Williams leads rush for RB job

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

August 18, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- It was a shortcoming that was overlooked in the angst over a defense and kicking game that ranked as the worst among the nation's 106 Division I-A teams.

For all the yardage the passing game piled up last year, Maryland finished last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing, netting a little more than 92 yards per game.

Mark Mason might make the Dallas Cowboys' developmental squad, but 1993 was his third straight injury-filled season as the superback in the Terps' one-back offense. Three substitutes had little success, but the Terps finally found a productive running back when kick returner Allen Williams switched from defensive back to superback after eight games.

Williams gained 118 yards against Florida State and 93 at North Carolina State, and is eager to see what he can do with four weeks of spring practice and a full preseason at running back.

"When I filled in last year, I wasn't that comfortable with [quarterback Scott Milanovich] or the offensive line," Williams said. "Now, I know them and I'm not wondering, 'Am I going back to defense?' I don't feel like I'm under the gun, but the running game has to produce more this year. We've got to achieve some kind of balance. If it comes down to a situation where we can't pass, we've got to be able to run."

Williams, a junior college transfer from Georgia Military, is in his last season of eligibility. He said that redshirt freshman Brian Underwood outplayed him in the first week of spring practice, and true freshmen Kendall Ogle and Buddy Rogers also made favorable impressions after four days of practice.

Williams also is being challenged by classmates Doug Burnett and Larry Washington, the one-time Randallstown High star who missed practice two days this week with an ingrown toenail.

Washington, who last season was slowed by a series of injuries that limited him to eight carries and 22 yards, expressed dissatisfaction with his role after spring practice. July rumors that he was transferring were untrue, and Washington has said he would be willing to redshirt this season if it's in his best interest. Offensive lineman Ron "Bam-Bam" White, one of the top recruits among last year's freshman class, has transferred to Nassau (N.Y.) Community College. White, 6 feet 6, 290 pounds, who would have backed up preseason All-American Steve Ingram at left tackle, could return to Maryland as early as next season.

White, who underwent an emergency appendectomy last September and was redshirted, would have three more seasons of eligibility after this one.

"He [White] wasn't able to get himself academically eligible for this semester," said Dan Dorazio, the Terps' offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. "He's going to play at Nassau this season, and our intention is to have him back here for the second [spring 1995] semester."

Dee Reed, who was recruited by the Terps as a quarterback but switched to tight end last spring, has left Maryland. Reed, who has three years of eligibility remaining, has returned to his home in Florida and might seek a transfer to a Division I-AA or Division II program where he could play quarterback.

Briefly

The Terps, whose artificial turf facility is being resurfaced, moved yesterday's morning session to Navy's Turf Field. . . . Latroy Fowlkes, The Baltimore Sun Defensive Player of the Year for North County High last season, has been moved from linebacker to nose guard. . . . Defensive end Jason Brown, one of the nine true freshmen who played on defense last season, has yet to practice. He has been on bereavement leave after the death of a family member. . . . Improved depth at defensive end has moved another true sophomore, Tim Watson, to tackle. . . n nTC One of the best competitions for playing time could come at right linebacker, where returning starter Erick Wood is being challenged by junior Tim Brown and redshirt freshman Brett White.

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