Ben Jefferson, the second-year offensive tackle from New Rochelle, N.Y., will make his weekly appearance Thursday in the Maryland cafeteria to be weighed. The scale in the Terrapins' locker room isn't big enough for Jefferson because it registers only up to 300 pounds.
Jefferson, reported to be one of the three biggest men in college football this season, stands 6 feet 8 and is listed at 301 pounds, although one coach said yesterday it was more like 309.
Right tackle J.D. Maarleveld can weigh in the locker room again, having dropped from 320 to 290 pounds.
Yet another sign of the popularity of Maryland football is the fact that several hundred fans are upset because their ticket orders for the Sept. 7 Penn State game were refused in favor of those purchasing season tickets.
Last spring, Maryland began accepting checks for individual game tickets. But when the requests for season tickets exceeded expectations, and eventually reached the limit of 22,500 for the first time, Maryland had to make a decision that some find unpopular. The school accepted the season ticket requests and refunded the money for fewer than 1,000 individual requests (something that happens frequently at many football powers but never before at Maryland).
Ralph Friedgen, Maryland's offensive line coach, said this is the first time in his coaching career that so many offensive linemen (24 of 25) finished the 1 1/2-mile run. Jefferson not only finished, but ran an extra 200 yards, all in less than 10 minutes. "Usually, only four or five guys make it," Friedgen said. "And the guy who didn't was a walk-on freshman. They all showed me something."