Maryland football Coach Bobby Ross has made five major position changes preparing for spring practice, which begins Saturday and starts what Ross called "a rebuilding stage."
First, Ross has moved Kevin Glover, a sophomore offensive tackle, to center to replace Doug Miller and Vince Tomassetti, who both have finished their eligibility. "Kevin was a little undersized at tackle," Ross said, "but we feel he has a chance to be a very good center."
Rick Badanjek, who scored nine touchdowns last season as a freshman fullback, will be moved to tailback, where he will help replace senior John Nash, Maryland's best all-purpose back the last two years.
Vernon Carter, who started the 1982 season as the second-team tailback, will be shifted to safety. Jon Simmons, a defensive back last year, has recovered well from late-season knee surgery and will move to defensive end where his size could be better utilized. And Stan Bracey, a running back as a freshman, will be used at wide receiver to take advantage of his moves and speed.
Much of Ross' attention from Saturday until the spring game on April 30 will be focused on the defensive line, which lost four starters who helped the Terrapins win eight of 12 games last year. Only three defensive starters return.
With the depletion of the line, the secondary could become the defensive strong point, just two years after it was one of the weakest in the nation. Lendell Jones and Gil Hoffman, starters last year, will be joined by sophomore Al Covington, a forceful hitter, and Joe Kraus, a transfer from Penn State who has interested the coaching staff for a year.
The offensive player toughest to replace may be right tackle Dave Pacella. Ross will try Harry Venezia, a red-shirt senior who missed most of last season with a knee injury.
Navy Coach Gary Tranquill has much the same problem as Ross. The Midshipmen begin the spring searching for defensive players who will have to contribute immediately.
Ricky Williamson, a junior-to-be, is competing with four freshmen for the starting quarterback spot, vacated by Marco Pagnanelli, who has finished his eligibility. Navy's final scrimmage is April 23.
At Howard, Joe Taylor will begin his first practice as head coach on April 6. He will spend the next month installing a pro-style offense to increase flexibility and degree of unpredictability. Taylor said he will not use the veer and option formations used the last four years by former Coach Floyd Keith, who resigned recently. Taylor also has made several position changes, including moving Mike Holmes from offensive guard to fullback, Calvin Epps from defensive end to center and Vernon Robinson from defensive tackle to offensive guard.
Coach George Welsh, beginning his second year at Virginia, began spring practice yesterday in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers will finish with a spring game on April 23.