QB McCall won't return to Terps

Junior will concentrate on basketball

Friedgen happy with team progress

College Football

April 06, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Calvin McCall, Maryland's starting quarterback for the past two seasons, will not play for the Terrapins this fall.

McCall was unavailable to comment, but Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen said yesterday that McCall told him he was accepting a basketball scholarship from Gary Williams.

McCall, who'll be a junior in the fall, completed 198 of 378 passes for 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season. Also a reserve walk-on guard the past two seasons, he made brief appearances in 10 of the basketball team's 36 games, playing a total of 45 minutes and averaging 1.3 points.

McCall was dropped to fourth on the football depth chart behind Hill, sophomore Latrez Harrison and freshman Chris Kelley. When he returned from the Final Four in Minneapolis, McCall informed Friedgen of his decision.

"Calvin came to me Monday and said he had a scholarship from Coach [Gary] Williams and that he'd decided to play basketball," Friedgen said. "I said good luck. I need people who are fully committed to the program. I think it's very hard for a quarterback to play two sports, and I told Calvin that."

Maryland athletic officials told the Associated Press that McCall has not yet received a basketball scholarship.

"Calvin hardly made any winter workouts. I think from a credibility standpoint with the other players, I had to start him out at No. 4," Friedgen said. "That said, I would have given him a fair shot to earn the starting job."

Otherwise, Friedgen was pleased and surprised by how fast his team was learning new schemes.

Friedgen, who replaced the fired Ron Vanderlinden four months ago, started spring practice last week with three sessions that players called the toughest they'd seen outside of fall camp.

"I would compare them to two-a-days," returning center Melvin Fowler said, referring to twice-daily practices normally held in the summer. "They're intense, very up-tempo and it gives us a chance to show the coaches what the players can do."

Friedgen hasn't handed out the playbooks yet, but he expects the learning curve to get steeper for the players.

"I think they're going to hit the wall," Friedgen said. "But they've got to understand what we're trying to get done."

With Harrison and Kelley the only quarterbacks returning after this fall, Friedgen said he intends to sign two more for the 2002 recruiting class. For now, he's happy with Hill, a junior who looked good when he ran and threw effectively during a comeback that helped the Terps defeat N. C. State for their biggest victory of the past five years. The coach especially likes Hill's ability and eagerness to run the option.

Another two-sport player, safety Tony Jackson, will jettison baseball for the time being. Jackson starred in both sports at Wilde Lake and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians.

With the Terps coming off another losing season, and the challenge of a new system, Jackson decided to devote more time to football.

"Baseball's a luxury," he said. "It hurts not to play, but I have more time between football and school. The fact of learning a whole new system ... if I was playing baseball, it would put me behind."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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