COLLEGE PARK — There was the torn labrum, the chipped bone, the groin injury, the problematic rotator cuff. Each has taken a toll on Maryland outside linebacker Matt Robinson, testing his body and his will.
Seasons come and go for Robinson, but injuries often linger. When spring comes, he often is still healing from the year before.
But this season, the savvy rising senior is healthy. As much as any Maryland player, Robinson was eager to greet the arrival of spring practice Saturday.
Just nine weeks removed from their Military Bowl loss to Marshall, the Terps opened workouts that will end with the Red-White spring game April 11. In between, Maryland, preparing for its first season in the Big Ten, will hold an open scrimmage at North Point High in Waldorf on March 28.
"The guys are hungry and excited," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said after Saturday's practice. "The thing that I was really pleased with today is I thought the communication was very, very good on both sides of the ball, in terms of calling things out and doing all the stuff we were asking them to do."
Wide receiver Marcus Leak did not fully participate because of a minor hamstring issue. He missed last season after withdrawing from school for personal reasons.
But running back Wes Brown, returning from a season-long suspension, did practice and "is starting to get into the swing of things," Edsall said.
It's a different sort of spring for Robinson, who attended Atholton and whose mother, Pamila J. Brown, is a Howard County District Court judge.
"Coming in after my freshman year [in 2010] is the only other time I was really healthy going into the spring," Robinson said. "I think that's big for me, being able to actually lift weights full-go and come into spring ball full-go."
His teammates notice the difference in his mindset.
"He seems more confident," said linebacker L.A. Goree, one of Robinson's roommates. "He's been a little injury-prone in the past."
Edsall said Robinson "is a leader here on our football game. He's smart. He's experienced."
Robinson arrived at Maryland as a safety. He was moved to linebacker in 2013.
Robinson said he had no problem bulking up to make the switch. He weighed about 215 pounds as a strong safety and is up to 244 now.
"They asked me [recently] to tell younger guys how to gain weight," Robinson said. "But I feel like it was just a matter of time. Last winter, I feel like I just ate a lot."
Robinson was fourth on the team in tackles last season with 73. He had a career-high 17 tackles in the Terps' 41-21 win over North Carolina State in the November regular-season finale.
"He lays it on the line for Maryland," Edsall once said of Robinson, who has been reluctant to leave games even when hurt.
"He makes all the plays that come his way," Goree said. "He's everything you could ask of an outside linebacker."
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