Justin Gilbert’s Return Highlights First Day of Maryland Spring Practice

March 10, 2012 | WNST Staff

Terps open spring practice Saturday, the first of 15 workouts over the next six weeks

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland Terrapins opened the spring Saturday morning with a two-hour workout at the team’s practice facility.

The Terps return 15 offensive and defensive starters from last season and will use the next six weeks to install schemes, tinker with the depth chart and get some much needed reps for a number of young guys who saw most of their time on the scout teams last season.

Randy Edsall was pleased with the opening practice of his second spring as Maryland head coach.

“I liked that we were back out here on the field and I liked that we got after it,” Edsall said after the workout. “I liked seeing the install on offense and defense and seeing the guys come out here, working together, with good attitudes. There was a lot of energy.”

The offseason included a change to new offensive and defensive coordinators. Mike Locksley is bringing in a pro-style offensive attack that features spread principles, while Brian Stewart will have an attacking 3-4 scheme on defense.

“For the first day, I thought the guys were communicating really well,” Edsall said. “That’s what I think you really need to look for when working with new schemes. Offensively, the timing wasn’t too bad. There weren’t a lot of balls on the ground. I think the defense did a really good job communicating and guys were lined up and running to the ball.”

Junior C.J. Brown, who started five games under center last season, will get the majority of the spring reps as the only scholarship quarterback on the squad.

“I thought he did a good job and he handled things well,” Edsall said. “Again, it’s nowhere near where we want to be but with all the new things that he had to manage, I thought he had a pretty good first day.”

In-depth evaluations will likely wait until after the team dons pads. Saturday’s practice was one of three in the spring which must take place in only helmets.

“I look at it from a team standpoint until you get the pads on and really get a chance to evaluate things,” Edsall said of his overall thoughts on the first day. “We’re looking for the attitude, effort, the intensity and coachability. I think that was all there today. I think that once we get into the pads, we’ll have a better idea.”

The Terps will return to the field Tuesday and then practice again on Thursday before taking a week off for spring break. The team returns to the field on March 27 and will practice each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday leading up to the Red-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 21 which will begin at 1 p.m. in Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

Terp Notes:

Gilbert’s Early Return: Offensive lineman Justin Gilbert was expected to miss at least the first spring practice after rolling an ankle recently in offseason workouts, but the senior participated in all of Saturday’s practice. After missing more than one season of play due to a pair of knee injuries, Gilbert was inserted into the starting lineup at right guard for the last three games of 2011. Randy Edsall indicated at Tuesday’s news conference that Gilbert could end up at left tackle where he started in 2010. “We’re going to see who the five best guys are,” Edsall said of the offensive line.

– Terps –