Terps plan to use Torrey Smith more efficiently

Notebook

Wide-out will play fewer snaps as Maryland rotates in other receivers

August 16, 2010|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — More with less. That's the strategy Maryland is adopting this season with Torrey Smith.

The wide receiver ranked sixth in the nation last season in all-purpose yards (182.7 per game). He led the Terps in receptions, receiving yards and kickoff returns.

Coaches want to use Smith efficiently this season. They have told him they want to rotate in other receivers more than last year -- partly to give Smith a breather and partly because other pass-catchers have matured.

"I probably won't play as many snaps as last year," Smith said Monday night after scrimmaging with his teammates on the first day of two-a-days. "At the same time, if I don't play as many snaps, my production might go up because I'll be fresher."

Among the receivers poised for more playing time are redshirt junior Quintin McCree, who caught 11 passes last season, and redshirt senior Emani Lee-Odai, who didn't have any receptions.

"They both have had real good camps," receivers coach Lee Hull said. "On their end, it's been about them becoming more consistent."

Smith holds the Atlantic Coast Conference record for single-season kickoff return yards (1,309).

Virginia was among the teams that kicked away from Smith toward the end of the season to avoid getting burned by a long return. Other teams might employ that strategy this year.

"It's disappointing. But at the same time, it lets you know that the team gives you respect," Smith said.

Backfield impressive

Standouts at Monday's scrimmage included tailback Da'Rel Scott and quarterback Jamarr Robinson.

Scott rushed five times for 61 yards.

Offensive coordinator James Franklin said it was the best he had seen Scott run. Scott topped 1,000 yards in 2008 but was limited by injury last season.

"This is the first time I've ever seen him be a complete back," Franklin said. "He made people miss in the open field. When there was a small hole there, he crammed it up in there and drove his legs and turned a 3-yard run into a 6-yard run. To me, that's what the great backs do."

Robinson completed six of 11 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Backup Danny O'Brien was 8-for-13 for 88 yards and two touchdowns.

Coach Ralph Friedgen said he has been impressed with Robinson's poise. He said Robinson was cool enough as he walked to the line to calmly correct Friedgen when the coach inadvertently called him "Jamal."

"It's Jamarr," Friedgen quoted Robinson as saying.

"I think he's really growing up," Franklin said of Robinson, a redshirt junior. "Don't get me wrong, he's still a work in progress. But I'm very pleased with him, Danny and C.J. [Brown]. And I think [freshman quarterbacks] Devin Burns and Tyler [Smith] are two very intriguing prospects coming up."

Position battles

Justin Lewis has pulled ahead of Bennett Fulper -- at least for now -- in the battle to start at right guard.

"Right now, it looks like Justin Lewis taking control there," Friedgen said of the redshirt sophomore.

Fulper, a sophomore, worked Monday with the second team.

Friedgen said the competition remains too close to call at another competitive position -- starting cornerback, opposite Cameron Chism.

"That's a tight race right now," Friedgen said of the battle between redshirt junior Trenton Hughes and redshirt freshman Dexter McDougle. "Trenton has been playing very focused."

Injury report

No serious injuries were reported. Maryland said tight end Devonte Campbell suffered what appeared to be a minor concussion and linebacker-defensive lineman Derek Drummond twisted an ankle.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

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