Maryland Football Spring Practice: Day 1 news, notes

Maryland Football Spring Practice: Day 1 news, notes
March 1, 2014, 2:30 pm
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(Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports)

COLLEGE PARK--New Maryland wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell wasn’t getting enough out of his new unit on Saturday morning during drills in College Park.

It was the first spring practice of the year and receiver Levern Jacobs, who caught 47 passes for 640 yards in a breakout sophomore season in 2013, was doing it wrong. His footwork was off. He was crossing his feet when juking to get off the line and McCardell was having none of it.

“My grandmother could have covered you, Verne!” McCardell yelled.

So it was back to the repetition. Two times. Three times. Until Jacobs got it right, exploding off the line and shooting past the dummy defender placed in front of him.

“Oh, we got it now,” McCardell yelled in his direction, clapping. A smile crept across Jacobs’ face as he returned to the line to have another turn.

Saturday was the first day on the field for McCardell, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, and defensive line coach Chad Wilt, all of whom were brought onto the staff in the offseason after the departures of coaches at those three positions.

Head coach Randy Edsall says he is looking mostly for communication in an early practice environment like this one. He was pleased with what his new assistants were able to do on Saturday.

“I think they’re all exactly what I thought in terms of the kind of teachers [they are]. They all bring energy and enthusiasm out here and very sound, fundamental coaches with great knowledge of what it takes to win at this level. So I thought it was fun to watch those guys out here teaching today.”

[RELATED: Positional spring football review: Quarterbacks]

NEWS AND NOTES

- Wide receiver Marcus Leak was limited due to a tight hamstring, head coach Randy Edsall said. The setback comes as he works to assimilate himself into the offense after missing the 2013 season.

- Running back Wes Brown was back on the field, having trimmed some weight and returned from his suspension. He split time taking carries with Brandon Ross, Albert Reid, and Jacquille Veii.

- The running backs had an uncharacteristically subpar day, quarterback C.J. Brown said, struggling to catch passes out of the backfield. Brown attributed it to some rust and the team as a whole getting back together on their first day out.

- Offensive lineman Derwin Gray, a four-star recruit coming out of high school, was dressed but had his arm in a sling after undergoing surgery on his labrum this offseason. As has been reported before, he will not participate in the spring.

- Linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, also ruled out for the spring, was dressed but walking the sidelines on Saturday. He is still recovering from a season-ending chest injury.

- A defensive highlight of the afternoon was an Alvin Hill interception off of quarterback Caleb Rowe during red-zone drills. Were it a live game, he likely would have had a chance to return it for a touchdown.

- Maryland’s Monday practice has been moved to Sunday at 12:35 p.m. due to impending weather conditions. It is not open to the public