Terps' C.J. Brown pushing Danny O'Brien at quarterback

'Competition is great for everybody,' Edsall says

OT Gilbert out with knee injury

April 11, 2011|By Jon Meoli, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland football coach Randy Edsall entered the season with a lot of question marks on offense, and sophomore quarterback C.J. Brown isn't making it easier for the first-year coach. Edsall said Brown has been playing well this spring, turning the heat up on incumbent starter Danny O'Brien.

"C.J. Brown is putting pressure on Danny," Edsall said in a conference call with reporters Monday. "I like the things that he's doing. C.J. is a guy that does a good job in the huddle and can make plays."

When asked whether the pressure was a result of poor play from O'Brien or Brown playing that well, Edsall said that it was the result of a few factors, including some "newness things" with O'Brien — the reigning ACC Rookie of the Year.

"Danny will be fine, but you've got C.J. who's right there who can do things," Edsall said.

Edsall spoke at length about the need for competition to keep players from getting complacent or comfortable in their positions.

"Everybody always needs somebody pushing them, somebody behind them," Edsall said. "I think the competition is great for everybody. You can never drink the kool-aid. I'm not saying anyone is, but I'm saying every day you have to go out there and prove yourself and be the best you can be. That's all we want these guys to do."

Redshirt freshman Tyler Smith has also been getting plenty of reps under center this spring, though he missed one practice because of an illness.

Gilbert re-injures knee, has surgery

After having his sophomore season cut short with a torn ACL in Maryland's 31-17 loss at West Virginia last fall, Justin Gilbert suffered a similarly cruel fate in his return to the field this spring. The junior offensive tackle suffered a second injury to his left knee last week and underwent surgery last Thursday.

"I feel bad for Justin," Edsall said. "He was really chomping at the bit to get back out there."

Edsall said the injury was suffered in a non-contact drill and will probably keep Gilbert out until October. His replacement looks to be sophomore Max Garcia, who Edsall says has the attitude and mental toughness he's looking for out of all his players.

"Max is the No. 1 guy at left tackle," Edsall said. "I like the ability that Max brings to that position. We've got to get him better technically. He has to keep improving, but once he starts to really master the technique, he's got a really bright future there."

Wide receivers still an "enigma"

With the loss of four scholarship receivers, Edsall says he still doesn't exactly know what he has in his receiving corps yet.

"That's a little bit of an enigma there for me from the standpoint that we don't have all the guys out there that I'd like to see," Edsall said.

He again singled out Kevin Dorsey, Kerry Boykins, Tyrek Cheeseboro (Milford Mill) and Adrian Coxson (City), a transfer from Florida, for their performances this spring, but lamented the absences of Quintin McCree, Ronnie Tyler and Nigel King.

McCree and Tyler, both seniors, were listed atop the depth chart at wide receiver but haven't seen much action. Tyler sprained his ankle last Tuesday and McCree is only practicing on Saturdays.

"The little bit I've seen [from McCree] is good, but you can't be a good player if you practice one out of three times," Edsall said.

King, who graduated from high school in December and enrolled in January, is still awaiting clearance from the NCAA. Edsall said all the necessary information has been submitted and he hopes for a ruling this week.

End zone: Davin Meggett and D.J. Adams continue to get the bulk of the reps at running back, with Jeremiah Wilson and Gary Douglas still out with hamstring injuries. "I like what I see out of Davin and D.J.," Edsall said. "Now, it's a matter of continuing to watch them to see exactly what they do best." Because of incoming freshmen and the imminent return of Wilson and Douglas, Edsall said he's not concerned about depth at the position. … Tight end could be one position where the Terps have some depth. While Dave Stinebaugh (Perry Hall) is out this spring with an injury, Devonte Campbell and Ryan Schlothauer (Eastern Tech) have had their moments, and Matt Furstenburg has really impressed. "I like what I see out of him," Edsall said. "If he can continue to improve each practice and each week, he can turn into a pretty good tight end." … On the subject of academics, Edsall said the Terps are heading in the right direction after losing three scholarships because of a low academic progress rate score. "It's not going to change overnight," Edsall said. "I can't come in here and wave a magic wand to replace some of the issues that were here." None of the players who had been missing spring practice because of academics have returned to the field.

xcxjmeoli@baltsun.com

jonmeoli@twitter.com

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.