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Here’s why Baltimore doesn’t care about Maryland football

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Here’s why Baltimore doesn’t care about Maryland football

Posted on 16 October 2013 by Drew Forrester

This past Saturday evening, listener Steve sent me the following e-mail:

Drew,

I just got home from College Park after attending today’s game between Maryland and Virginia.  On the way home, the four of us in the car decided you would be the best guy to answer the question we had been discussing for about 45 minutes.  The question was this, “Why doesn’t Baltimore care about Maryland football?”  Here’s our background if that matters.  And we all agreed that would be one of the first things you would ask when you read this.  Where are you guys from?  Did you go to Maryland?  All four of us are Baltimore guys.  All born and raised here.  Only one of the four of us went to Maryland.  We have varying opinions on why there’s no passion for Maryland football in Baltimore and thought we’d see what you have to say.  Thanks alot.

Steve

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My reply to Steve comes in the form of today’s edition of Drew’s Morning Dish.

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Why doesn’t Baltimore care about Maryland football?

For starters, I need to pinpoint what I believe Baltimore’s level of interest actually is in the Maryland football program.  To say “Baltimore doesn’t care about Maryland football” isn’t fair.  Some folks in Baltimore DO care about the Terps football program.  But, the interest level here is admittedly minimal.  In rating the “level” of interest, let’s say this.  As a sports community, it’s fair to say Baltimore’s interest in the Ravens is a 9.5  The only reason it’s not a “10″ is that there are sports fans in town who, for reasons only they know, either aren’t Ravens fans or football fans.  Still, to me, the sports community in Baltimore is a 9.5 when it comes to the Ravens.  I’d say Baltimore’s level of interest for the Orioles is 8.  While clearly not as interested in the baseball team as they are the football team, Baltimore is still engaged with the Orioles to a large degree, particularly when they’ve been competitive over the last couple of years.  Maryland basketball probably comes in at a 5 or 5.5 on the rating scale.  While nowhere near as popular or “followed” as Ravens football or Orioles basketball, Terps basketball is still a “player” in the Baltimore market.

So, where does that leave Maryland football on my scale?  I’d say they’re a 2.5…in Baltimore.

How is it, then, that the state school’s football program creates so little interest in the biggest city in the state?

Here’s the easy answer, but one that requires a lot more discussion and thorough review of the last twenty five years or so:  Maryland football isn’t important in Baltimore because the folks in College Park have never really marketed the sport here.

On a large scale, Terps football has no footprint at all on the sports landscape of Baltimore.  If you stopped fifty people in Towson Town Mall today who acknowledged they were sports fans and asked them who the Ravens play this Sunday, I’d say 40 of the 50 know it’s the Steelers.  If you asked those same people who Maryland plays this Saturday, I’d say five would be the maximum number who would know the Terps are at Wake Forest.  And five might be high, honestly.

I was at a restaurant in Timonium this past Saturday night while the Terps were finishing up their exciting 27-26 win over Virginia.  Interestingly enough, I hadn’t even seen Steve’s e-mail but something struck me as I sat down with golfing friends and enjoyed a meal and some drinks while the game was on in the background.  No one in the restaurant or the bar was watching the Maryland football game.  Two of us in my group – me and my friend Dale Williams – were glued to the TV.  No one else at the tables and no one in the bar area was fixed on the TV screen that had the STATE SCHOOL playing a key conference game.  I intentionally got up at one point and canvassed the bar, where 20-25 people were stationed, and no one was paying attention to the Maryland game.

The absence of Terps football marketing isn’t really a new trend here.  In my lifetime – all of it spent in Baltimore – Maryland has never really marketed the football program to anyone outside of the general College Park/D.C. area.  Even when the team was good back in the early part of the Ralph Friedgen era, there wasn’t much in the way of marketing and promotions in the Baltimore market.  Ralph would begrudgingly make the 45-minute drive up the parkway once a year to chat with 100 or so Maryland die hards at a swanky downtown Baltimore restaurant and then he wouldn’t be seen again until the following September.  Aside from some regular coaches interviews on WNST, there was no regular media presence from Maryland at all during the Friedgen era.  The same, I’m sure, can be said for the 80′s and 90′s when head coaches popped in and out of College Park and no one in Baltimore knew what they looked like or when the Terps home opener was every September.

I can’t ever remember Maryland athletics making a concerted effort to actively recruit football fans in Baltimore to College Park five or six times a year.

