Friedgen reveals starters for Terps

Freshman Navarre seals top spot at defensive end

College Football

August 27, 2005|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - There weren't any surprises, but one freshman was named a starter, and dozens of hopefuls were sent to the scout team yesterday as Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen determined his starting lineup.

After showing yesterday's scrimmage film to the team in a meeting, Friedgen posted the latest depth chart.

Freshman Jeremy Navarre (Joppatowne), who made the transition this summer from fullback, solidified his spot at defensive end. Dan Ennis was named the starting place-kicker ahead of an injured Obi Egekeze, who tore a muscle in his right quad in Thursday's scrimmage and is expected to be out for a week. Chris Roberts will handle kickoffs.

"It's an unfortunate break for Obi; the contest was very, very close," special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski said. "Right now, our starting kicker is Dan Ennis, but as soon as Obi gets back, he'll be back in competition. Ennis is ready. He's had a great camp. I have all the confidence in the world in Dan."

Senior Mario Merrills earned the starting nod at tailback, and senior Ryan McDonald was named center.

"I said we watch all the tape, evaluate who's giving effort, who's improving, so if you're disappointed now, you have to keep on persevering," Friedgen said. "Some kids are going to be good players. They're just not ready yet, or they're in a position where they're not mature enough yet.

"It's just a rite of passage. It's a day I don't like."

Friedgen said Rob Armstrong, who was listed at the top of the preseason depth chart at nose tackle but has missed several practices with a nagging back injury, didn't come to practice Thursday or yesterday. Friedgen said he will meet with Armstrong's parents today.

"I've gotta find out what his problem is," Friedgen said.

Jack Griffin is listed as the starting nose tackle.

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