COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland held its media day for football Monday. Here are some notes, including tidbits on some of the Terps’ position battles:
* Redshirt junior Brandon Ross, who led the team with 865 rushing yards last year, appears to be the current leader in the race to be the starting running back. Ross is competing with junior Albert Reid and sophomores Wes Brown and Jacquille Veii, but coach Randy Edsall said he has been impressed with Ross and said Ross “did some really good things” during the Terps’ scrimmage Sunday.
Ross has had some fumbles during camp, but he was praised by both Edsall and offensive coordinator Mike Locksley for his consistency as well as his productivity.
“The first year or two, he was a guy who made a lot of mental errors, and we haven’t had any out of Brandon [during camp],” Locksley said. “He’s been really consistent. When the plays have been there to be made, he’s made those plays. He’s improved his pass protection. He’s playing faster for us.”
Reid appears to be second in the competition at this point and has worked primarily with the second-team offense during camp, but Brown and Veii have both done some good things as well and are both also pushing for roles.
“It’s nice to have this problem,” Locksley said. “We’d love to see someone step up and separate. Brandon is starting to do that, but Albert’s a guy that’s never going to be outworked and is going to be that guy that’s going to push to be the starter himself. I know Jacquille plays with great energy, great effort [and] brings a skillset because of his speed there. And again, Wes is a downhill, physical runner that’s a tough tackle for the defense.”
* Locksley said junior Ryan Doyle is the clear leader in the battle for the right tackle job despite highly touted freshman Derwin Gray having impressed at times during camp.
“Ryan Doyle’s the guy right now,” Locksley said. “He’s had a great summer. We see the athleticism in Ryan. He’s developed more strength and size. … I’ve been happy with Ryan Doyle and how he’s looked early in camp.”
Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa did acknowledge, however, that Doyle could be moved to left guard depending on how Gray and current left guard Silvano Altamirano fare during camp.
Altamirano, a senior, was supposed to compete with junior Evan Mulrooney for that starting left guard job, but Mulrooney is out indefinitely because of a viral infection.
“With Derwin, how fast is he going to come along?,” Studrawa said. “The [same] thing with Doyle, too. If those two come along and progress, that gives you the option to either move Doyle inside or move somebody at tackle. It’s still too early now I think to see.
"I like the five that are in there right now. I like the backups how they’re going. I’d like to get Evan back in there and get him going because I think coming out of the spring he was playing as good as anybody.”
* Edsall acknowledged the Terps made some position changes following their scrimmage Sunday, although he did not want to say what those changes were because he had not yet informed the players of the moves. He will be able to speak about those Tuesday, though.
* Edsall singled out Ross, Altamirano, freshman offensive lineman Brendan Moore and wide receivers Levern Jacobs, Taivon Jacobs and Marcus Leak as offensive players who did well during the scrimmage Sunday.
Edsall said Levern Jacobs had a “great” scrimmage.
He said Taivon Jacobs made plays, and he praised Leak for battling through a minor injury.
Edsall said Ross did some good things and said the same about Moore, who saw time with the second-team offense.
“It was good to see because he got a lot of reps, and we really liked what we saw out of him,” Edsall said of Moore.
* Edsall said he texted with former Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle on Sunday after he heard about McDougle tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during training camp with the New York Jets, an injury that happened less than a year after McDougle suffered a broken collarbone that ended his senior season with the Terps after just three games.
“I just feel so bad for him,” Edsall said. “He was playing well and doing a good job. But I just told him that you’ve been through this before and you’ll come back stronger.”
* Edsall said walk-on punter Lee Shrader has struggled during camp and has not been putting much pressure on returning punter Nate Renfro in spite of Renfro being inconsistent as well.
* Wide receiver Deon Long has been sidelined since late last week with an abdominal injury, but Edsall said he expects Long to return to practice Tuesday.
* Defensive end Quinton Jefferson remains away from the team as he deals with a medical situation involving his wife.
“Quinton Jefferson is still with his wife as they are finding out exactly the issues she might have,” Edsall said. “I spoke to Quinton today and he’s in good spirits. But in our program, it’s all about their faith first and foremost and then the family, then academics, then football and then the social, so our thoughts and prayers are with him and his wife and his family, and hopefully everything works out well from that standpoint.”
* Edsall said wrestler Spencer Myers “is doing some really good things” along the defensive line. Myers worked primarily with the third-team defense during the first week of camp, but Edsall said he will get Myers reps with the first-team defense this week.
“He’s caught the attention of everybody,” Edsall said.
Myers is competing for a backup role at defensive end behind Jefferson and Andre Monroe.
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