Maryland's athletic director, Dick Dull, met with about 75 Terrapin football players yesterday in an effort to "keep the home front together" following Jerry Claiborne's decision to accept the coaching job at Kentucky after 10 seasons at College Park.

Dull said he had not had a chance to contact possible successors to Claiborne, and probably wouldn't until after the weekend.

"I did talk preliminarily with some people who already had expressed interest in the job. I can't mention any of their names, however. Several people could be vulnerable in that their current jobs could be jeopardized."

Several players said they were upset that Claiborne didn't meet with the team to announce his departure. "I explained the sequence of events to them," Dull said, "and reiterated my position on wanting to have wide-open, exciting football here. I must say that the players greeted my remarks with screams and cheers."

Dull also met briefly with several of the assistant coaches and mailed letters to potential recruits, explaining that he hopes to name a coach within one month.

One of those assistants, quarterback coach Jerry Eisaman, has expressed interest in applying for the head-coaching job.

"I don't mean to start anything, but if Coach Eisaman applies for the job, I'd push for him 100 percent," said Terrapin quarterback Boomer Esiason. "He's an innovative coach, and naming him the head guy would help stabilize the period of adjustment from this past season."

Several other players said that speculation "was wild and rampant" at Ellicott Hall, where the football players live. Dull, named director of athletics only four months ago, will function as a one-man selection committee. His choice, however, must be approved by University Chancellor Robert L. Gluckstern.