RB Pickett Talks Upcoming Season

Maryland RB Justus Pickett feels optimistic about the team's prospects for the 2012 season.

Maryland tailback Justus Pickett finds himself as the preseason starter and believes this season will be much better for the Terps than their 2-10 disaster last year in Maryland head coach Randy Edsall's debut as a Terp.

Pickett came off the bench last season as former Maryland tailback Davin Meggett's backup and finished the season with 274 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, 49 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown, and 568 kick return yards. Meggett graduated in the spring and joined the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent and running back D.J. Adams transferred to Portland State during the offseason, leaving Pickett the only player at his position with game day experience.

“It definitely puts a lot of pressure on me,” Pickett said. “I got a lot of things to live up to. I have to teach the younger guys, or in my case, some of them might be my same age, but I have to teach them the players and get them some experience, tell them some of the experiences that I've had so they'll be ready to play as well.”

He will have some help at the running back position with Maryland bringing in three freshmen tailbacks in Wes Brown, Albert Reid and Joe Riddle who will be competing with redshirt freshman Brandon Ross and senior Kwabena Ofori for the backup position. While training camp has just started for the Terps, Pickett is already seeing some great things from the younger players.

“In the summer, we didn't really get to do too much,” Pickett said. “Coaches weren't out there so it was all player-based activities. But they really started to pick up on the offense fast, which is going to be the most important thing. Coming in summer, we've only got 29 days before we play, so picking up on the offense is most important, but we definitely have a lot of young guys coming in that can help the team.”

Another area of concern for the Terps after last season was the offensive line which suffered many injuries during the season and lost two tackles in Max Garcia and R.J. Dill. Some changes in positions have also been made to the offensive line and some new players in Mike Madaras and Nick Brigham are also looking to make an impact for the Terps next season.

“With the changes to the line, I think it definitely helped us,” said Pickett. “We might not have as much experience as we'd like, but throughout spring, they showed how much talent and how much quickly, with the changes, they can pick up on things. They're very good.”

Pickett is looking to put last season's disappointing campaign behind him and focus on the season ahead of him. While the team as a whole is a lot younger, Pickett is optimistic that the Terps will rebound from last season and have a solid year.

“Last year, we didn't have too great of a season,” Pickett said. “But this year, we as a team, as a whole, we have a great attitude knowing that we're going to be successful and knowing that we're going to be prepared. The biggest difference is the team buying into the whole aspect of what Coach Edsall wants us to do.”

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