Tailback Steve Atkins, who was held out our Maryland's first intrasquad scrimmage of spring football practice, has received permission from the team physician and is expected to test his injured left knee in Saturday's scrimmage.
"He's completely well; there's no doubt about it," coach Jerry Claiborne said yesterday as the team started the second week of drills. "I didn't scrimmage him Saturday because I wanted Dr. (Stanford) Lavine to see him first."
Atkins, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior-to-be, was the nation's third-leading rusher, averaging more than 150 yards a game, when he suffered ligament and cartilage damage against North Carolina State.He rehabilitated the knee through exercise and surgery was not needed.
Claiborn said he was pleased with the first week of drills. The Terps, 11-0 last season before losing the Cotton Bowl game to Houston, have focused spring drills on the offensive line and defensive tackle, the only positions hit by graduation.
Claiborn was upset that Saturday's bad weather prompted the Terps to virtually forget about their passing game. They called only five pass plays the entire scrimmage. Claiborne said that films of the scrimmage were shown each player to point out what they did right and wrong.
The coach said that John Douglas, a starter at defensive end, had been switched to linebacker, a position he played in junior college, and did well at the new position during the first week. Douglas, one of the team's best athletes, replaced Keith Calta as a starter last season when Calta was injured. Now Calta is back and Claiborne says he is anxious to get his best athletes on the field at the field at the same time.