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Coaches Look for Playing Time for Backup QB

By Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 29, 2009

Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen has been conferring with his assistants about when and how to get backup quarterback Jamarr Robinson some game action this season, because the coaches feel he is deserving.

While senior Chris Turner is entrenched as the team's starting quarterback, coaches acknowledge that Robinson, a sophomore, can do some things that Turner cannot because of his athleticism, and that at times Robinson has displayed dynamic playmaking ability and a strong arm.

"I think you can win in this league with Jamarr," offensive coordinator James Franklin said. "I hate to say it, but there are some things that remind you of a Russell Wilson-type guy," referring to North Carolina State's versatile quarterback.

Friedgen has seen the 6-foot, 190-pound Robinson turn broken plays into successful ones during preseason camp. But he has also seen him force some passes into coverage while trying to make improbable plays. Friedgen said Robinson needs to improve his decision-making, but coaches feel that will come in time.

The coaches would like to help Robinson along with some limited playing time, preferably when Maryland has victory secured, because he has yet to take a snap in a college game. He only played in Maryland's two junior varsity games last season and was named offensive scout team player of the year.

"We definitely have to get him some snaps, and I think he is deserving," Friedgen said.

PK Battle Has Legs

The place-kicking competition remains ongoing as Maryland enters the final week of preparation before its season opener on Sept. 5 at 12th-ranked California.

Freshman Nick Ferrara and redshirt freshman Mike Barbour combined to make all five of their field goal attempts in Thursday's final scrimmage of the summer. Every kick was at least 45 yards.

"After Ferrara made the first three long ones, I would have said he was the guy," Friedgen said. "Then Barbour came in and kicked right with him. So, game on."

Ferrara has the stronger leg and has been getting more height on the ball recently. Before the start of Thursday's scrimmage, Ferrara made a wind-aided kick from close to 55 yards.

"Wouldn't that be a weapon," Friedgen said. "All of a sudden he is more relaxed, more confident."

Deep at Running Back

Coaches like the team's depth at running back, and Franklin said that junior Da'Rel Scott, a first-team all-ACC performer last season, and sophomore Davin Meggett are both number one running backs and will be used as such.

Franklin has seen the biggest improvement from Meggett, who played in every game last season and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. Meggett was a little "robotic" last season, Franklin said, and did not demonstrate good vision.

"This year, he can make people miss, he's got very good vision and he is more natural with everything he is doing," Franklin said.

Redshirt freshman Gary Douglas is slightly ahead of junior Morgan Green at the third-string running back position. Franklin said Douglas is one of the few players on the team who can "make something happen when nothing is there."

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