Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown took another step toward a full recovery on a cloudless Saturday afternoon, taking 32 repetitions in one-on-one drills with the wide receivers and defensive backs while Maryland’s other two healthy quarterbacks drilled running plays.
Brown, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear last August, still sat out 11-on-11s at the end of the two-hour practice but emerged with a healthy, sore-free knee. The senior completed just 9 of 29 pass attempts, including a nice deep pass to Deon Long, snagged past Dexter McDougle.
“It felt good,” Brown said. “Most reps I’ve taken so far, so I took a pretty good beating on the knee, but we’ll go in and see how it looks. It feels pretty good right now.”
Brown also had a few hiccups with some of Maryland’s less-experienced wide receivers, mostly communication issues concerning the routes. Brown just shrugged that off.
“It’s to be expected,” he said. “They’re new guys with the new offense, and I haven’t been out there. Timing might be off, but it’s all mental. We’ll get that cleared up.”
He’s still relearning how to put proper weight on his injured “push-off” leg and adjusting to running with a knee brace, but by all accounts is on schedule to be at full strength by summer.
Brown’s first-team substitute, Ricardo Young, had an up-and-down practice, drawing a rebuke from Coach Randy Edsall afterwards. Young again displayed his arm strength and mobility, but struggled with accuracy issues during some drills.
“I think he’s been very, very inconsistent,” Edsall said. “I think he has a long way to go. At that position, you really have to have attention to detail. He’s got to understand that he is a good athlete, but he’s got to pay attention and master the fundamentals and technique and be exact.”
Young wasn’t the only one. Edsall couldn’t name a player who’s been, in his words, “off the charts” through just four practices, but for a quarterback who’s never played a down of regular-season college football, such growing pains are to be expected. Backup quarterback Dustin Dailey has seemed even more erratic with his accuracy, so Young should continue to get plenty of first-team repetitions throughout spring.
“He hasn’t played in a while, and now he’s getting some reps under fire, and we’re getting a chance to see how he handles that,” Edsall said. “There’s been some good things he’s done, but he’s been very, very inconsistent through four practices.”