8.20.13: Position battles continue at Terps practice

8.20.13: Position battles continue at Terps practice
August 20, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Diggs becoming leader in 2nd season with Terps

In each report from Maryland football practice, Comcast SportsNet will line up for "Four Downs" by highlighting the four biggest storylines from that day's practice, plus an extra point. Check it out below.

First Down & Goal: Backup QB position not set, but options narrowed down

According to Edsall, the backup quarterback position is essentially down to Ricardo Young and Caleb Rowe, with Perry Hills losing some ground. But by the sound of things, it doesn't look like there may even been a defined No. 2 quarterback this season unless an injury forces the staff's hand.

"Right now, we’re in a situation where it’s still an “or” situation.  Nobody really separated themselves," Edsall said on Tuesday. "That’s where we are, but anything can change. I’m waiting for somebody to step up.  If not, we’ll just make a week-to-week decision or situation-to-situation decision."

Young continues to be the option when it comes to mobility. Though his pocket passing is still a work in progress, he was a more effective yard-gainer on the ground during Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage than any other player on the field.

He finished Young 8-of-16 passing for 111 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Rowe, on the other hand, appeared to find more struggles. He was 4-of-14 for 14 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His strongest play came on a touchdown pass, where he dropped a well-placed four-yard fade into the end zone, which was caught by receiver Nigel King.

Second Down & Goal: Edsall names expected starters on offensive line

"We had Mike Madaras at left [tackle], De’Onte Arnett at left guard, Sal [Conaboy] at center, Mike Dunn at right guard and Ryan Doyle at right tackle," Edsall said. "That’s pretty much how I think that will be. We just hope not to get any injuries."

The offensive line was the most problematic unit on the field during Saturday's scrimmage. Pass rushers pressured all five quarterbacks who took snaps under center, keeping them from ever getting comfortable in the pocket.

Linebacker Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil had four sacks in the first half.

The most notable of those announced by Edsall was Ryan Doyle, who will start at right tackle over senior Nick Klemm.

Third Down & Goal: Sean Davis takes over No. 1 safety spot over A.J. Hendy

In one of camp's most competitive position battles, Davis gets the nod for now. 

"It was close. Sean knows that he’s got to perform each day. A.J. has practiced very hard, he has before too. Yesterday is always a tough day because when make these decisions and when you sit down and talk to the players."

But that doesn't mean the competition is over.

"As I told A.J., you’re a starter on this football team. He’s starting for us on dime and special teams. We had to get these guys to understand how important special teams are because I think we’ve got enough talent to be pretty special on special teams.

Fourth Down & Goal: Consistency still a question in kicking game

As the coaching staff has stressed, it's not a lack of ability that is holding back kicker Brad Craddock. Edsall says the problem comes "between the ears." 

"He’s been like a tease to us a little bit," Edsall said. "He comes out here and one day he’s not as you’d like and then he comes out the next day and hits everything, and it’s like, that wasn’t the same guy as the day before."

Kicking, along with the offensive line, was the area of biggest concern for Maryland in its scrimmage on Saturday.

Extra Point: Edsall continues to praise freshman corner Will Likely

Likely has been in College Park since the spring, but that doesn't take away from how impressive he has been in training camp. He has shown a nose for finding the ball in the secondary and has excelled on special teams, as well.

In Saturday's scrimmage, he returned both one punt and one kick for 30+ yards.

"If we told him he had to guard a 6’10’’ guy, he’d find a way to guard him. He’d find a way to do what he had to do and that’s the thing that I think makes him so successful. For a young guy, he plays with an extreme amount of confidence, which sometimes is hard to find.”

Have Terps questions? Tweet @DMartinCSN or e-mail dmartin@comcastsportsnet.comto be included in next week's Friday Terps Mailbag.