Over the last 15 years, the program has been bad, very good, good, not-so-good, downright awful and now, on the road to maybe being good again.  And yet, even in that time, interest in Baltimore hasn’t really changed all that much.  Let’s say for argument sake that Maryland would have gone down to Tallahassee two weeks ago and stunned Florida State 29-23.  Would the Maryland ticket office be inundated with calls from “443″ or “410″ asking how they can get tickets to the big Clemson home game coming up in a couple of weeks?  I doubt it.

Would more people throughout the state have increased interest in Maryland if they were 6-0 right now?  Yes, perhaps.  But, would the home games be complete sell-outs between now and the end of the season?  Nope.

I bring up “winning” to counter any claims of “if they win in College Park, fans will come…”  More fans might come, actually, if Maryland football becomes a powerhouse, but my guess is those people will be streaming in from Bethesda, Rockville, Wheaton, Germantown and Bladensburg — not Baltimore.

In Baltimore, there’s so little interest overall in Terps football that nothing short of a national title would probably get the city to get off its rear end and caravan down the BW Parkway to College Park for a football game.

It’s not up to the sports fans here in town to change the way they think about Maryland football.

It’s up to Maryland to pull them in.  Market to them.  Advertise your product.  Promote your kids and the coaching staff.

Act like you care about the Baltimore market and folks might respond by buying a ticket.

One thing for certain:  Ignoring Baltimore isn’t doing anything of value.

I can only speak for my radio show and not the others that have been on in this market for the last decade or so while I’ve been on the air.  Since I do twenty hours of live radio every week, I assume it’s fair to use what I do for a living as a fair barometer for gauging the interest level of Maryland football.  Other shows in town could do the same thing, but since I haven’t listened to them all, I can’t.  This much I do know.  Despite promoting nearly every game of Maryland football so far this season with guests from either the broadcast team, the visiting media or the Washington D.C. or Baltimore media that regularly covers the Terps, do you know how many Maryland football calls I’ve received since Labor Day this year?  What’s your guess?  How about this:  Two. And since I’ve been doing the show on my own in 2006, I would say, honestly, I’ve received a total of ten phone calls – in about eight years – on Maryland football.

In contrast to that data above, Terps basketball calls come in regularly during their season.  It’s not anything close to Ravens or Orioles calls, but within the walls of their season I’ll field Maryland hoops calls every single week.  I go months and months without hearing from one Maryland football fan about last week’s game or this week’s big ACC showdown with (insert team here).

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Some of what’s happened to Maryland football in Baltimore is NOT the University’s fault.

It’s been the ACC’s fault.

The conference’s desperate reach for television dollars has disabled schools who otherwise might be able to have their games aired in their home market.  Think about this:  Maryland football doesn’t have a local TV “home” in either Baltimore or Washington.  Their games are almost non-existent in Baltimore unless you have a laptop with you.  The possibility certainly exists that none of the local stations would “invest” in a Maryland football package, but I have to think someone in town would gamble on a partnership with Terps football if the ACC didn’t have such a stranglehold on the program’s live broadcast rights.

And, because of the TV schedule, kick-off times for Maryland football are rarely known more than two weeks in advance of the game.  I’m not sure how you’re supposed to sell tickets to games when you can’t tell folks what time to be there, but somehow Maryland (and other schools) seems to do it anyway.

In Baltimore, though, the absence of a TV broadcast partner where the games are always on and the station itself is dedicated to promoting the football program is most certainly one of the reasons why the sports community here isn’t engaged with Maryland.

Things aren’t likely to improve next season when the Terps join the Big Ten.  With their own lucrative TV network, the Big Ten isn’t going to allow any of their schools to “cut their own deals” within their marketplace.  Maryland won’t suffer financially, of course, because the Big Ten Network generates money for each of the conference schools.  But, it will suffer in the same area it suffers now in Baltimore, namely in exposure and marketing.  These problems aren’t an issue in Columbus, Ohio, where everyone in town knows the Buckeyes football schedule backwards and forwards.  Lack of exposure and marketing isn’t a problem in Ann Arbor or Lansing or Happy Valley.

Baltimore, only 40 miles from College Park, should be a proverbial “hotbed” for college football interest in our state, particularly as far as the Terps go, but there’s nothing in town connecting potential Terps fans with the actual product itself.

Television is the ultimate connector, of course.

And there’s just no connection in Baltimore when it comes to Maryland football on your TV screen.

