COLLEGE PARK — Maryland will go full pads for the first time during preseason practice Friday. But the shoulder pads went on Wednesday, which led to the most eventful and spirited practice thus far.
Here are some notes and observations from Day 3 of Terps preseason camp:
* Quarterback C.J. Brown and the first team have not been particularly sharp in the passing game. The timing and chemistry between Brown and receivers like Stefon Diggs and Deon Long appears to be off. Brown has been inaccurate at other times, and he also made some bad decisions throwing into coverage. Brown has also had some good moments, like the touchdowns he threw to Andrew Isaacs and Marcus Leak on Tuesday. But coach Randy Edsall expressed disappointment in Long. Diggs has also not done anything to really stand out so far yet, although he did have one catch that went for about 30 yards Wednesday.
* Redshirt sophomore Michael Dunn has done well at left tackle. Edsall spoke highly of Dunn at Big Ten media days last week, and Dunn has seemingly held his own during camp despite facing some talented defensive linemen like Andre Monroe.
* Backup quarterback Caleb Rowe and reserve wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo connected for a couple big plays Wednesday. One went for a touchdown of about 60 yards on a go-route down the left sideline. On the other, Etta-Tawo made a nice leaping catch in tight coverage. Etta-Tawo has had some drops early in camp and had at least one Wednesday, but he ended the practice on a positive note with those two plays.
* Redshirt freshman wide receiver Taivon Jacobs produced the first Taivon Jacobs moment of camp. Jacobs has been referred to as the fastest player on the team. Diggs has gone as far as to call Jacobs the fastest human he has ever seen in person, and Jacobs showed his speed and elusiveness on a long touchdown pass from Rowe. Jacobs caught a pass deep down the left sideline. He then made one defender miss before faking out defensive back Jarrett Ross and jogging the final 10 yards or so to the end zone. The move on Ross drew a loud reaction from teammates.
* Outside linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil made a nice play in pursuit during inside run drills, hustling to track down a running back from the back side. Backup outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue has stood out at times during camp, but so has Cudjoe-Virgil, whose energy and motor are impossible not to notice. Edsall said before practice Tuesday that "Cudjoe is everything that you want from a coaching standpoint. There’s a guy who works hard all the time. Doesn’t say a whole lot and is very focused and passionate about playing the game and doing things the right way. I love being around the guy. His work ethic is off the charts. He’s the type of guy you’ve got to tell to slow down a little bit. It’s great having him back out here."
* Punter Nate Renfro continues to struggle. Edsall expressed displeasure with Renfro near the end of the spring, and Renfro has not had a strong start to camp. He will be pushed for the punting job by preferred walk-on Lee Shrader, whom Edsall has said has a strong leg.
* Defensive end Spencer Myers stood out at times with the reserve defensive line groups, getting into the backfield to disrupt some plays. Myers is the All-American wrestler trying to carve out a role along Maryland’s defensive front.
* Freshmen linebackers Jesse Aniebonam and Nnamdi Egbuaba were forced to do a lap around the field at one point after the Terps were left a player short on defense because one of the two was not on the field when he should have been. Both ran on the field when coaches pointed out that the defense was missing an outside linebacker, and both were sent to run shortly after.
* The Terps had several visitors at practice Wednesday, including top 2016 quarterback recruit Dwayne Haskins from Bullis, who spent part of practice watching drills alongside Edsall and offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. Class of 2015 commits Mike Majette and Keiron Howard were also in attendance. So was former Terps and current New England Patriots defensive lineman Joe Vellano, whose Patriots are in the area this week for joint practices with the Washington as well as a preseason game against the Redskins tonight.
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