Terps to use co-starters at quarterback

Coach says situations will decide who plays

August 26, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland football became a little more intriguing last night when coach Ron Vanderlinden said he has decided to enter the season opener against Temple with quarterbacks Randall Jones and Calvin McCall serving as "co-starters."

"They are two capable quarterbacks, and they'll be on the field depending on the game situation," said Vanderlinden after a final preseason scrimmage last night that was curtailed by heavy rain.

"I haven't determined yet who will be out there for the first series, but I'm going with co-starters, like Clemson [Brandon Streeter and Woody Dantzler] used last year."

Freshman Latrez Harrison has been the most impressive quarterback in preseason drills, but Vanderlinden said he will not "start a true freshman in the first game of the season."

The move by Vanderlinden to give Jones equal time with McCall against the Owls next Thursday in Philadelphia comes as something of a surprise, because Jones has been slowed by a sore throwing arm through a lot of workouts.

"It's hard to discount all the experience Randall gained last season," said Vanderlinden of the sophomore from Frederick who started four of the 10 games he played in and had the longest run from scrimmage all season for the Terps, a 75-yard touchdown run against Duke. "Randall does give you a great threat on the option and he has proven he can throw the ball."

Jones became the first true freshman in Maryland football history to start at quarterback, when he got the call at Clemson last Oct. 10.

Jones, 6 feet 2, 212 pounds, completed 44 of 98 for 567 yards and three touchdowns last season and was fourth on the team in rushing with 230 yards on 77 carries.

For McCall, a 6-3, 189-pound redshirt freshman from Orlando, Fla., this will be the opportunity he spent all last season on the sidelines preparing for. McCall has improved each day in the preseason and has displayed a strong arm along with an ability to run.

Vanderlinden said McCall "actually passed Randall at one point" late last season, but "we decided not to waste a year's eligibility."

Vanderlinden said that junior backup tailback Mookie Sikyala (bruised shoulder) is doubtful for Temple and starting sophomore cornerback Tony Okanlawon (right hamstring) is still day-to-day.

Pub Date: 8/26/99

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