Maryland punter Wade Lees is transferring to UCLA as a graduate student, he announced Thursday on Twitter.
Lees, a 30-year-old Australian who is one of the oldest players in the Football Bowl Subdivision, was a three-year starter for the Terps.
“I couldn’t have played along side a better bunch of teammates at Maryland and have no doubt about the success that’s coming their way,” Lees wrote on Twitter. “Thanks to everyone in Maryland who have made this place home for for the past 3 1/2 years. Leaving with a undergrad and masters is beyond what i [sic] imagined.”
Last season, Lees was accused of assault by a fellow Maryland teammate during a practice in the wake of coach DJ Durkin's brief reinstatement.
Matthew Barber, a 21-year-old backup punter who had spoken out against the culture of the program under Durkin, said he was assaulted at the end of practice by a fellow player who supported Durkin.
The player he accused, Lees, acknowledged on Twitter that he had been in an altercation with Barber but denied the fight had anything to do with different views the two had over Durkin, who was fired Oct. 31. Several other Maryland players posted on Twitter that they back up Lees’ account.
Lee averaged 40.9 yards per punt in 2018 and placed 28 inside the 20-yard line. He earned a spot on the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter, each of the past two seasons.
Sophomore Bentley Faulkner and senior Mike Shinsky punted a combined seven times for 181 yards during the Terps’ annual Red-White scrimmage last month. Colton Spangler, an All-Anne Arundel County punter for Chesapeake’s Class 3A East Region title winning team, and Anthony Pecorella, a punter and quarterback at Chaminade High School in Mineola, N.Y., have committed to the Terps as preferred walk-ons.
Former Terps QB Larry Dick dies
Maryland announced the death of former Terps quarterback Larry Dick at age 64.
Dick, who led the Terps to a pair of bowl wins, finished his career ranked sixth all-time at Maryland in completion percentage (.588) and ranks in the top 25 in program history in career passing yards (2,601), completions (180) and passing touchdowns (13).
During his sophomore season in 1975, Dick led the Terps to a 9-2-1 record and a victory over Florida in the Gator Bowl.
He played two seasons (1978-1979) with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
Dick is survived by his sisters, Audrey and Joan, and son, Zachary.