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One of the most obvious “issues” facing Maryland and its “Baltimore problem” is the mere fact that College Park is situated comfortably alongside the Washington D.C. beltway.

Yes, it’s the state school.

But geography doesn’t lie.

College Park is a suburb of Washington D.C.

If, for instance, the University of Maryland was situated on the land that is currently occupied by UMBC, Maryland would be a “Baltimore school” and all of this argument would be moot.

And, to juxtapose the current situation, I can’t imagine the Washington Post and the four D.C. TV stations would cover Maryland sports the way they do now if UM was off Wilkens Avenue in Catonsville.

This is also where I should note – quickly – that Navy Football does far more marketing in Baltimore than Maryland football.  There are Navy billboards up in town, Navy radio ads on the air and Navy even purchases in-stadium signage at Oriole Park that you see both in person and during MASN TV broadcasts.  Navy Football tries to market to the Baltimore sports fan.  They really do.

Now, back to Maryland:  Part of Baltimore’s lack of interest in Maryland football isn’t necessarily Randy Edsall’s fault — after all, he’s not the one who decided the state school would be on the outskirts of Washington D.C. and not in the heart of Baltimore.

That said — Edsall and his football program do play a role in the marketing of the product in Charm City.  Perhaps this issue goes above the coach’s paygrade, but if Maryland really valued Baltimore and wanted to go overboard in their marketing efforts here, they would schedule one home game per-season at M&T Bank Stadium.

For all we know, the dirty little secret in College Park might be that Baltimore is more of a nuisance than a help.  They might completely object to playing one home-game per-season “up there”.  Edsall might say, “So, you actually want me to play five home games, a neutral site game, and six road games…”  As a coach, he’s only concerned about winning, and rightfully so, I might add.

That’s where someone above him has to say, “Yes, we know playing in Baltimore once a year presents a unique problem in that we’re potentially affecting your chance to win and lose games, but for the benefit of the football program and athletic department as a whole, it’s mandatory we schedule a game there every Fall.”  It doesn’t have to be Ohio State or Michigan every year, either.  Throw in Purdue or Minnesota or Illinois and give Baltimore an “A opponent” once every four or five years.  Having a Maryland football game in Baltimore should be an annual “ritual” that the sports community learns to embrace and celebrate.

It’s a problem that requires a head coach and his staff to truly “get it” and understand without hesitation that catering to Baltimore isn’t just something you do in recruiting…but it’s also mandatory you do it with the way you market your program and help increase its visibility every single season.

Randy Edsall has done a nice job himself of connecting with Baltimore.  He brought the team to Dunbar for an open practice and he’s occasionally been seen at various high schools in the area watching games.  They’ve recruited Baltimore kids at Maryland…and that, too, is an important connective step for Edsall and his staff.

But on a scale of 1-to-10, that’s about a “3″ in terms of making Baltimore as a whole feel warm and fuzzy about Maryland football.

Again, not speaking for anyone but my own show, I look at the fact that Randy Edsall hasn’t appeared on my show once this season and say, “No wonder we don’t get any calls about Maryland football…”.  How many other sports talk shows in town has Edsall appeared on this Fall to spread the word about his program and our state school?  My guess:  Very few.

By the way, that’s not necessarily Randy Edsall’s fault.  He’s a football coach.  He shouldn’t be concerned about appearing on radio shows in Baltimore.  Someone, though, in the Maryland athletic department should be looking at Baltimore as a market and making it his or her job to get Edsall on the air here and at the other sports-dominated radio programs in town.  And that person then says to Randy, “In a couple of weeks, we’re going to need you for an hour one Tuesday morning to do five or six phone interviews from your office to talk about the upcoming home game.”

Maryland’s athletic department does nothing at all to connect with the Baltimore sports fan when it comes to Terps football.

That, in and of itself, is one of the biggest obstacles and roadblocks that Maryland has created over the years with regard to Baltimore.  They’ve simply stopped caring.

Actually, they never STARTED caring about Baltimore.  Not enough to make a major impact, anyway.

And that’s why people like Steve sent me that e-mail on Saturday.

 

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Holliday to be honored by University of Maryland

Posted on 26 September 2013 by WNST Staff

MARYLAND TO HONOR VOICE OF THE TERRAPINS JOHNNY HOLLIDAY

College Park, Md. – The University of Maryland Department of Athletics will honor Johnny Holliday, the Voice of The Terrapins, for his 35 years of service to the university.

