For starters, Holloway realizes his dream

He gets call at linebacker with no time to enjoy it

Maryland notebook

College Football

September 02, 2004|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - When the moment came that David Holloway had been dreaming about and working so hard for, there wasn't even time to appreciate it.

Maybe he'll get a chance to savor how good it felt, but not this week. There is, after all, a opening game to prepare for.

Holloway, who came to the University of Maryland as a walk-on linebacker, found out this week that he had not only earned a starting spot on the Terps' defense, but he had earned a scholarship, too, after paying his way for two years.

Terps coach Ralph Friedgen informed Holloway, a sophomore from Stephentown, N.Y., of the decision when camp wrapped up Saturday. Holloway beat out Jeris Smith, another walk-on, for the right to start at the "Sam" linebacker, which means lining up across from the tight end on every play, where teams like to run the ball.

"It's good in a sense, because you achieved what you wanted, but you're also so focused on the first game that it overrides any emotions," Holloway said. "I'm sure after the season is over, I'll be able to sit back and look and saw, wow, I did this and that. But it also feels like it's about time."

After the graduation of linebacker Leroy Ambush, the coaching staff came to Holloway during the spring and told him he might have a shot at starting if he switched positions from the "Will" linebacker (weak side) to the "Sam."

Playing the "Sam" also means Holloway will have to rush the quarterback and be Maryland's best linebacker in coverage, blanketing tight ends and running backs. So far, he's handled every responsibility.

Holloway might be the quietest player on Maryland's team, but football has always been in his blood. His father, Brian, was an NFL All-Pro who played for the Patriots and Raiders.

"I was born with the game," he said. "It's really been there my whole life."

Going, going, gone

Maryland has decided to do away with playing Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2" at football games this season, a move that Friedgen supports.

The song, which has been a student favorite for nearly a decade and a staple at both football and basketball games, has been the source of controversy the past few years because tradition calls for students and fans to chant a vulgarity during the chorus.

Maryland's newly formed Sportsmanship Committee asked Friedgen what he thought of the cheer, both in the spring and this fall, and both times the coach recommended doing away with it.

Maryland's fan behavior got national attention last winter when the school's president, C.D. "Dan" Mote Jr., asked the state attorney general's office if the university had a legal right to adopt a speech policy prohibiting offensive language at athletics events.

"I love the song," Friedgen said. "Like Dick Clark used to say, `It's got a great beat and I like to dance to it.' But we talk about our kids taunting. That, in my opinion, is a form of taunting. I don't think it's a class thing to do."

End zone

Maryland offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe has been absent from practice the past two days after his father died this week. Friedgen, who has been taking more of a role in the offensive as a result, said Taaffe plans to return by tomorrow. ... Friedgen said safety Chris Kelley "tweaked" his left knee in practice yesterday, but he should be able to play in No. 22 Maryland's opener against Northern Illinois on Saturday.

Coming tomorrow

Special section: The Sun's college football preview will examine the new-look Atlantic Coast Conference, survey the national scene, and include outlooks for Maryland, Navy and other state teams.

Maryland opener

Matchup: Northern Illinois vs. No. 22 Maryland in season opener for both schools

Site: Byrd Stadium, College Park

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM)

Line: Maryland by 14

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