Terps' top offensive lineman tears ACL, may miss season

Heyer will have surgery, has 1 year of eligibility left

College Football

August 14, 2005|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Senior left tackle Stephon Heyer, Maryland's top returning offensive lineman and most experienced starter on offense, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at practice yesterday.

Greg Creese, a spokesman for the football program, said team doctors are waiting for swelling to go down before the team's orthopaedic surgeon, Craig Bennett, can operate. It's not clear if Heyer will miss the entire season, but as a true senior, he has one year of eligibility remaining.

Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said Heyer was in the middle of a two-on-two drill when Temple transfer Rick Costa "knocked him over backwards."

"When I watched him, I didn't think much of it," Friedgen said.

Heyer, who had surgery on his right knee last season, was Maryland's top pass protector last year and would have entered the season with 24 straight starts. His absence will be a setback to a young offensive line that will have to protect an inexperienced quarterback. Sam Hollenbach, the frontrunner, only has one start. Without Heyer, nobody on the line has more than sophomore experience. Second-year freshman Dane Randolph, a former standout defensive end at Wilde Lake, is Heyer's backup.

Friedgen also said reserve right tackle Scott Burley twisted his back and felt shooting pain down his leg. The two injuries left two freshmen - Jared Gaither and Zach Marshall - at second string. Friedgen said he would consider moving Randolph to right tackle and Burley to left, if he's healthy.

"What do I do?" Friedgen said. "Do I cut off all contact drills and never get better? ... It will allow us to get more reps to Gaither and Dane Randolph, get them better. Maybe in the end we'll be a better team because of it, who knows?"

Fullback Matt Deese had surgery Thursday to remove cartilage in his knee and will be out two weeks. Junior cornerback Josh Wilson left practice today with a laceration on his left leg and is day-to-day.

Maryland 2005 schedule

Date Opponent (TV) .........Time

Sept. 3 vs. Navy-a 6 p.m.

Sept. 10 Clemson Noon

Sept. 17 West Virginia Noon

Sept. 24 at Wake Forest TBA

Oct. 1 Virginia TBA

Oct. 8 at Temple TBA

Oct. 20 Virginia Tech (ESPN) 7:45 p.m.

Oct. 29 at Florida State TBA

Nov. 12 at North Carolina TBA

Nov. 19 Boston College TBA

Nov. 26 at N.C. State TBA

a-at M&T Bank Stadium

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