The Maryland football team went through its second practice of training camp on Tuesday continuing to seek clarity at a handful of positions and without several players who failed to complete their conditioning tests and another who departed from school, second-year Coach Randy Edsall said.
Sophomore defensive end Ian Evans informed Edsall before practice of his decision to leave College Park for personal reasons. As a redshirt freshman last season, Evans appeared in the final four games as a reserve, including logging a season-high three tackles against Virginia on Nov. 5.
Evans had pulled his adductor muscle in March, forcing him to miss most of spring practice.
“I just wished him well and that he gets all those things resolved and taken care of,” Edsall said.
Among other notable absences from the approximately 21 / 2-hour workout in helmets, jerseys and shorts were junior defensive end Justin Anderson and redshirt freshman wide receiver Levern Jacobs. Neither was able to run the full set of 24 sprints from sideline to sideline and thus they were not allowed to participate.
Anderson is listed as one of three possible starters on the depth chart at defensive end opposite preseason all-American Joe Vellano. Also in the mix for that job are sophomores Andre Monroe (St. John’s High) and Keith Bowers.
Jacobs (Suitland) is listed as the No. 2 wide receiver on the inside behind senior Kerry Boykins.
“There were some guys who didn’t pass it, but they finished it. They didn’t finish it,” Edsall said. “Guess what? They won’t practice until I feel they’re capable of being able to finish a practice. You can’t finish the conditioning test, there’s no sense to have you on the field practicing.”
When pressed about how soon Anderson and Jacobs would be allowed to practice, Edsall said with a laugh, “Depends how I feel.”
While Anderson missed practice, Monroe and Bowers each were dealing with dehydration because of the humid conditions. Monroe (6 feet, 265 pounds), for instance, rode off the practice field in a cart with his right leg elevated.
Bowers (6-1, 260) did get in some work with the first-team defensive line, hitting the blocking sled next to starting senior nose tackle A.J. Francis. Bowers missed most of spring practice with heart palpitations that surfaced before spring break, although he did not reveal the issue to Edsall until after he had been experiencing the irregularity for several weeks.
Bowers was one of eight true freshmen to play last season and became the first to start on the defensive line since 2005. He started the final 11 games and finished tied for fourth on the team in tackles for loss (six) and sacks (21 / 2). The Terrapins are converting to a 3-4 defensive alignment this season.
“Keith’s thing is he works hard every day, so he probably sold out on all the agility drills in the beginning, maybe didn’t get enough water or something,” Vellano said. “But nah, Keith will be good. He’s definitely a guy that will help us out down the road.”