Terps move Jones back to safety

Jackson's fracture brings quarterback stint to end

September 05, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Randall Jones is going back to safety after an intriguing, one-year run at quarterback for the Maryland football team.

Coach Ron Vanderlinden said the move became necessary when starting strong safety Tony Jackson broke his right ankle returning a punt in the third quarter of a 6-0, season-opening victory over Temple on Thursday night.

"Randall won't start right away because he has to catch up on some things," Vanderlinden said.

Jones did not play in the Temple game and has had trouble throwing throughout preseason workouts. He missed six practices with a sore arm and still had some problems passing when he returned to drills.

Also, redshirt freshman Calvin McCall and freshman Latrez Harrison were impressive in the preseason. McCall started and played the entire game against Temple, completing 10 of 23 passes for 100 yards; six of the incompletions were dropped balls. He also ran 10 times for 85 yards.

When Vanderlinden was asked eight days ago if Jones might return to safety, the coach said he "wasn't even going to address that question now."

Jones did not dodge the issue, saying, "If it's best for the team, I'll do it."

Jackson, a junior who was chosen The Sun's Male Athlete of the Year in 1997 for his football and baseball performances for Wilde Lake High, is expected to be out six to eight weeks. It is the second time in his career at Maryland that he has been stopped by an injury.

He missed four games last year because of a sprained knee.

Jones, a sophomore, started four of the 10 games he played in last season and made some big runs on the option. His 75-yard touchdown run against Duke was the longest run of the season from scrimmage for the Terps.

But his lack of arm strength enabled opponents to crowd the line of scrimmage, making it tough to move the ball on the ground.

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