I’m in Atlanta covering the Final Four, so attending Saturday’s football scrimmage at Middletown High School wasn’t exactly a viable option. Thanks to Maryland PR for passing along these quotes from Coach Randy Edsall and some accompanying notes.
The team will have its final spring practice on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Byrd Stadium (closed to the public) before Friday night’s spring game at 7 p.m.
>> Running back Joe Riddle had another strong day. He ripped off a touchdown run last weekend at Dunbar High School and evidently flashed speed with another 50-yard run. Per Maryland, he topped 100 yards for the day.
“I know Joe was excited to get out here and he ran hard,” Edsall said. “There were a lot of good things, and it was good to see. Joe is getting better and he’s just got to keep improving. It was good to see that, and the more we continue to develop depth, the better we’re going to be.”
It’s unlikely that Riddle will challenge either Wes Brown or Brandon Ross atop the depth chart, but he at least can provide a serviceable third option in the backfield.
>> The offense, Edsall said, struggled with penalties and dropped passes. With C.J. Brown still limited in practice, there have been leadership issues, especially compared to the defense.
“On offense, we’re lacking that,” Edsall said. “We need someone to step up so when things don’t go as well as they should, there’s someone there to get after them and get them going. That’s one of the biggest differences between offense and defense right now.”
>> Sounds like little has changed with quarterback Ricardo Young. His lack of game experience has hurt his consistency throughout live drills this spring.
“He needs to get a feel for certain things that happen out there,” Edsall said. “He’s getting better, but it’s one of those things where he’s not consistent enough for us yet. You can tell he hasn’t had the game reps yet. I did see him being a little bit more vocal today, which I liked. He just needs to be aware of some things, and you get that with playing.”
>> The return game is shaping up to feature Stefon Diggs, Will Likely and Deon Long, in that order. It wouldn’t shock to see either Likely or Long handling punt return duties, much like Marcus Leak and others did last season, to help protect Diggs.
>> Edsall said the attendance was around 1,700. Last weekend’s open scrimmage at Dunbar drew around 1,000.
““We’re definitely going to do it next year,” Edsall said. “We’ll sit down after spring and figure out where we’ll go next year, but this has been a huge success for us. We appreciate Dunbar and Middletown for hosting us. Getting out here and being around people. It’s good for us because we’re a young team. Now they’re out of their comfort zone before we even get to play a game. It’s a similar experience to playing a road game and it’s important for our young kids. It’s been great and we’ll definitely do it next year.”