Holliday will be joined at a press availability by director of athletics Kevin Anderson and head coaches Randy Edsall and Mark Turgeon on Tuesday, Oct 1 at noon at the Gossett Football Team House. In addition, Holliday will be honored at halftime of the Maryland-Virginia game on Saturday, Oct 12 at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

“Johnny is a Hall of Fame broadcaster who has been a part of so many iconic moments in Maryland athletics over the past 35 years,” Anderson said.  “His impact goes way beyond the broadcast booth as he has been an outstanding ambassador for our program and our community. For 35 years, Johnny has been the Voice of the Terrapins and we have listened as he has shared the many outstanding accomplishments of our student-athletes, coaches and teams through his powerful storytelling ability.”

Holliday joined the Terrapin Sports Radio Network in 1978 and has been on the call for some of the most memorable moments in Maryland history. Inducted into the Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2003, Holliday has called four ACC football titles and seven bowl wins. He also narrated the 2002 national championship season and the 2004 ACC Tournament title.

Before joining Maryland, Holliday gained notoriety as one of the most respected disc jockeys in the country, with some of his work featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition, Holliday called numerous sports for ABC Radio, with assignments including the Olympics and the Masters.

Holliday is currently the host of Nats Xtra on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.

 

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Terps aim for 2-0 start Saturday at Temple

Posted on 07 September 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, MD. - The University of Maryland football team takes to the road for the first time of the 2012 season when it faces Temple at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday at noon. The Terrapins will look to build upon a 7-6 season-opening win over William & Mary in which 14 players made their Maryland debut, including 12 true freshmen. The defense kept the team in the game, allowing Justus Pickett to run for the game-winning score in the fourth quarter.

First-and-10

• A dominant defensive effort by the Terps enabled the win in week one. Linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield made 13 tackles and helped seal the game with a fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter. Defensive lineman Joe Vellano had 11 stops – two of them for loss – and an interception. In all, the defense recorded 10 tackles for loss, four sacks and held William & Mary to just 2.5 yards per carry (41 attempts, 104 yards). Hartsfield, the ACC’s active career leader in tackles, and Vellano, a 2011 second team All-American, highlight the 10 starters returning to the Maryland defense this season.

• The offense was set to return five starters, including three of its top four receivers from last season in wideouts Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins, and tight end Matt Furstenburg. Junior C.J. Brown, who started five games in 2011 and set the Maryland single-season rushing yards record by a quarterback, was set to assume No. 1 quarterback duties before suffering a torn ACL in a non-contact drill on Aug. 14. Injuries hit both sides of the ball hard during the preseason, as 10 potential starters missed the William & Mary game with various injuries and ailments (see note page 2)..

• Still, Maryland hopes a number of key returnees, combined with a highly touted 2012 recruiting class, will help it reach postseason play for the ninth time in the last 12 years. In addition to Vellano and Hartsfield several playmakers are back on defense. In the secondary, Eric Franklin and Dexter McDougle have plenty of experience, having both started every game last year. Franklin, a senior who has played in 28 career games, led the team in solo tackles (64), ranked second in total tackles (106) and tied for second on the team with four pass breakups. McDougle, meanwhile, led the team with six pass breakups and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. The Terps also welcome back linebackers Darin Drakeford and Alex Twineand defensive lineman A.J. Francis, all of whom have starting experience. Drakeford is a disruptive force, tying for the league lead last season with four forced fumbles. As a true freshman last year, Twine ended the season as the starter at Will linebacker and averaged 9.8 tackles in his four starts. Francis has played in each of the last 38 games and has 24 career starts.

• Quarterback Perry Hills, who against William & Mary became Maryland’s first true freshman starter since Latrez Harrison in 1999, will direct the offense. Hills overcame a slow start against the Tribe by leading the Terps on a 10-play, 69-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game winner. Maryland has a young, talented group of skill players around Hills. Pickett, a sophomore, is the veteran in the backfield and is joined by three freshmen in Brandon Ross, Albert Reid and Wes Brown. At receiver, sophomore Marcus Leak and freshman Stefon Diggs each had three receptions in the season opener.

• Diggs is also the kickoff and punt returner, and averaged 16.6 yards on three punt returns against William & Mary. Nathan Renfro secured the punting duties and performed well, averaging 53.0 yards on four punts with a long of 60. His best punt came late in the fourth quarter with Maryland holding on to a one-point lead. Renfro had his 57-yard punt downed at the 2-yard line with 2:17 remaining to help seal the win. With senior Nick Ferrara out of the season opener, freshman Brad Craddock handled the kickoff and place-kicking duties.


