Camp Observations: Aug. 14

News and notes from today's Maryland training camp.

o Today's workout had players in helmets and pads.

o Because of the wet conditions, practice was held in Byrd Stadium on the new turf field, which allows for the possibilities to practice and play in any condition.

o TE Tyler Cierski missed most of practice due to a hamstring issue according to Maryland head coach Randy Edsall. Edsall said Cierski should be back in a day or two. OL Mike Madaras was also visiting with trainers due to an unknown injury which did not seem very major.

o OL Josh Cary was also missing. Edsall said Cary's injury could take a little longer to recover, but Cary should be back for the regular season.

o SS Matt Robinson was injured during practice and Edsall fears that his injury may keep him out of part of the regular season. SS Sean Davis took the first team reps in Robinson's stead.

o DE Ty Tucker's stock continued to drop. He has been the weakest of the defensive linemen in drills and was called for a horse collar tackle during the linemen's strip ball drills.

o The running backs have been looking very good. The coaches have said that RB Brandon Ross would be the starting tailback if the season started today. Ross had a few nice runs, including a touch down run during 11-on-11's, when he dragged CB Dexter McDougle into the end zone with him. Ross also got a few reps as a special teams return man.

o RB Justus Pickett has also looked good in drills and has been making clean cuts.

o During running back and linebacker one-on-one drills, RB Wes Brown exhibited a lot of power in getting around linebackers and running through them. During 11-on-11's, Brown again showed his strength on a run up the middle to break into the secondary.

o The running backs struggled on blocking in today's practice. During blocking drills against the linebackers, the running backs were consistently beat. On one rep, LB Alex Twine ran right over Ross. Twine has been a dominant player so far in training camp.

o RB Joe Riddle struggled with blocks and seemed to be the weakest blocker out of the running backs.

o QB C.J. Brown's throw still does not have a very tight spiral, but he has been doing a better job of leading his receivers on his throws.

o WR Stefon Diggs had a few drops in practice, but had a few nice catches as well. On one play, Diggs ran a corner out route and reached out of bounds to snag a pass from C.J. Brown while remaining in bounds. Diggs also had a touchdown reception during goal line situation one-on-one drills. He later caught a screen pass from QB Perry Hills and had the space for a large gain, but slipped after making the catch and had to settle for a loss.

o WR Nigel King was impressive during one-on-one drills, beating CB A.J. Hendy twice for nice catches. King has been using his physicality to get between the ball and the defensive backs.

o WR Levern Jacobs is practicing again after failing the preliminary conditioning test. He had a couple of impressive receptions, including one where he caught a pass that bounced off the helmet of Hendy.

o WR Amba Etta-Tawo showed off his speed, beating CB Tony Perry on a streak route and easily hauling in the pass during one-on-one drills.

o TE Matt Furstenburg looked solid in practice today, getting open on pass plays, making good grabs and finishing blocks.

o TE P.J. Gallo is looked upon as a tight end of the future, but he has been putting on a solid performance. He made nice catches during 11-on-11 drills and also showed good blocking.

o C Stephen Grommer has been struggling lately. He had two snaps that sailed over the head of the quarterback. On one of those snaps, QB Hills chased after it and scooped it up to throw it out of bounds.

o QB C.J. Brown and Hills have been looking very good running the ball, both scrambling for decent yardage and at least a touchdown each. Edsall said that Hills has gained the advantage in the quarterback battle between himself and other freshman QB Caleb Rowe.

o K Nick Ferrara was seen on the sidelines instructing the younger kickers on their mechanics.

o K Michael Tart was seen dressed and kicking on the sidelines, a sign that he has recovered from his offseason injury.

o P Nathan Renfro had a few solid punts for over 40 yards.

o CB Dexter McDougle was seen returning punts and WR Diggs saw a lot of action as the kickoff returner.


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