COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland football team moved closer to the end of preseason camp with a two-hour workout at the on-campus facility Tuesday afternoon.
The Terps will hold their final scrimmage of the preseason Wednesday afternoon, complete a short practice Thursday and then go through a two-a-day Friday before starting a normal game week.
Head coach Randy Edsall addressed the media following Tuesday’s workout and touched on a number of topics. Earlier Tuesday, Edsall named Perry Hills as the starting quarterback for the season opener against William & Mary on Sept. 1.
Hills, a true freshman, assumed first-team duties when junior C.J. Brown was injured last week. He will be backed up by another true freshman in Caleb Rowe, and sophomore Devin Burns will serve as the third-string signal-caller.
Edsall’s full comments are below.
On the team’s injuries:
“C.J. [Brown] is going to have surgery on Friday. So that’s going to happen Friday. Andre Monroe is going to be out for the year. He’ll have surgery on Thursday. Keith Bowers is probably out two to three weeks. [A.J.] Hendy will probably be three to four weeks with that ankle. Nick Ferrara is a day-to-day type situation. Kenny Tate is going to go visit with the doctors, he’s got an injury going right now. So he’ll see the doctors and we’ll know a little bit more on him. Of course you know Matt [Robinson] will be out for about two to three weeks more. Josh Cary [is out] about three weeks. Isaiah Ross, that’s an indefinite type thing, I’m not sure how long that’ll [be] – maybe more of a day-to-day type thing. And then Isaac Goins will be out three weeks with mono. So that’s kind of the update. Dustin Dailey is out with a high ankle sprain too.”
On what his thoughts are on the injuries:
“Just work the guys that are out there, that’s all we can do. Football is a game where you do have injuries and it’s something that you can’t control. It’s amazing because Andre Monroe was just running straight ahead, just running a sprint, and his knee kind of gave out and that was it. So a lot of the issues that we have haven’t even been contact-type situations.
“Even the ones that we might’ve had from a contact situation likeMatt Robinson, it wasn’t even violent or anything like that. But what it is, it’s just that hey, you want all those guys to get healthy as soon as they can but you just get the guys that are behind them ready to play. It’s that saying that we have, everybody is really one or two plays from playing and they have to make sure they’re mentally and physically prepared to step up and play at any time based on injuries.”
On how the injuries at defensive line shakes up the competition:
“If you went today you’ve got Joe [Vellano] at left end, you’ve got Darius [Kilgo] at the nose and then you’ve got A.J. [Francis] at the right end. Then you have Justin Anderson behind him and Alex Walker at the nose, and then you have Quinton Jefferson [at left end]. And then I took and moved Roman Bragliofrom the Will [linebacker] to the end because again I think this is something we’ve been talking about as a staff kind of since preseason started, and we just think now is the best time to move. Because that’s where we think he was going to end up, at end. We’ll make that move now, and again, maybe he’s a guy that can help us this year from a pass-rush standpoint when we get into certain packages.”
On moving A.J. Francis from nose to end:
“Oh yeah we moved him about a week ago, I think it was. We took him out there again, as we were evaluating, we thought our three best guys were Joe, A.J. and Darius. So they were both at nose so we moved A.J. out to the end because we thought he was a little bit more suited to be able to play end. So we did that.”
On when Andre Monroe was injured:
“It was about a week ago I think, or something. It’s crazy. We’re running the gassers that we always run, and he’s beating everybody, and running as fast that I’ve ever seen him run. He did one and then the next one he did, he goes and he plants and as soon as he starts back he just gets about to the opposite hash and his leg just gave out. His knee gave out. So he’s going to have surgery on Thursday.”
On naming Perry Hills as the starter:
“I met with all three guys this morning. Pretty much after the scrimmage and then practice yesterday, it’s clear that Perry is the number one guy, the starter. Caleb [Rowe] is number two and Devin [Burns] is number three. So I just wanted our team to really understand who they’re working with and get as many reps so they can all get comfortable, they have been comfortable. But just wanted to get that done today and like I said I had a chance to sit down with all of them this morning and talk to them and fill them in before we made any announcements. I just thought it was the right time and it clearly played out that way. Caleb knows that he’s one play away; Devin’s got to get prepared to play as well. But Perry has done a good job and we look forward to him leading our team starting now and when we get going on September 1.”
On why he named a starter 11 days in advance of the first game:
“Because I think it was clearly a situation where there’s been a decided guy that’s been ahead. So you get the guy that’s ahead and you go with that and you feel comfortable with it.”
On if running back Brandon Ross is nicked up:
“Yeah they’re nicked up a little bit but it shouldn’t be anything serious. Brandon should probably either be out there tomorrow or on Thursday. Then Albert, again just running I think he might’ve just tweaked his groin a little bit.”
On the punting competition:
“That’s still ongoing. I’m not sure when we’ll – that might go all the way to game time until we decide who the guys going to be. Let me say this, the competition is between Brad Craddock and Nate Renfro. [Nick] Ferrara is not going to be punting, he’s just going to focus on place-kicking, which is field goals and kickoffs. Those two guys are battling it out, and it’s a good competition. We’ll keep that going and like I said, if there’s something I really feel good about and I can say they’re that guy then we’ll name that when we get that figured out. So as soon as that decides itself out then we’ll decide, if it doesn’t it could be a game time decision.”
On if he’s elevated any walk-ons to scholarship:
“No not yet. We’re still in camp, we’re in camp until after tomorrow and if any of that would happen it would be sometime after that.”
On if he’s looking for any specific positions in the walk-on tryouts:
“Well we’re always looking for linemen, if we can find linemen. But really just anyone that we think can come out and aid us and help us. Wide receivers, defensive backs I think would be something we’re looking for but really any position. We always do that at that time of the year.”
On the command of Perry Hills:
“I think he’s done well. I’ve been very, very impressed with just how he’s handled himself. The poise and composure and command that he’s handling that first offense with, I mean here’s a guy that’s a freshman that’s telling those guys `Come on let’s go, get set, get down,’ and all those things. He’s been good at handling all the instillation that’s gone in. Like I said I’ve been very impressed with a kid that’s a true freshman to pick up all the things he’s picked up and then to go out and handle the huddle. He really hasn’t turned over the ball much, he’s accurate, I have not seen him get rattled. I think he’s one of those guys that just goes and prepares very well. He’s always sitting in that film room studying and trying to do exactly what [offensive coordinator] Mike [Locksley] wants him to do. So when you do that you give yourself the opportunity to be successful.”
On how ready freshman safety Sean Davis is:
“I think he’s done a good job. I think he’s picked things up. Of course there’s a lot more things he’s got to get better at and refine and all those things. But he’s a guy that goes hard, plays hard and the more reps he gets the better he’s going to be. But he’s the best guy and that’s who we have to go with and now what we have to do is get him ready.”