Quick Hitters

• Seven players made their first career starts on Saturday against William & Mary: quarterback Perry Hills, running back Albert Reid, safety Sean Davis, defensive back Jeremiah Johnson, linebacker Cole Farrand, nose tackle Darius Kilgo and offensive lineman Nick Klemm.

• In addition to the seven first-time starters, 14 players saw their first action against William & Mary. And of the 44 players that saw time against the Tribe, 25 of them were underclassmen.

• Maryland has 14 true freshmen listed on its two-deep (excluding return men), which is the third most in the FBS (Colorado – 16, Texas – 15).

• Maryland allowed William & Mary to gain just 229 yards of total offense. That’s its best total defensive performance since surrendering 115 to Wake Forest on Oct. 30, 2010.

• The Terps held William & Mary to 2.5 yards per carry. Additionally, 28 of the Tribe’s 41 rushes were for three yards or less, including 15 of 19 in the first half.

• Demetrius Hartsfield recorded a double-digit tackle game against William & Mary by finishing with 13. Hartsfield had seven double-digit efforts in nine games last season. Hartsfield also had a fumble recovery with 1:11 left that sealed the win.

• Head coach Randy Edsall handed out game balls for the win over William & Mary. Marcus Leak got the game ball for offense, Joe Vellano for defense and Nathan Renfro for special teams. Renfro also received honorable mention punter of the week from CollegeFootballPerformance.com.

• Maryland was hit hard by injuries in the preseason. Thirteen players missed the season opener due to various injuries and ailments: defensive linemen Keith Bowers, Isaiah Ross and Andre Monroe; defensive backs Isaac Goins, A.J. Hendy and Matt Robinson; linebackers Kenneth Tate and Abner Logan; quarterbacks C.J. Brown and Dustin Dailey, running back Brandon Ross; offensive lineman Josh Cary; and place-kicker Nick Ferrara. Both Monroe and Brown are out for the season.

• Perry Hills became the first true freshman starter at quarterback for Maryland since Latrez Harrison in 1999. He also became the first freshman to start a season opener since redshirt freshman Calvin McCall on Sept. 2, 1999, in a 6-0 win over Temple.


Maryland-Temple Series History

• Maryland leads the all-time series with Temple, 6-1. The series dates back to 1997; the schools played four years in a row from 1997-2000. Temple’s only win in the series came last year, when it beat the Terps 38-7 in College Park. Maryland is 3-0 when playing at Temple.
• The last meeting in Philadelphia was Oct. 8, 2005. Mario Merrills ran for three touchdowns and Sam Hollenbach passed for 228 yards in a 38-7 victory.

 

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Ferrara, Tate, more out for Maryland against William & Mary

Posted on 30 August 2012 by WNST Staff

University of Maryland Injury Report for Saturday, 9/1 against William & Mary

Position

Name

Injury

Status

DL Keith Bowers Knee Out
QB C.J. Brown Knee Out
OL Josh Cary Knee Out
WR Tyrek Cheeseboro Ankle Probable
QB Dustin Dailey Ankle Out
PK/P Nick Ferrara Hip Out
DB Isaac Goins Sickness (mono) Out
DB A.J. Hendy Ankle Out
LB Abner Logan Quad Out
DL Andre Monroe Knee Out
DB Matt Robinson Shoulder Out
RB Brandon Ross Hamstring Out
DL Isaiah Ross Hamstring Out
LB Kenny Tate Knee Out

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Ravens WR Smith gaining popularity amongst fans

Posted on 22 August 2012 by WNST Staff

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Torrey Smith is no longer unnoticeable. When the second-year Baltimore Ravens receiver ventures into public, he’s recognized just about everywhere he goes.

During his three years as a standout receiver at the University of Maryland, Smith was just another face in the crowd.

Now, after finishing the 2011 NFL season with 50 catches for 841 yards and seven touchdowns, Smith seemingly can’t go anywhere in the Baltimore area without drawing a crowd.

“It’s definitely different, especially publicly,” Smith said. “Before, I could walk anywhere and no one would say anything. I like going everywhere; I’m a mall guy, I’m a movie guy. And now it’s a lot different. But I just appreciate it, and being in Baltimore, you definitely appreciate our fans.”

