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As Maryland opens spring practice, Edsall says Terps are 'on the right track'

Maryland is preparing to open spring football practice with 10 starters back on defense, questions on the offensive line and a promise from coach Randy Edsall that "we're on the right track."

Coming off a 2-10 season in Edsall's first season in College Park, the Terps begin three days of practices on Saturday. After spring break, they return for more workouts leading to the Red-White game April 21.

"It's more motivation [this season]," said linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield, who ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season in tackles with 12 per game. "A lot of guys are trying not to repeat that [2011 experience], so everybody is working a lot harder."

Edsall, Hartsfield and others were made available to the media Tuesday for a session to introduce spring practices.

Edsall has often referred to a "process" to describe the transformation of Maryland football since he arrived following the 2010 season.

"When you go through change and you go through a transition … it doesn't happen overnight. It's not basketball. We can't change it with one guy. We're on the right track," the coach said.

Maryland has a new offensive coordinator, Mike Locksley, and a new defensive coordinator, Brian Stewart.

The Terps were forced by injuries to play far more first-year players on defense last season than planned. Sixteen current defensive players have started at least one game, and 11 of the 13 leading tacklers return.

There are questions on offense, which lost starting tackles Max Garcia and R.J. Dill. They were among a dozen players — including quarterback Danny O'Brien — who left the program after the season.

Two starting offensive linemen — Bennett Fulper and Justin Gilbert — return. Fulper and lineman Pete White are both limited by injuries this spring. Fulper isn't currently listed as first team, and White does not appear on the spring depth chart.

Maryland said the depth chart is merely a starting point, and that players will be added as they return from injuries. Some players may switch positions on the offensive line. "We'll play the five best — whoever they may be," Edsall said.

Also not on the chart is senior linebacker Kenny Tate, who hopes to return from knee surgery.

C.J. Brown opens as the starting quarterback with no set backup once the season begins. Two quarterback recruits will arrive in the fall.

Maryland's recruiting class is ranked 36th nationally by Scout.com.

Maryland opens the season Sept. 1 against William & Mary. The Terps then travel to Temple before hosting Connecticut. Edsall coached the Huskies before arriving here.

"To me, it's a great nonconference game," Edsall said of facing his former school.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

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