The lingering question in College Park concerning the Maryland football team is similar to the unanswered query at Redskin Park: who's going to start at quarterback?
Four other offensive positions are in doubts as the Terrapins prepare for their Sept. 9 opener against Tulane.
Senior lefthander Tim O'Hare has been listed first on the practice depth chart since workouts began in mid-August and has the inside track for the quarterback slot.
That could change if sophomore thrower Mike Tice outperforms O'Hare in the final scrimmage.Tice has been hampered by a sore arm. A decision between the two will be made this weekend.
Offensive starters returning from last year include wingback Dean Richards, strong tackle Larry Stewart, tight end Eric Sievers and fullback Mickey Dudish. All will start against Tulane.
Junior Gary Ellis will be a new starter at split end, and sophomore Jan Carinci will alternate with Richard and Ellis, much the way Chuck White alternated with Richards and Kinney last year, running in the plays.
Paul Glamp, who lettered last year, is a probable starter at quick guard and Scott Fanz, who was limited by injury last year, enjoys the same status at quick tackle. The more experienced Jim Ulam has stepped aside briefly with a strained knee.
Center is a three-way battle among two-year letterman Mike Simmon, sophomore Kyle Lorton and junior college transfer Chris Grey. Rich Cummins and Kervin Wyatt are dueling for the strong-guard spot.
The tailback position also is open. Seniors Steve Atkins and Alvin (Preacher) Maddox and freshman Charlie D. Wysocki are vying.
One coach says of Wysocki, "We knew he would be good - but we didn't think he'd had this good." Last year's leading rusher, George Scott, is out for the year with a stress fracture of the shin.
Atkins has been out with a jammed toe, but he figures as the favorite to start the opener in his senior year. The coaches expect a hot, humid day for the first game, and all three tailbacks will see action.
There also will be plenty of switching on the offensive line.
"Both our first and second-string lines will play. They've been just about even," said line coach Jake Halum.
Ellis, Carinci and the quarterback will be the least experienced players on the offense, and Coach Jerry Claiborne will probably have the Terps running the ball extensively until the new passing unit breaks in.
Receivers coach Morgan Hout feels his group has good potential but cannot compare with last year's trio of Richard, Kinney and White.
"Kinney and White could do everything," said Hout. "Jan and Gary haven't lined up in a varsity game. But they're working hard, and they have super attitudes."
Hout is more than satisfied with his experienced tight and corps of Sievers and Tom Burgess, and he said Richards has taken over as the leader of the crew. Although the Terps lost eight defensive players who started the opener last year, injuries were so prevalent on the defense that there will be only three inexperienced starters on defense this year.
Marlin Van Horn played enough to letter but will be new in a starting role at the right-guard spot left open by Ted Klaube. Brian Matera takes over at right linebacker and Steve Trimble steps in at right halfback.
The rest of the defensive lineup started at least one game or played extensively.
Big things are expected of left halfback Lloyd Burruss and right tackle Charlie Johnson. Left lineback Neal Olkewicz will also be counted on to stabilize the most shallow position.Claiborne also looks for a good year from left guard Bruce Palmer. "If he doesn't play well," said Claiborne, "we'll be disappointed."
Two-year lettermen Joe Muffler and Jimmy Shaffer will handle the end spots, and one-year letterman Ed Gall takes over Ernie Salley's left tackle spot. Gall played there when Salley was injured last year.