Maryland football coach Ron Vanderlinden said yesterday that he would allow wide receiver Moises Cruz, who left the team Thursday, to rejoin the Terrapins next spring.

Cruz, a redshirt junior who left the team for financial and personal reasons, faces a Sept. 21 trial on a misdemeanor assault charge.

Cruz, 21, had said he would like to come back in the spring if possible, but did not know Vanderlinden's feelings.

"I like Moises," Vanderlinden said. "I think he's a wonderful person and has got a lot of talent. He's got responsibilities [the trial, and a fiancee and young child] and he's trying to live up to them. I'd be open to him returning."

Also yesterday, Vanderlinden changed his position somewhat on starting tailback LaMont Jordan. Earlier this week, Vanderlinden said redshirt junior Mukala Sikyala could take the top spot because Jordan arrived in camp about 10 pounds overweight.

But Vanderlinden said yesterday that Jordan is the number one running back, and that Sikyala will get plenty of playing time backing him up.

Despite the extra weight, Jordan passed the team's two difficult fitness tests with little trouble last week. "LaMont is our starter," Vanderlinden said. "He hasn't done anything to lose the job [and Sikyala] has demonstrated he can play at this level."