Stability at QB unheard of past three seasons Russell is No. 6 in parade of players to take snaps; Terps notebook


COLLEGE PARK -- Honk if you've quarterbacked Maryland.

Keon Russell is the sixth player to pilot the Terps the past three seasons. Two years ago, Scott Milanovich, Kevin Foley and Brian Cummings got turns. When Cummings sprained an ankle in the 1995 opener against Tulane, Orlando Strozier was the emergency fill-in.

Redshirt freshman Ken Mastrole has gotten two starts in place of the injured Cummings this season, and when Mastrole fractured his right collarbone in seven places at Duke, Russell got his chance.

Mastrole underwent surgery Sunday morning to repair his collarbone. Cummings, who hasn't played since he suffered a concussion Oct. 19 against Wake Forest, is back in the practice mix. So is Strozier, who this week has worked out with the quarterbacks for the first time since last season.

As for Russell, he got antsy as a third-team quarterback and pined for a switch to receiver, the position he expected to play when he transferred to Maryland from American International.

"I was planning to move over a couple of weeks ago," Russell said, "but every time I wanted to, Brian [Cummings] got hurt."

Milanovich is a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the season has been most unsettling for Foley. Playing for his third coach in as many years, hampered by a knee injury and demoted to second string, Foley left the Boston University team earlier this month.

Keeping an eye out

Cummings spoke to the media this week for the first time in more than two weeks. He and Mastrole both were injured by pass rushers after they had released the ball, and he acknowledged that late hits are a concern.

"Coming from the other team's point of view, you're always trying to knock out the quarterback," Cummings said.

"The way I've missed games, I'm sure that's on their [Clemson players'] minds.

"When they have a shot, they're going to try to knock me out. I've just got to keep my poise. Maybe I've been sitting in the pocket too long, but that [shying from contact] hasn't affected me thus far."

West's woes

Clemson has won three of its past four games and is coming off a 28-25 victory over Georgia Tech that knocked Tech out of the Top 25. But it hasn't been an easy year for coach Tommy West.

Nine players were arrested between a 41-0 Gator Bowl loss to Syracuse on New Year's Day and a season-opening 45-0 defeat at North Carolina. Last week, top receiver Tony Horne was kicked off the team for allegedly violating a university-imposed restraining order after a student said Horne verbally confronted him twice.

Pub Date: 11/02/96

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