In 2011, Smith set franchise rookie records in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

He assumed the role of Baltimore’s deep threat during the third week of the 2011 season against the St. Louis Rams. Smith’s first three catches went for long touchdowns, as he ended the day with five receptions for 152 yards and three scores.

Smith also caught the game-winning touchdown on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers and enjoyed a six-catch, 165-yard, one touchdown performance against Cincinnati. Smith primarily ran deep routes during the 2011 season, utilizing his speed for the big play.

To improve his overall package, Smith spent the much of his offseason working with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to perfect timing on various routes. The two, along with some of the other younger receivers, would meet at Baltimore’s practice facility, whether organized team activities were scheduled or not. Flacco said he admired the extra time Smith put in.

“It’s just awesome when you have a good kid like that, that wants to do everything right and wants to be the best,” Flacco said. “It’s very easy to work with him.”

Smith said his numbers last year could have been better if he finished some of the plays he didn’t convert. Ravens coach John Harbaugh has taken notice of this attitude.

“All he thinks about is how he can get better,” Harbaugh said. “He is the most efficient improver — if that’s a word — that I’ve ever seen. He gets the most out of every day, and that’s why he’s going to continue to become a great player.”

One aspect that will help Smith is that he won’t be hindered by the sports hernia he sustained during last season’s campaign. Smith said he could barely get in and out of his routes without cringing. He fought through the pain and managed to finish the season strong.

During the offseason, he had surgery and rehabilitated the injury.

“When it started to get cold, it was terrible,” Smith said. “I was fighting that battle every day, and now I’m able to run and get out of my breaks. I’m not feeling any pain at all. So, thank you for the surgery.”

Though his sports hernia is healed, Smith has been dealing with a minor ankle injury that occurred against Atlanta in Baltimore’s first preseason game. It caused him to miss last week’s contest against Detroit. Smith expects to return Thursday night against Jacksonville, a game that should feature most of Baltimore’s starters for significant minutes.

“Coach was being cautious so I could get it out of the way so it’s not lingering on,” Smith said. “I feel real better, and still have to practice to get better. But I’m fine.”

Entering the lockout-stricken 2011 season, Smith had to learn fast and encounter growing pains, despite the statistical success. With a full offseason of work, he hopes to elevate his game to a higher level in 2012.

“This time last year, I could barely walk and chew gum at the same time,” Smith said. “I was thinking so much about the assignment and kind of really worrying about things that I shouldn’t have been worrying about.”

 

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Edsall names Hills Maryland starting QB

Posted on 22 August 2012 by WNST Staff

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.”

 

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Three first half TD’s for Diggs in Maryland football scrimmage

Posted on 18 August 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Two weeks from its season opener, the University of Maryland football team provided fans an up-close glimpse of the highly touted freshman class that arrived in College Park earlier this month.

It didn’t disappoint. Stefon Diggs had three first-half touchdowns – a 68-yard punt return, a 98-yard kickoff return and an 11-yard reception – electrifying a crowd of several thousand in Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Terps, who were holding fan appreciation day, scrimmaged for two hours before holding an autograph session on the field.

Diggs and quarterback Perry Hills impressed, as did freshmen running backs Albert Reid and Wes Brown. Hills, running the first-team offense in a game-like situation for the first time, led the Terps on an 18-play, 76-yard touchdown drive to open the scrimmage. The freshman went 5 of 6 for 27 yards on the drive and also rushed for 36 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown run.

Hills, who led Maryland to scores on three of his five drives, showed the ability to make plays with his arm and his legs. On his third drive, he eluded the pass rush and hit Kevin Dorsey in the flat, and Dorsey turned it into a 41-yard play. Five plays later, he hit Diggs over the middle for an 11-yard touchdown.

“I thought Perry [Hills] had a good day,” said head coach Randy Edsall. “I thought he did some good things. Of course there’s going to be plenty of things that he could learn from, and get better, but I think that we didn’t have any issues with delay of game, really didn’t have any false starts. When you talk about the mechanics and the operation of the offense I thought he handled it really well.”

Diggs, meanwhile, didn’t waste any time making a good first impression. With his first touch, a punt return on the second drive of the game, he exploded up a seam and went 68 yards for a touchdown.

And after quarterback Caleb Rowe hit freshman receiver Levern Jacobs for a 69-yard touchdown, Diggs struck again with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

“He’s a dynamic player, he’s got good instincts, got good football knowledge, he has talent and he’s very coachable and very competitive,” said Edsall. “We’ll just keep working with him and I know he’ll keep working, and I think he’ll end up being a real good one.”

