When the air horn ended Maryland's 17th and final session of spring football practice, 100 players roared and tossed their "chicken wings" (forearm blocking pads) high in the air.
That display reflected the players' pleasure with the results of spring practice rather than relief at its ending.
"For three weeks, we worked the hardest, I've been since I've been here," said sophomore Mike Tice, who will replace graduated Tim O'Hare at quarterback this fall.
"Everybody has been clicking," said the 6-foot-7 Tice. "The receivers, like Jan Carinci and Chris Havener, made exceptional catches. Blockers, like Kervin Wyatt, knock over two people and I run 25 yards. All that makes me look good.
"The main thing was the great enthusiasm. Everybody was concerned with making the team do well rather than individual performances."
Coach Jerry Claiborne, a cautious man, volunteered that Maryland's spring workouts were good.
"There were only two days we didn't fell like we improved, didn't concentrate the way we should have. The hitting has been hard, the attitude was as good as we've had. It's been a real pleasure with this group."
Claiborne says the team needs depth and experience at running back, and offensive line speed.
Sophomore Jeff Rodenberger (6-2, 216) and George Scott, academically a junior but a sophomore in eligibility, are the starting fullback and tailback, respectively, on Maryland's depth chart. Scott missed last season with a stress fracture in his leg, after an 894-yard season in 1977. Fullback letterman Rick Fasano needs two more weeks to recover from a knee operation.
"Scott's got all the desire in the world," Claiborne said. "But he's just got to increase his speed over the summer to get it back to where it was."
Claiborne said Scott and freshman speedster Charlie Wysocki might play in the same backfield. Each has worked out at both tailback and fullback.
Three Sun Bowl starters return to the offensive line, which will be senior-dominated this fall, with five fourth-year men. Quick tackle Phil Livingston missed the final week of practice with a strained knee ligament suffered in last Saturday's scrimmage and will be out four weeks.
"With continued improvement and a gain in confidence, the line can potentially be as good as the one we had in 1976, which was the best ever," Claiborne said. "But they have to work on their foot speed. They're strong enough but it's important that they run a lot this summer to increase their speed."
Tice admitted Lloyd Burruss' absence helped his spring statistics. Tice compiled a 13-of-16, 251-yard, two-touchdown output last Saturday. Buruss, a junior honorable-mention All-America and first-team All-Altantic Coast Conference defensive halfback, sprained his left ankle the first week of workouts.
Claiborne said absences of 11 injured players kept him from working on team depth.
"All of the guys have been putting out 100 percent," Terp trainer J.J. Bush said. "When you're lax, even for one or two plays, injuries occur. They'd been doing what they should during the winter and came in well-conditioned."
Followin yesterday's practice, the squad was broken into two equal groups of seniors-to-be. The seniors will choose sides for Saturday's Red-White game at 1:30 at Byrd Stadium.
Regular game conditions will prevail, with the exception of kickoffs, which will be eliminated. Admission will be free. CAPTION: Picture, Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne (right) closed "good" spring football drills yesterday. Tailback George Scott, who is still trying to regain his 1977 speed, is at left. By Richard Darcey-The Washington Post