The Maryland football team’s fourth preseason practice is in the books. Here’s a brief rundown of how it went.
Date: Aug. 7
Open practice number: 4
Duration: About 130 minutes.
Location: Practice field.
Dress code: Helmets and shoulder pads.
Injured and out: OL Evan Mulrooney
Randy Edsall said before practice that Mulrooney is hospitalized with an apparent illness. “Nothing concrete. He’s in the hospital. Nothing more than what I said yesterday at this point in time.”
Edsall also touched on wide receiver Levern Jacobs, who has been out of team-related practice activities the entire week. Edsall expects Jacobs will be back practicing in team drills on Saturday.
— All four running backs in the chase for the starting position – Wes Brown, Albert Reid, Brandon Ross and Jacquille Veii – continued to get plenty of looks during inside drills and 11-on-11 sessions. Edsall made it clear before practice that there will not be enough reps for all four, that the team will rely heavily on a two-back system and that the backups will have to earn stripes on special teams.
All the backs showed flashes Thursday. Brown continued to impress with his ability to get to the second-level, and caught several passes out of the backfield. Reid continued to run hard – he was able to keep his feet moving and cut back up field on several occasions. But mostly he was running in between the tackles, and met reporters after practice to talk about the competition.
“I don’t feel like I’m a leg-up, I just feel like we’re all competing together,” Reid said. “We don’t know our roles yet. As camp goes on, I’m pretty sure [Edsall will] tell us our roles.”
— Veii made a notable run on the final play of a goal-line session. He was initially stopped in his tracks behind the line of scrimmage – which drew shrieks and a near rush of the field from the defensive sideline – but spun out to the right and scored a touchdown a moment later. He was mobbed by offensive teammates.
— The passing game didn’t look as crisp. At one point, C.J. Brown completed four straight passes to Stefon Diggs, Deon Long, Andrew Isaacs and Marcus Leak during seven-on-seven drills – but there were a number of dropped balls and overthrown passes later in the drill and during 11-on-11.
–Brown was picked off by corner Anthony Nixon during 11-on-11, and linebacker Alex Twine had another interception later. Another defensive standout Thursday was senior linebacker Cole Farrand, who returned a fumble for a touchdown during 11-on-11 and seemed to be mixing it up on nearly every run.
“You have to have a good mentality, a good mindset when you’re showing up for practice every day. Hopefully I can keep doing that,” Farrand said after practice.