Now just two weeks away from the season opener, Edsall was pleased with the team’s effort but said work remains to be done.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do before that opening game,” said Edsall. “Now we’ll go in and watch the film, evaluate it and narrow it down into a two-deep, and then who are the guys that can compete for us on special teams.”

Tidbits: With Matt Robinson injured, A.J. Hendy took the first-team reps at strong safety before leaving the practice with what Edsall said was an ankle injury. His status wasn’t immediately known … Edsall said he continues to be impressed with the running backs, specifically mentioning Brandon Ross, Albert Reid and Wes Brown … he also said the offensive line, and in particular right tackle Justin Gilbert, continue to get better … Edsall rested place-kicker/punter Nick Ferrara in order to get freshman Brad Craddock and redshirt freshman Nathan Renfro more reps. Craddock, an Australia native, performed well and showed good hang-time on his punts, while also handling kickoff and extra point duties … senior linebacker Darin Drakeford showed the ability to be a disruptive force. He had two sacks on one drive and on another, forced a fumble, picked it up and ran it in 18 yards for a touchdown.

 

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Maryland assistant Warne named new Georgetown lacrosse coach

Posted on 14 August 2012 by WNST Staff

WASHINGTON - Georgetown University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed announced that Kevin Warne has been named the head coach for the Hoyas men’s lacrosse program. He becomes the 12th head coach in the program’s 50-year history.

Warne comes to the Hilltop after two years as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland, where he helped lead the Terrapins to back-to-back appearances in the national championship game. He takes over for the legendary Dave Urick, who stepped down from coaching after winning 223 games in 23 years at the helm of the program.

“I’m really excited to name Kevin Warne as head coach for our men’s lacrosse program,” Reed said. “Kevin’s commitment to student-athlete welfare and his passion for the game makes him the perfect person to take over our lacrosse program at this time. He is considered to be one of the top young assistants in the country and he has a terrific track record of success as an assistant coach, including appearances in the last two national championship games. We welcome Kevin to the Hoya family and look forward to working with him to build on the great tradition and success of Georgetown lacrosse.”

Regarded as one of the top defensive minds in men’s lacrosse, Warne helped guide Maryland to consecutive NCAA National Championship games in his two years in College Park with a 25-11 record. The Terps finished the season ranked No. 2 in the country by Inside Lacrosse in 2011 and 2012.

In 2011, his first season with Maryland, Warne helped lead the Terps to a 13-5 season record, the 2011 ACC championship and three-straight wins in the NCAA Tournament to reach the title game. In 2012, Maryland finished the regular season, 9-5 and again advanced to the NCAA Tournament Championship Game. In two seasons, Warne helped guide seven Maryland players to earn All-America honors, including defender Brett Schmidt, who was named the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2011.

Prior to Maryland, Warne spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Harvard, where his primary responsibility was overseeing the Crimson defense. In his first season with the Crimson program in 2008, the team had the most All-Ivy League selections since 1999 and was ranked in both major polls during the year. During the 2009 campaign, Warne’s defensive unit ranked third in the nation in goals allowed per game and Harvard won eight games for the first time since 2002. The Crimson earned five All-Ivy picks and was ranked as high as No. 11 in the nation in the USILA poll. Harvard allowed 10 or more goals only twice and upset No. 5 Duke to open the season. Warne’s work with the Crimson earned him recognition as one of college lacrosse’s top assistant coaches by ESPN’s Quint Kessenich prior to the 2010. In 2010, Warne helped the Crimson win at least six games for the third straight season, as Harvard earned its first victory over No. 6 Princeton since 1990.

Warne came to Harvard from UMBC, where he served as associate head coach for the Retrievers and helped UMBC advance to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2007. He also served as UMBC’s main recruiting coordinator, as well as the program’s liaison to the equipment and strength & conditioning departments. Prior to his position at UMBC, Warne served as an assistant coach from 2001-04 at the University of Delaware, working primarily with the offense..

A 2000 graduate of Hofstra, Warne majored in psychology while playing for the Pride from 1995-99. He was a four-year letterwinner and a two-time All-America East honoree. As a senior, he was also named an honorable mention All-American after guiding Hofstra to its third league championship and postseason berth.

While finishing his degree at Hofstra, Warne served as an assistant coach at Plainview-Old Bethpage High School on Long Island. He got his start at the collegiate coaching level in 2000 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy prior to moving on to coach at Delaware.

