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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Junior college point guard Jaylen Brantley commits to Maryland

Point guard Jaylen Brantley of Odessa (Tex.) Junior College has committed to Maryland, according to a source familiar with the recruiting process.

The 5-foot-11 Brantley is the second transfer who will be eligible to play for the Terps next season, joining power forward Robert Carter Jr.

Brantley attended Maryland Madness on Friday night with his mother and uncle.

He grew up in Springfield, Mass., and played on the same Boston-based AAU team as Maryland junior forward Jake Layman. Brantley will have three years of eligibililty remaining.

He initially signed with Marshall as a non-qualifier, but he never played for the Thundering Herd.

Odessa Junior College coach Tra Arnold has only seen Brantley in practice thus far, but he believes Brantley is a high-major college prospect.

"He's a really steady point guard that doesn't turn the ball over, that gets his teammates involved, that can run your team." said Arnold, whose previous point guard, Josh Gray, is now at LSU.

Despite his size,...

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Maryland is significant underdog heading into game at Wisconsin

The oddsmakers apparently do not see Maryland stacking up well heading into Saturday's game at Wisconsin.

The Terps are 11.5-point underdogs according to the three lines at ESPN.com.

The Badgers (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) are ranked first nationally in rushing offense (343 yards per game), are second in the Big Ten in total defense, and they have what is widely known as one of the best home-field advantages in the country.

Wisconsin lost to a now 3-4 Northwestern team Oct. 4, but the Badgers’ only other loss came at the hands of then 13th-ranked LSU. That was a game Wisconsin led 24-7 during the third quarter before the Tigers scored 21 straight points to win, 28-24.

The main issue the Badgers have is at quarterback.

Wisconsin quarterbacks are completing just 54 percent of their passes and have only seven touchdown passes to go along with eight interceptions.

Joel Stave, who has seen the majority of the action the last two games, was just 15 of 33 for 187 yards with three interceptions and...

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Terps sticking with punter Nate Renfro and other notes

Maryland coach Randy Edsall said he is not planning on changing punters despite junior Nate Renfro’s recent struggles.

Renfro, whom Edsall has described as inconsistent since the spring, averaged just 32.2 yards on his final five punts against Ohio State on Oct. 4 and averaged only 37.8 yards on nine punts during the Terps’ win over Iowa on Saturday.

One punt against Iowa traveled just 19 yards. Another — which was snapped from the Hawkeyes’ 38-yard line — sailed out of the end zone for a touchback at a key moment of the fourth quarter when Maryland was depending on Renfro to pin Iowa inside its 20-yard line.

The problem for the Terps?

“Who are you going to put in?,” Edsall said during his weekly conference call Sunday.

The only other two punters on Maryland’s roster are walk-on freshman Lee Shrader and senior Michael Tart, who averaged just 34 yards per punt on the only three punts of his Terps career.

Maryland could use kicker Brad Craddock as a punter. But it does not seem like...

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Terps coach Randy Edsall receives attention for sideline catch

Late in the fourth quarter of Maryland’s win over Iowa on Saturday, Hawkeyes quarterback Jake Rudock had nowhere to go with the football.

Instead of trying to force the ball into a congested area, Rudock decided to throw it away, at which point Terps coach Randy Edsall had a chance to show that he still has some athleticism, even at 56 years old.

Rudock threw the ball towards the Maryland sideline and in the direction of Edsall, who — instead of letting the ball go over his head — jumped up, fully extended his arms and caught the ball before nonchalantly turning and tossing it to the referee.

“Just natural instincts,” Edsall, a former college quarterback at Syracuse, joked during his weekly conference call Sunday. “I think I might have a better vertical jump than some of our guys.”

Edsall’s catch was talked about on ESPN. Video of the catch was linked to on ESPN, as well as other sites, and there were a decent amount of people on Twitter talking about Edsall’s catch.

“I’ve had more...

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Terps' Evan Smotrycz out 4-6 weeks after breaking bone in left foot

Maryland senior Evan Smotrycz is expected to miss four to six weeks after breaking a bone in his left foot in practice Friday, the Terps said Sunday.

The fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone is considered less serious of a break in the same foot suffered last season by former Terps point guard Seth Allen, who missed two months and said after he transferred last spring that he came back too soon in order to help a struggling team. Smotrycz will have surgery later this week.

The timeline for Smotrycz's recovery means that the 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward -- who is considered one of Maryland's top 3-point shooters -- could be back shortly after the Nov. 14 season opener. The Terps shouldn't face a serious test until facing Arizona State in the opening round of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 24.

Smotrycz averaged 11 points and six rebounds last season after transferring from Michigan.

In his place, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon has a few options, the most likely...

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Led by C.J. Brown, resilient Terps leave game against Iowa with more than a win

There’s no way to measure mental toughness when high school football players are being recruited, no stopwatch to put to a kid to see how long it takes for him to get back into a game when he has been knocked out. If there was, Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown might have been a five-star prospect in high school, not a three-star one. 

There’s also no tangible way to figure out how big a win Maryland’s 38-31 victory over Iowa on Saturday at Byrd Stadium will be for another couple of months, at least not before the Terps get through the four-game gauntlet they now face in their inaugural Big Ten Conference season.

Accustomed to coming back from injuries and inconsistencies throughout a six-year college football career filled with plenty of each, Brown was not the only Maryland player to show resilience in what could be a season-defining game for the Terps, now 5-2. He was clearly their most important.

Brown didn’t let his own mistake — a first-play interception that set up Iowa’s first...

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