More roster turnover for Terps football team

Since Randy Edsall took over for Ralph Friedgen in January, there has been a revolving door of coaches and players shuffling in and out of the Maryland football program. And it still hasn't stopped spinning.

In recent weeks, linebacker Ryan Donohue, running back Gary Douglas and quarterback Tyler Smith announced plans to transfer, while fullbacks Haroon Brown and Taylor Watson — both of whom are graduating — decided they wouldn't return for their final season of eligibility. It's the type of attrition one might expect from a coaching change.

On Tuesday, Edsall announced two additional roster-related moves: defensive tackle Zach Kerr and wide receiver Nigel King will be ineligible this season, shrinking an already diminished depth chart.

Kerr, ruled ineligible because he did not meet NCAA academic requirements, was held out of spring practice because of academics. Last season, the sophomore recorded 21 tackles as a reserve.

"We did what we could do," Edsall said of Kerr. "I did what I could do in terms of trying to help him, keeping him out of spring practice and hopefully getting that done, but, you know, we've got some depth there at tackle, we have some guys, and that's what we'll go with."

King — who graduated high school early and enrolled at Maryland in January — was deemed ineligible by the NCAA clearinghouse. He will remain with the program and have four years of eligibility come 2012.

"It's just really like a redshirt year with Nigel," Edsall said. "All he'll do is redshirt. He just can't compete, so we'll deal with it. …He's going to be part of the team."

Kerr's future with the Terps, however, remains unclear.

"I'm going to be meeting with Zach here a little bit later this afternoon," Edsall said. "We're going to have further conversations about the direction we're going to go."

In terms of depth, Edsall highlighted quarterback and linebacker as two positions the team is thin at. C.J. Brown is the backup to starter Danny O'Brien, the 2010 ACC Rookie of the year, but little experience lies beyond the duo.

Freshman walk-on Troy Jones is the third quarterback on the depth chart, and converted wide receiver Devin Burns would take over under center if all other options were exhausted, Edsall said.

Still, the Terps' first-year coach remains optimistic and is not one to dwell on the recent departures.

"It is what it is. I'm not one of those guys that is going to go around and say 'woe is me' or anything like that," Edsall said. "You put your plan in place and if something happens you have plans in case you have to move somebody or do those sort of things."

Academic progress

After Maryland lost three scholarships in April because of a failure to meet minimum NCAA academic progress rate requirements, the Terps have apparently rebounded in the classroom. Edsall said 65 percent of the team got a 2.5 GPA or better in the spring semester.

"They understand what we want from them from an academic standpoint," he said. "I like the direction we're going. We still have a lot of work to do, but, like I said, we got the program in place to make sure that these young men can be successful now."

The scholarship loss came after the Terps fell three points short of 925 — the minimum APR score required. Edsall thinks those days of academic trouble are behind the program.

"I'm pleased with the direction we are going and I'm pleased with the results," Edsall said.

Coach's to-do list

Although he has been on the job for a little more than six months, Edsall said he's only began to delve into the myriad tasks he hopes to undertake in revamping the Maryland program.

"We've got a lot of work to do yet. … I don't even know if we've scratched the surface of the things that I want to do and get done," he said.

Edsall said a new indoor facility that will be used for football and other sports, and possibly intermurals, is in the works. He also said that Byrd Stadium will have an artificial playing surface by the 2012 season, making the field a possible venue for college soccer and high school football games.

"There's a lot of things on the plate," Edsall said. "We put a little dent into it, but still got a lot more eating to get that food off the plate."

Players report on Aug. 8 and the first practice of training camp will be Aug. 9.

Notes: Offensive tackle Pete DeSouza underwent another surgery to replace rods in his legs. In October, DeSouza broke both legs in a scooter accident. "He's recovering," Edsall said. "As I said, he's still got a long way to go." … Former Maryland basketball player Cliff Tucker, who spent spring practice working out at wide receiver, will not be on the roster this fall. Edsall said there wasn't a scholarship available for him.