Walk-on Henley gets chance, runs with it

UM linebacker picks off 2 passes in spring game

Hill sparks White, 28-3

College Football

April 29, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Nearly six years after his last game action, Andrew Henley made quite an impression during Maryland's spring football scrimmage yesterday.

Henley, a walk-on linebacker who will be a sophomore this fall, picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown during the White team's 28-3 victory over the Red team.

His performance was one of the highlights of the day. Starting quarterback Shaun Hill threw for a touchdown and completed 13 of his 23 passes, while throwing one interception. Sophomore running back hopeful Bruce Perry ran for 60 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and senior receiver Guilian Gary caught six passes for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen was happy with his team's performance, and with the approximately 5,000 fans who came to Byrd Stadium.

"It was a great crowd with a lot of enthusiasm," Friedgen said. "A great afternoon for Maryland football."

Henley, 20, made 93 yards worth of returns - including a 48-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter - to finish off a spring that may have paid for his schooling, according to Friedgen.

"He would be a guy who's in the running for a scholarship," the coach said, adding that Henley would likely play special teams if he didn't play on snaps from scrimmage. "I've been watching him for four weeks; today is no surprise to me."

The surprise is that Henley hasn't played a game since his days on the DeMatha freshman team in 1995. He said he focused on academics over his last three years of high school.

"I worked out with guys who planned to try out for football," he said. "They recommended that I come out."

He picked off quarterback Latrez Harrison's pass to the left side of the field and ran it back 48 yards for his score with 12:26 left in the fourth quarter. Soon after, he intercepted a Chris Kelley pass and ran it back 45 yards to the 13-yard line.

Overall, Friedgen was happy with the scrimmage, including the performance from Hill. After a slow beginning, Hill caught fire and found redshirt freshman Steve Suter (North Carroll) for a 21-yard touchdown pass for the White near the end of the second quarter.

"Shaun Hill rose to the top today," Friedgen said. "If he didn't throw that last interception, he looked good. I saw the growth of a quarterback today."

NOTES: Harrison, a junior, provided the game's most explosive play by hitting Gary for a 57-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 165 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Redshirt freshman Kelley completed eight of 19 passes for 72 yards and two interceptions. ... Junior receiver Scooter Monroe (John Carroll) had a strong game, catching six passes for 88 yards. ... Strong safety Madieu Williams will sit out this season, but the Towson junior transfer impressed observers by making five tackles and breaking up two passes. ... Sophomore defensive tackle Landon Jones led all defenders with six tackles. ... Junior Brooks Barnard (Broadneck), hospitalized with pneumonia early Thursday morning, only produced one booming punt, but averaged 41.4 yards on eight attempts. ... Rovel Hamilton, a sophomore cornerback, got his release from Friedgen this week. He will transfer and did not play yesterday.

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