Thunderstorm prevents Terps from weathering more injuries

Rain stops practice as six players hurt already

August 15, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Divine intervention.

That's what Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden called the heavy thunderstorm that hit here yesterday and wiped out the last half of afternoon practice and halted the growing injury list at six after just three days of two-a-day workouts.

Sophomore No. 1 quarterback Randall Jones has a sore arm and will not throw for a third straight day today. Two other injured starters: senior right guard Jamie Wu (three bulging discs in his back) and sophomore cornerback Tony Okanlawon (pulled hamstring).

Jones is expected to begin throwing tomorrow; Wu and Okanlawon are out indefinitely.

Backup redshirt freshman center Sam Marvis (shoulder), backup redshirt freshman right guard Bob Krantz (twisted ankle) and sophomore defensive back Daryl Whitmer (twisted knee) are also out indefinitely.

Six others -- Lewis Sanders, Rod Littles, Aaron Thompson, Todd Wike, Corey Smith and Jafar Williams -- have gone down in the past three days because of heat dehydration but all of them should practice today.

"We've been going pretty hard and are pretty banged up," said Vanderlinden. "Maybe it [the storm] is a blessing. Maybe it's divine intervention."

Meanwhile, one of the major surprises early in the workouts has been freshman wide receiver Scooter Monroe of John Carroll High in Bel Air.

"Scooter has been an impressive freshman," said Vanderlinden. "He has speed and then he displays his running back skills when he catches the ball. He makes people miss. He just breaks loose often."

NOTES: Vanderlinden said he "would be open" to having Moises Cruz return to the team next spring. Cruz quit for the 1999 season Thursday, just one day after Vanderlinden announced that the junior wide receiver was still suspended indefinitely due to assault charges placed against him last April 18 by Prince George's County police. Cruz's trial on those charges is set for Sept. 21.

Vanderlinden responded yesterday to second-team All-ACC running back LaMont Jordan's plea to carry the ball 22 times a game, saying, "I'd love to give LaMont the ball 22 times a game, but we have to be more productive on offense. We only averaged 59 plays a game last year, and I'd like to average 69."

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