New Order Takes Hold At Maryland

Vanderlinden, Staff Emphasize `Team'

April 25, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- The rain was pouring, but it was still a fiery football scrimmage at Maryland two weeks ago when offensive lineman Brad Messina and defensive tackle Ramon Olivares carried their aggression beyond the whistle.

In rapid order, both were yanked from the scrimmage and interior defensive line coach Rubin Carter had Olivares down on the artificial turf practice field, where he cranked out some push-ups.

"You have no right to retaliate," the former Denver Broncos star bellowed. "Retaliation costs 15 yards and that's selfish. There's no room for that here."

Every Maryland player has received a similar dose of aggressive counseling during the Terps' first spring practice under coach Ron Vanderlinden. Hired to reverse more than a decade of mediocre football, Vanderlinden will conduct a Red-White game at Byrd Stadium tomorrow (3 p.m.) that will typify the past month.

In last year's spring game, then-coach Mark Duffner had first-teamers play together, and second-teamers do the same. Vanderlinden split up his starters and substitutes, pretty much what he has done this spring, when returning starters took turns on the scout team, and walk-ons got a chance with the first team.

"What that meant to me was that they don't want any individual bigger than the team," said quarterback Brian Cummings, who played an integral part in nine of Maryland's 11 wins over the last two seasons. "I was out there fighting for a position like everyone else."

Since being hired last December, Vanderlinden has shaken up nearly everything about the Terps, from the offense to the 7 a.m. study halls to the media guide.

"I heard that in the past, there had been a little bit of the star system at Maryland," Vanderlinden said. "In the media guide this year, you won't see any featured players. We need to develop a team dynamic."

Considering that Maryland lost half of its starters, the publication will be a must read. As expected, Cummings is the No. 1 quarterback, but the surprises include Peter Timmins at fullback.

One week into spring practice, Timmins moved over from linebacker, and worked his way to the top of the depth chart. Fullback is a critical position on a unit that struggled mightily over the past two seasons.

There will also be new starters at center and both wide receiver spots, but the backfield will have a familiar look. A slimmed-down Buddy Rodgers is running No. 1 at tailback, while Cummings' experience gave him the edge over Ken Mastrole.

"Brian Cummings is good enough for us to win with," Vanderlinden said. "Ken Mastrole will be."

The offensive line must improve, but it was hampered by injuries, as tight end Josh Hough was sidelined by a knee injury in the first week of practice, and right tackle John Feugill broke a bone in his foot three days ago.

Shawn Forte was in the mix at safety until he broke a leg last week. The secondary will have four new starters, and it's a major concern, but Maryland's defense hasn't been this strong up front since the mid-1980s.

Tailback Damone Boone got a late start in practice, but a lingering hamstring pull is not his biggest worry. Boone missed all of last season with the exception of one play in the second game, which will cost him a year's eligibility unless Maryland gets a favorable ruling on its appeal to the NCAA.

"Not to blame anybody, but that was irresponsible," Vanderlinden said of Boone's appearance against Alabama-Birmingham. "The NCAA hasn't always shown a lot of common sense, but we're going to appeal the fact that it was mismanaged."

There is no admission charge for the Red-White game. The winners get a steak dinner Monday night, while the losers will serve it, then dine on hot dogs and beans.

Terps depth chart

Offense

QB: Brian Cummings, Sr., 5-11, 195

Ken Mastrole, So. 6-4, 232

TB: Buddy Rodgers, Sr., 5-11, 230

Brian Underwood, Sr., 6-2, 197

Harold Westley, So., 5-7, 166

FB: Peter Timmins, So., 6-3, 227

Kenny Rogers, So., 5-9, 198

WR: Bruce James, Jr., 5-8, 170

Kendrick Walton, Jr., 6-3, 181

WR: Moises Cruz, Fr., 5-11, 179

Omar Cheeseboro, Fr., 6-2, 184

LT: Darryl Gilliam, Sr., 6-5, 321

Ryan Rezzelle, Jr., 6-6, 310

LG: Mitch Watkins, Sr., 6-2, 283

Eric Timothy, So., 6-3, 295

C: Vince Xanthos, So., 6-4, 295

Ben Thomas, So., 6-2, 289

RG: Pat Ward, Sr., 6-4, 310

Jamie Wu, So., 6-3, 305

RT: John Feugill, Jr., 6-8, 300

Brad Messina, So., 6-6, 299

TE: Tim Brown, Sr., 6-1, 250

or Mike Hull, Fr., 6-6, 244

Specialists

PK: Brad Rhodes, Jr., 5-8, 162

Mike Christy, Sr., 5-9, 165

P: Russell Edwards, Jr., 5-11, 204

Sean Starner, Fr., 5-11, 185

Defense

E: Eric Hicks, Sr., 6-6, 248

Jason Brown, Sr., 6-1, 241

T: Johnnie Hicks, Sr., 6-2, 267

Delbert Cowsette, So., 6-1, 274

T: Anthony Jenkins, Sr., 6-1, 252

Ramon Olivares, Sr., 6-4, 283

E: Eric Ogbogu, Sr., 6-4, 256

or Rasheed Simmons, Jr., 6-5, 254

SLB: Kendall Ogle, Jr., 6-1, 224

Rhett Hesprich, Sr., 6-2, 228

ILB: Eric Barton, Jr., 6-3, 235

Brett White, Sr., 6-1, 237

WLB: Erwyn Lyght, So., 6-0, 210

Ryan Gick, Sr., 5-10, 207

CB: Lewis Sanders, So., 6-1, 197

Lynde Washington, So., 5-6, 172

SS: Henry Baker, Sr., 6-2, 200

Todd Stewart, So., 6-0, 200

FS: Paul Jackson, Jr., 6-0, 187

Daniel Eiskant, So., 6-0, 202

CB: Troy Davidson, So., 6-0, 177

or Clifton Crosby, Jr., 5-10, 173

or Bryn Boggs, So., 5-11, 178

Pub Date: 4/25/97

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