Warne married the former Jennifer Merrill, who was a four-time letterwinner and team captain at Hofstra in volleyball, in August 2009. The couple currently resides in Baltimore with newborn daughter, Campbell.

 

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Maryland Media Day

Posted on 06 August 2012 by scottzolotorow

New Maryland Football Helmets

Coach Randy Edsall seems confident that his second year will have a much better outcome then his first at Maryland. His Terrapins spun a dismal 2-10 season in his first, so as they say, things can only get better. Edsall and his players were in the spotlight at today’s Media Day Event at the Gossett Team House next to Byrd Stadium. Today’s hot topics were the new 3-4 defense, the FieldTurf, which former University of Maryland and NFL quarterback, Neil O’Donnell, spoke about, and C.J. Brown’s legs.

With C.J. Brown being the only quarterback on the roster with any collegiate experience all eyes are on him and his longevity. The other two QB’s, Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe are both freshman straight out of high school. Brown is the kind of quarterback that uses his athletic ability as his biggest strength, he’s never afraid to run and take a big hit. But with the lack of depth at quarterback with last season’s initial starter, Danny O’Brien departing to Wisconsin, there is no room for injury. “Anytime you think about getting hurt or playing different than you’re used to playing, you’re more prone to injury,” stated Brown.

Brown’s targets are plentiful this season led by fellow captain Kevin Dorsey, a senior who pulled in 45 receptions and three touchdowns last season. Kerry Boykins and Marcus Leak, who combined for 49 receptions a year ago, are for now the number two and three receivers respectively on the depth chart but all eyes are directly aimed at five-star recruit Stefon Diggs from Good Counsel High School. Edsall says that Diggs will be given an opportunity to show what he can do as a wide receiver and as a kick returner, but he’ll have to earn his playing time and he’ll have to continue to play well to keep it. Edsall’s favorite part of his offense is the tight end position. He believes they have an incredible tight end core led by senior Matt Furstenburg, who is on several first team All-ACC lists. Seniors Devonte Campbell and Ryan Schlothauer along with a healthy junior Dave Stinebaugh, give the Terps four reliable targets at the tight end position.

As for the defensive side, Edsall is very excited about the front seven of the Terps new 3-4 scheme brought in by new defensive coordinator, Brian Stewart. Edsall’s biggest concern on the defensive side of the ball is the depth at defensive back, but with Stewart’s specialty being defensive backs, Edsall believes that things can be pulled together to make the unit stronger as a whole. Stewart has been a defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys and the University of Houston Cougars. The Terps defense returns 10 of 11 starters from a year ago with the addition of Kenny Tate, the stand out linebacker who missed most of last season. The biggest name on the defensive squad is Joe Vellano. This season Vellano will be moving from his usual Nose Tackle spot to Defensive End but he isn’t worried about the position change, he’s excited. Vellano has gained national recognition and is a preseason First Team All-America according to Athlon and a USA Today First Team All-ACC member.

Of course it wouldn’t have been a Maryland press conference without the mentioning of the uniforms and new FieldTurf. Neil O’Donnell compared the new field to a coffee filter as he spoke about the draining system that will filter snow and water through the field creating no puddles. His biggest emphasis on the new field is that “it is actually safer than a natural grass field.” O’Donnell’s team hopes that the field severely decreases the amount of concussions and injuries mentioning that Junior Seau was a good friend of his and that concussions really cause problems to these athletes, something that nobody wants to see.

The new uniforms will have the player’s names on the back of both the home Red and the away white, but only those two. The pride uniforms and black alternate home uniforms will not have the player’s names on them. Captain Joe Vellano said that the players had no idea this was happening but that it was a nice surprise and something that the parents like.

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Byrd Stadium field looks good, team still has work to do

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Byrd Stadium field looks good, team still has work to do

Posted on 26 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

After all of the worry about the changes coming to the field at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, a picture Tweeted this week by the University of Maryland Grounds Crew has certainly eased concern.

That looks like a good looking field to me.

The Terrapins’ football team? They were picked to finish last in the ACC Atlantic Division at the ACC football kickoff event this past weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.

If I had reason to debate that choice, I’d present it here. At least DL Joe Vellano and TE Matt Furstenburg were named preseason All-ACC, so they have that going for them.

But hey, the field certainly looks good. Maybe that’s enough for Randy Edsall and the Terps to start filling the seats?

Maybe.

-G

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