For oft-injured Bryant, those are the breaks

Right guard starting again after missing first 3 games

Maryland notebook

College Football

October 20, 2003|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - It would be nice to think that Lamar Bryant's torment ended when the healing of his right foot did the same.

After missing the first three games of Maryland's football season, the senior right guard has come back from a break suffered during preseason to start all but one game of the Terrapins' five-game winning streak.

But for Bryant - who last season earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors - playing football has often meant trading one injury for another.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's Sports section reported incorrectly that Maryland Terrapins football place-kicker Nick Novak had suffered a concussion against Duke Oct. 11. Novak experienced headaches last week but was not found to have a concussion.

"It's part of the game," said Bryant, who is working his way through a bruised left shoulder joint he suffered several weeks ago. "You're never going to feel as good as you do before the season starts."

That would explain why he was somewhat nonchalant about the bruise, which became bothersome enough that he was barely practicing in the week before the Duke game Oct. 11. He expects to start against Georgia Tech on Thursday night in Atlanta.

Bryant began his college career in 1999 by fracturing a bone in his left foot on the first day of fall practice.

He called his current situation "something that I can deal with.

"I've played with a lot worse - sprained ankles, et cetera. I can go on and on, but it's part of the game."

But missing the game is the most painful part for Bryant, as he found out when he suffered his most recent foot injury during the second week of practice. When the Terps began their season at Northern Illinois, Bryant was at home, out of the starting lineup for the first time since the 2000 season.

"Being at home and watching my team go into battle, I was truly heartbroken," he said. "I'd be on the sideline with my teammates, because I think I'm probably the only guy who loves football practice. To not be out there, it frustrates me every day that I'm not out there. And it only motivates me to get back out there. Just another hurdle to get over."

Just another trip

Maryland's last trip to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech was a notable one.

It came two years ago, and it yielded a 20-17 upset victory over a Yellow Jackets team that was expected to challenge for the ACC title. The Terps eventually won the title, clinching a bowl appearance and significantly raising the program's profile.

It was also the first trip back to Georgia for the team's coach, Ralph Friedgen - who had been Tech's offensive coordinator for two stints before coming to Maryland - making for an emotional game.

"Every year [after] you leave, you feel a little less," Friedgen said last week. "With the way we won the game, I was elated [for our team], but I felt a little bad for the other team, which I never do. This year I won't feel any of that."

Extra point

Kicker Nick Novak, who was named the ACC's special teams Player of the Week last Monday, has recovered from a concussion suffered in the Duke game and is expected to play at Georgia Tech.

Next for Terps

Matchup:Maryland (5-2, 2-1) vs. Georgia Tech (4-3, 2-2)

Site:Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta

When:Thursday, 7:45 p.m.

TV/Radio:ESPN/WBAL (1090 AM)

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