A proud Dan DeArmas Sr. came to Maryland's practice yesterday, bearing a letter congratulating his son, Dan, on his game-winning 25-yard field goal against North Carolina State two weeks ago. The letter, bearing a presidential seal, was signed Ronald Reagan.

In it, the former president said that DeArmas's kick "brought back special memories" of his playing days at Eureka College. But the younger DeArmas wasn't sure if the letter was authentic.

"The first thing I thought of was that it was a joke from {quarterback Scott} Zolak," he said.

Zolak denied being a perpetrator, and also said that the letter looked real to him. However, some remained skeptical, particularly at the section that invited DeArmas to "look me up" if he should ever come to Los Angeles. Johnson Moves Up

With three catches against Michigan (including a spectacular one-handed grab), wide receiver Barry Johnson has moved into fourth place on the Terrapins' all-time receiving list and is just 21 catches away from passing Azizuddin Abdur-Ra'oof, who had 108 receptions between 1984 and '87.

Johnson has 88 receptions in his career, including 16 this season. His average of 20.4 yards per catch is second in the Atlantic Coast Conference, just a 10th of a yard behind Virginia's Herman Moore.

Both players could be in big trouble, though, if Maryland starts getting the ball to Gene Thomas more. Thomas's seven catches aren't enough to qualify for the league leaders but the junior from Rockville has averaged 34.4 yards per catch.

Thomas has been one of the few Maryland contributors not honored as one of the ACC's position players of the week. After making nine tackles, including one for a loss and another for no gain, nose guard Rick Fleece was named the league's defensive lineman of the week.

Zolak has twice been named offensive back of the week with Johnson (wide receiver) and H-back Frank Wycheck (rookie) also honored twice. Others honored: offensive linemen Ken Oberle and O'Neil Glenn and linebacker Greg Hines.