Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown has been peppered with questions about facing family on Saturday against James Madison, where he’ll take the same field as his redshirt freshman brother Jordan, who plays defensive back for the Dukes.
Brown was short and polite in his responses, but he knows this season opener is about much more. Brown has one last chance to polish off a wild six-year career in College Park, and there are plenty of questions abound following an inconsistent camp for the offense. The opener against James Madison will either be an opportunity for the unit to carry its own weight, two weeks after looking sloppy in an open scrimmage.
“It’s coming along and hopefully we’ll see those results on Saturday,” Brown said.
The objectives of camp — installing offense, rehearsing offense, determining personnel — were met, Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said. It was a productive camp in that Maryland lost just one player to serious injury, and it established starting roles. Brandon Ross emerged from a four-running back race, Andrew Isaacs in a three-player competition at tight end and Silvano Altamirano at left guard. It also pushed stars out of their comfort zone.
Edsall had occasionally been critical of the wide receivers, including Deon Long at one point, during camp. Stefon Diggs practiced with the second team for part of camp, and Edsall said Tuesday that it was a chance for the staff to motivate the junior.
“The good thing is with Stefon, I did something there and it motivated him and it got him back on track. Sometimes you have to do that,” Edsall said.
As for Brown, he admitted that his final camp wasn’t his best. He had several sharp showings, but he and the offense also struggled at times during the middle stages of camp. He didn’t play during the team’s open scrimmage, when the offense had five turnovers.
But Brown also has a gift in being able to create plays with his feet, and he’s determined to put together a full season after two years of nagging health issues. On that end, surviving training camp and arriving at the first game against James Madison was a success in itself.
“It was an okay camp for me, I wouldn’t say it was one of my better camps. But at the same time I learned from some of my mistakes and I was able to move and get through it. And obviously it won’t happen again,” Brown said. “I’m just really excited that fall camp is over and the season is here.”