4/1 Spring Practice Recap

TSR's Pete Volk was on hand for the post-practice press conference for the first spring practice session of April, where coach Friedgen continued to talk about how impressed he is by his defense.

  • On the defensive line, Coach Friedgen has really been impressed by Joe Vellano, but is worried that it's hard to tell because he's not happy with his offensive guard play - "He's playing very well, he's playing low, he's playing very quick, he makes a lot of plays."
  • Sophomore defensive lineman Masengo Kabongo strained his pec while doing dips, but is only expected to miss one week.
  • Sophomore linebacker Avery Murray pulled a muscle, but Friedgen did not sound concerned. He said he's going to try and put Murray and junior Ben Pooler at middle linebacker to back up Alex Wujciak.
  • Friedgen noted the logjam at strong side linebacker, with senior Adrian Moten, sophomore Darin Drakeford, and true freshman David Mackall, who continues to impress in spring practice. "With Mackall playing the way he keeps playing, we've got to find ways to get him on the field," Friedgen said. When asked which former Terp Mackall reminds him of most, Friedgen responded with current NFL star Shawne Merriman. "He reminds me of Merriman, he plays like that. In fact, he's probably a little ahead of where Merriman was at this stage, but he's that type of player, very explosive."
  • Friedgen also said that he was happy with the progression of his cornerbacks. The battle between Trenton Hughes and Dexter McDougle hasn't been solved yet, but another name has been playing really well. "I think Michael Carter's playing the best he's ever played, and that's got to continue."
  • The coach has also been impressed with the athleticism of Travis Hawkins, but says he has more work to do with his fundamentals. Kenny Tate continues to impress.
  • Some of the freshman that will enroll next fall are expected to get playing time early in the secondary. Friedgen pointed to Titus Till, Desmond Kearse, and Matt Robinson as guys who can make an impact on defense immediately.

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