The Maryland football team is not required to release injury reports for nonconference games, but Coach Randy Edsall said Thursday that every player listed on the Terrapins’ two-deep depth chart will be available against Florida International on Saturday at Byrd Stadium. This means, in particular, wide receiver Deon Long will make his much-hyped Terrapins debut.
No word on some of the other potential contributors absent from the depth chart, such as safety Zach Dancel, running back Joe Riddle, wide receiver Tyrek Cheeseboro and defensive back Alvin Hill. We’ll know more once players suit up on Saturday. Riddle (concussion) returned to practice this week, but in a non-contact role. Running back Jacquille Veii (ankle) practiced this week and will be available against the Panthers.
Defensive lineman Ty Tucker also underwent knee surgery. He is a walk-on redshirt freshman from Walkersville, Md.
Some other notes from Edsall’s weekly chat with beat reporters on Thursday afternoon:
>> Maryland will bring 66 players to its team hotel on Friday night. Edsall declined to name specific players, but broke down the numbers by class and by position.
By class: Eight seniors, 18 juniors, 21 sophomores, eight redshirt freshmen, 11 freshmen.
By position: Seven defensive linemen, eight outside linebackers, five inside linebackers, nine defensive backs, 11 offensive linemen, eight wide receivers, three tight ends, five running backs/fullbacks, four quarterbacks, six specialists.
Let the guessing game begin.
>> Edsall said it was “too early to tell” whether fourth-string quarterback Perry Hills, who started seven games last year, would redshirt, but echoed offensive coordinator Mike Locksley’s belief that Hills has not fully recovered from the ACL tear suffered last season.
“I’m not the medical people, or anything like that, and they clear him to practice and everything else, but from a trained eye and watching him play the position, I don’t think and we as a staff don’t think that he was moving quite as well as he was moving a year ago,” Edsall said. “He had more that had to be done [surgically] than Caleb [Rowe] did. It’s one of those things where, when we sat down and looked at it, even though he was cleared, just something told me, as we watched, that he didn’t seem the way he was a year ago. Right now, we’re afforded that luxury where we don’t have to do anything with him. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Edsall said “hopefully” Hills will redshirt, but the Terps won’t make that decision until further along in the season.
>> Maryland added defensive back Isaac Goins to its leadership council, which now features 11 players.
“We were talking one day as a team, doing some things as a team, and it just came up that with Isaac that one of the players suggested to me that they thought he would be a good guy to have on that,” Edsall said. “So we did. We added him to it.”
Goins, a sophomore, is listed as the backup cornerback behind Dexter McDougle.
>> Kicker Brad Craddock will handle kickoffs as well as field goals and PATs. Expect freshman Adam Greene to be available as well.
>> Byrd Stadium received a small makeover this offseason, adding panels honoring unanimous all-Americans attached to the garage overlooking the west end zone.
Edsall said more plans are in the works to honor past players and the history of Byrd Stadium, including murals and banners strung up along the first-floor concourse opposite Tyser Tower. It’s all part of “trying to enhance the brand” of the Terps. Edsall said Maryland also might add flag poles atop the stadium, where flags of the season’s opponents will fly.
>> No uniform surprises for Saturday. The Terps will wear their standard red jerseys with black pants and gold trim.
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