Notes from Maryland Coach Randy Edsall’s weekly meeting with reporters

September 12, 2013

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Last week, Coach Randy Edsall’s weekly fireside chat with beat reporters brought news of the Maryland football team’s nonconference schedule through 2019 and mock-up designs of an indoor practice facility. This week was less eventful.

Edsall had no injury updates to report. Because Maryland is not required to release pregame injury reports for nonconference games, reporters will have to rely on tracking possibly hurt players during pregame warmups. Among those whose status remains unknown: defensive lineman Zeke Riser, fullback Tyler Cierski, wide receiver Tyrek Cheeseboro and wide receiver Daniel Adams.

Edsall did say that freshman wide receiver Taivon Jacobs, who reneged on his commitment to Ohio State on National Signing Day to remain closer to his daughter Bailey, has returned to practice and has looked good. “It’s been good for our defense to chase around a guy with that kind of speed and acceleration,” Edsall said.

>> When Edsall signed his contract to leave Connecticut and become Maryland’s coach in early 2011, it was sheer coincidence that the two teams had already agreed to a home-and-home series for 2012 and 2013. Edsall said he wanted to schedule that game to boost the Huskies’ exposure in the Washington area.

“I wanted to do it for recruiting purposes, and also in terms of our nonconference scheduling,” Edsall said. “I always tried to look at making my suggestions to the athletic director about where I thought we could schedule games that would help us from a recruiting standpoint, but would also make sense in terms of it being a TV game if it’s on the road too. When I was there at Connecticut, we had quite a few kids from the Maryland-D.C. area. It gave us a chance to get those kids back and play a game at home.”

>> Edsall said he’s received good-luck text messages from old friends and boosters at Connecticut. He still expects a mixed reception at Rentschler Field, but the folks who reached out have been positive.

“I’ve gotten text messages, e-mails, from former players and donors and supporters from up at Connecticut this week,” he said. “Just wishing us good luck and those sort of things. Nothing out of the ordinary.”

>> Edsall praied both fullback Kenneth Goins, who should receive his third straight start this weekend if Cierski is unavailable, and safety Zach Dancel, who returned from a preseason hamstring injury against Old Dominion on Saturday.

Here’s Edsall on Goins: “I think Kenny’s getting a lot better. Personnel will dictate how much you do and what you do. You can see Kenny getting better each week. He’s blocking better, he’s using his hands more, he’s athletic. Last year, redshirt, he wasn’t too fond of that. But now he understands that was the best thing for him. I see a kid playing with a lot of confidence. He makes us more versatile and more multiple because of what he can do.”

And Edsall on Dancel: “He’s going to be on a few more special teams. I think Zach is a guy who will be able to make a contribution. He’s tough, he’s aggressive, he’s smart. He’s a couple plays away from being in there at safety.”

>> Edsall had mixed reviews for third-string quarterback Ricardo Young, who appeared in garbage time vs. the Monarchs last weekend, taking over once backup Caleb Rowe threw an interception. Young closed the fourth quarter with just one drive, moving 41 yards on eight plays. He handed off to freshman Jacquille Veii four straight times, rushed twice for seven yards and knelt to end the game.

“I wished he would have handled the four-minute offense better in terms of the mechanics of it,” Edsall said. “He was getting guys out of the huddle too quick. It was a lesson well learned for him. It was good for him to get in, for his first college game, to get that. He made some mistakes from that standpoint, but he’ll learn from it. It’ll help him going forward, that he knows he’s got to be mentally ready at any time to go in. Even though he doesn’t get snaps really during the week, and that’s usually the way it is with the third quarterback, we trusted him enough to put him in.”

>> Maryland will wear black helmets, white jerseys and black pants against the Huskies.

>> The Terps may add one or two walk-ons from an open tryout conducted this week, Edsall said. He declined to announce names yet, but said both were at “skill positions” and would help add depth on the scout team.

“I don’t want to release any names until I know they’re in the fold,” Edsall said. “It’d me more skill positions. You don’t ever get too many linemen who come out and walk on and get out that early and want to get out there and go through all that stuff. It’s tough to get linemen.”

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Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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