy with his playing time, he answered yes. Washington met with coach Mark Duffner later that night, and returned to practice yesterday.

Washington began the season third on the depth chart, but moved up to the No. 2 superback before the opener against Virginia. He carried four times for 8 yards against the Cavaliers, but was limited to special-teams duty against North Carolina and West Virginia the past two weeks.

Duffner, who said he'll make the final decision today on whether Washington will travel with the Terps this weekend, said minor injuries have affected Washington's status.

"Last week was the first full week of practice he was able to have without being affected by muscle pulls," Duffner said. "He's frustrated over a lack of playing time, but he knows the reasons."

Washington, one of the top prospects to come out of the Baltimore area in recent years, has had a checkered career at Maryland. He served a two-game suspension at the start of last season after agreeing to probation before judgment on a charge felony forgery of a credit card.

Washington had seven carries for 44 yards in the Terps' first win for Duffner, against Pitt last October, but severely injured his right knee on a 12-yard gain that ended his 1992 season. He underwent reconstructive knee surgery after the season and did not participate in spring practice.

Washington came into preseason camp slightly overweight, but passed conditioning tests. Kameron Williams, who missed all of last season with an injury, moved ahead of Washington and Doug Burnett at superback the past two games.

In another development, starting superback Mark Mason sustained a mild ankle sprain in practice, but it shouldn't affect his status for Virginia Tech.

Freshman Johnnie Hicks, the starter at nose guard, and reserve wide receiver Wade Inge will not play at Virginia Tech. Both have injuries to their right ankles.

Another Terp on the mend is Mark Sturdivant, a senior and the top defensive lineman before breaking a bone in his right ankle in the season-opening loss to Virginia. Sturdivant's progress will be re-evaluated next Wednesday, but Duffner said that an examination Wednesday was encouraging.

"The healing process is ahead of schedule," said Duffner, who mentioned the Oct. 16 homecoming game against Duke when asked to speculate on the earliest possible return for Sturdivant. "Personally, I'm not going to rule that out. Beyond that, I'm very optimistic about his return for our last four games."

Briefly

Virginia Tech K Ryan Williams, who lost half of his right foot in a lawn-mower accident as a youngster, wears a shoe similar to the one used by NFL record holder Tom Dempsey. Williams, who needed the approval of the NCAA and the Big East Conference to use the shoe, hasn't attempted any field goals this season, but he's 16-for-25 over the past two seasons. . . . Virginia Tech is a member of the Big East, which went 1-3-1 against non-conference competition last week. The lone victory was West Virginia's 42-37 win at Maryland. . . . Fewer than 75 obstructed view and/or single seats remain for the Oct. 2 game at Byrd Stadium against Penn State. Approximately 3,000 tickets remain for the Florida State (Nov. 6) and Duke (Oct. 16) games, which must be purchased as a package. . . . Maryland QB Scott Milanovich leads the ACC in total offense and punting (44.2 yards).

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