The Maryland football team completed its ninth open preseason practice Thursday morning. The team will have another practice later Thursday night, which is closed to the media. Here’s a brief rundown of what went down this morning.
Date: Aug. 14
Open practice number: 9
Duration: About 105 minutes.
Location: Practice field.
Dress code: Full pads.
Edsall said that a few players would be given one of the two practices off on Thursday, and one notable missing Thursday morning was running back Brandon Ross.
– C.J. Brown’s first throw of an 11-on-11 sessions was picked off by corner Alvin Hill on a deep ball, but the offense got more up-tempo reps on Thursday morning. Brown had nice completions to Deon Long and Levern Jacobs, while P.J. Gallo had a circus catch on a ball thrown behind him by Caleb Rowe. Gallo tipped the pass back across his body to turn it into positive yards.
– The hit of the preseason so far came on an end-around play by newly converted wide receiver Jacquille Veii, who scampered up the sideline 20 yards before being dropped on his back by safety A.J. Hendy. The shot was on the sideline and late, however, as a Big Ten officiating crew working practice nabbed Hendy for a 15-yard penalty.
– Alongside Long, Stefon Diggs had another active practice at wide receiver. He made the score of the day after streaking past a defensive back and hauling in a 40-yard touchdown pass from Rowe. He made another nice catch in traffic during a two-minute drill, weaving his way around a couple defenders before absorbing a violent hit by safety Zach Dancel.
– On special teams, Taivon Jacobs, Will Likley and Veii all got multiple looks on kick returns. Senior kicker Brad Craddock went 3 for 4 on field goals, while redshirt freshman Adam Greene went 2 for 4.
[Related story: Brothers Levern and Taivon Jacobs stick together and move up.]
– Wes Brown had a blend of shifty and physical runs during live drills, picking up hard-earned yards on several occasions. He also had a fumble after mishandling a bad exchange.
– The offense and defense went head-to-head in a lineman punt return competition during the end of practice, with the first player to drop a fair catch losing. Both DL Darius Kilgo and OL Andrew Zeller fair-caught several punts, as did special teams coordinator Andre Powell. Kilgo dropped a deep punt eventually and the defense lost.
– Through the Casey Cares Foundation, the Terps hosted two critically ill children at the team facility on Thursday morning. The kids and their families were allowed to roam the sidelines during practice and eat lunch with the players afterward.