For three years, the burning question concerning University of Maryland football was "Who will start at quarterback, Mark Manges or Larry Dick?" Now, the question is, "Who will start at quaterback?"
It will be answered to some extent starting Tuesday with the opening of spring football drills. There will be four inexperienced candidates.
Maryland and Virginia get the jump on the four major area schools. Virginia also starts Tuesday, Navy begins practice Wednesday and Howard on April 2.
At Maryland the quarterback candidates are Tim O'Hara, a junior with little game experience; sophomore David McAfee, who has not played in a varsity game, and two freshmen, Mike Tice and Bob Milkovich.
Coach Jerry Claiborne, whose teams have been to five straight bowl games, also has areas to fill. Defense loses all except three players who started the first game of last season's 8-4 team. He also loses place kikerpunter Mike Sochko.
No. 1 problem area a year ago, the offensive line, looks stronger this year with 12 of the top 14 players returning. Maryland will end its practices with the annual Red-White game April 22.
When Howard starts practice, Coach Doug Porter will have back all except 12 seniors from last fall's team.
Top returnees are flanker Steve Wilson and defensive tackle Tom Spears.
At Annapolis, Coach George Welsh will have 30 lettermen and a total of 100 candidates trying to replace five offensive and seven defensive starters from last season's 5-6 team.
The biggest holes for the Mids to fill will be the defensive secondary and the offensive line; each loses three starters.
Virginia coach Dick Bestwick will be trying to beef up an offense that scored only 56 points and produced 182.9 yeards per game total offense in a 1-9-1 season.