COLLEGE PARK — – With no crowd noise, much of the sound coming from Maryland's spring football practice Tuesday was generated by the "pop" of collisions on the field.
Among the players initiating the most contact was Brandon Ross, a running back with a physical style. The 5-10, 205-pound player is competing with sophomore Justus Pickett for a starting spot.
"He has the ability to hit the home run with that closing and finishing speed," said offensive coordinator Mike Locksley of Ross, whos is from Newark, Del. "Very explosive, and not just an outside guy. He's a guy that runs physical in between the tackles. He's a guy I'd call a three-down back."
Ross redshirted last season as a freshman. "I didn't want to redshirt but it happened. You learn a lot on the sidelines as well," he said.
Pickett has also impressed coaches during spring practices, which are in their final week.
"I think they both will play or have a role within the system," Locksley said. Freshman Wes Brown and others could also figure in the running back mix.
Terps prepare for Red-White game
Spring practices end Saturday with the Red-White game at Byrd Stadium at 1 p.m.
Head coach Randy Edsall plans to use a scoring system in which the defense can earn points, presumably for takeaways and stops.
Admission to the game is free.
"The winner gets steak and lobster. The loser gets franks and beans," Edsall said.
Protecting quarterback C.J. Brown
Quarterback C.J. Brown wore the yellow, "hands-off" jersey as he ran the first-team offense Tuesday.
Once the season begins — and the yellow jersey comes off — one of Maryland's most pressing priorities will be to protect Brown. With the transfer of quarterback Danny O'Briento Wisconsin, the Terps have no other quarterback who has played in a Maryland game.
On Tuesday, transfer Ricky Schultz (Shepherd University) ran the second team offense. Two freshman quarterbacks will arrive in the fall.
"We'd be throwing a true freshman possibly to the fire (if Brown could not play)," Locksley said Tuesday. "It's always concerning."