Ex-wrestler Navarre achieves full reversal

Once a star fullback at Joppatowne, he draws upon mat skills to help him excel as Terps defensive end

September 09, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun reporter

College Park -- His hands are what seem to draw the most attention, and they are critical to his success. They are rough, callused, and large enough to grab a 300-pound offensive tackle by the jersey and toss him like a pillow.

As a freshman starter on Maryland's defensive line last year, Joppatowne's Jeremy Navarre often lined up nose-to-nose with players who were about 60 pounds heavier than he was, and had at least twice the experience.

Middle Tennessee State@Maryland Today, 6 p.m., 1300 AM, 105.7 FM Line: Maryland by 22

Today's game

Matchup -- Middle Tennessee State (1-0, 0-0 Sun Belt) at Maryland (1-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)

Time -- 6:05 p.m.

Radio -- 105.7 FM, 1300 AM

Line -- Maryland by 22

Series -- Maryland leads 1-0

Last meeting -- Maryland won, 45-27, Sept. 23, 2000

Maryland offense vs. Middle Tennessee defense -- The Blue Raiders held Florida International to 247 total yards in a 7-6 win Aug. 31. FIU converted just one of 13 third downs in the final 51:48. It should be more difficult to stop the Terps' three-man running game, but coach Ralph Friedgen expressed concern this week about lack of depth at wide receiver. Right tackle Jared Gaither could return to the starting lineup, depending on the health of Dane Randolph, who started last week but is recovering from a sprained ankle.

Maryland defense vs. Middle Tennessee offense -- Blue Raiders running back Eugene Gross is 63 yards shy of 2,000, but is also one of the team's top receivers. Gross led the Sun Belt Conference last season with 33 receptions and led the league in scoring with 84 points. First-year Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill was a former quarterbacks coach, receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator at Clemson, but this is his first head coaching job. The Terps have spent this week working on the fundamentals of tackling, forcing turnovers and pass rush.

Heather A. Dinich

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