COLLEGE PARK -- Suspensions, injury, and transfer have forced Maryland head coach Randy Edsall to look for other options at wide receiver.
During training camp, to remedy two problems at once -- an overcrowded backfield and a need for depth at wide receiver -- Edsall moved sophomore back Jacquille Veii to the outside in hopes of molding him into a speedy, 5-9 slot receiver.
It’s too early to tell anything yet, with Veii catching one pass for four yards in the team’s season opener against James Madison, but Edsall wants to put things into perspective -- in his patented, dryly humorous way.
“He just moved to wide receiver two weeks ago,” Edsall told the media on Tuesday. “All of the sudden he’s not going to turn into Jerry Rice overnight and he’s learning.
“Jacquille is going to just continue to get better. I think the one thing is is everybody’s got to understand with him that it’s still a process.”
With a knee injury to redshirt freshman Taivon Jacobs that will keep him out for the remainder of the season, Veii, freshman Juwann Winfree, and newly quarterback-turned-wide-receiver Will Ulmer will all be inserted into the mix to backfill depth at the position.
Marcus Leak now becomes the third starting wide receiver and Malcolm Culmer takes Leak’s spot on the two-deep depth chart as a backup.
“[Veii will] make some mistakes, as anybody would when you make that transition, but he’s very conscientious,” Edsall said. “He wants to do well. He wants to do it the exactly the way it’s being taught to him and he’ll just keep getting better each game he plays, each rep he gets.
“I’m not worried about Jacquille. It’s just a matter of … finding a way to get him reps, too, so he can get better and so can settle down a little bit more at that position because it’s all brand new to him.”
Maryland faces South Florida on Saturday in Tampa.