After a day off Sunday, the Maryland football team got back to work with its 11th open preseason practice Monday morning. Here’s a brief rundown of how it went.
VITALS Date: Aug. 18.
Open practice number: 11.
Duration: About 110 minutes.
Location: Practice field.
Dress code: Full pads.
Wide receivers Daniel Adams and Marcus Leak and linebacker Cole Farrand did not take part in live team activities. Quarterback C.J. Brown, running back Brandon Ross and defensive back Alvin Hill were among the players who returned to live team drills after sitting out of Saturday’s scrimmage.
– Prior to practice, Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said the staff would continue to evaluate and determine the depth chart through Wednesday, then break into scout teams on Thursday. The objective is to trim the roster to 70, which is the number of players allowed to travel in the Big Ten.
– Edsall re-affirmed that he’s planning to rotate six or seven players along the defensive line. Here are his comments on the competition: “I think we are getting good line play out of Darius [Kilgo] and Keith [Bowers]. Collectively I think they give us something. If we can keep those guys fresh and they go in there and play hard, it’s going to make us better. Quinton [Jefferson] backed up by Spencer [Myers] and Malik [Jones] on that side. Spencer probably has an edge right now, but Malik is pushing. You have Roman [Braglio] on the other side. Another freshman that has shown us some things right now is David Shaw. Kingley’s [freshman Kingsley Opara] gotten better. It was fun sitting down yesterday after the scrimmage seeing the depth.”
– Wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught a touchdown pass from Caleb Rowe during an 11-on-11 drill early in practice.
– The first team offense and defense put forth another entertaining round of two-minute drilling. Brown hit wide receiver Levern Jacobs for about a 50-yard gain, then found the junior again a play later for a short gain. But after another short completion to running-back-turned-wide receiver Jacquille Veii, the defense held in the red zone, aided by pressure from junior safety Sean Davis on the final play of the series.
– The offensive and defensive linemen went all-out in one-on-one battles late in practice. Kilgo and Sal Conaboy had a heated engagement, while Yannick Ngakoue looked impressive with a few moves around Ryan Doyle. Ngakoue also got pancaked on a play late in the drill. Here’s Edsall on the talented sophomore before practice: “Young Yannick is coming along. He’s not where we need him to be, but you can see where the improvements are being made. The big thing for him is to stay humble and stay hungry. If he can stay humble and stay hungry and he can continue to work at a level that Coach [Lyndon] Johnson and the rest of the defensive coaches want him to work at he’s going to continue to improve and continue to get a lot better,” Edsall said.
– Senior defensive back A.J. Hendy had another productive practice Monday. He adjusted well in coverage and picked off a Caleb Rowe pass after it was tipped. He nearly picked off another Perry Hills throw a few minutes later, but bobbled the breakup. Senior corner Jeremiah Johnson also had a couple nice pass breakups during 11-on-11.