News and Notes

TSR was on hand for the start of fall practice, and here is a recap of what went down.

News and Notes from Maryland Football Media Day

* To start his press conference, head coach Ralph Friedgen revealed that backup MLB Avery Murray will leave the program due to personal reasons. That makes him the fourth Terp to have left the team since last season, joining Caleb Porzel and incoming four-star recruit Javarie Johnson.

* Friedgen also announced that backup DT De’Onta Arnett had a cyst on his upper ankle, and underwent surgery to remove it. He’ll be out about six weeks, according to Friedgen

* WR Ronny Tyler and defensive lineman Zachariah Kerr practiced, and are still in summer school, said Friedgen. The expectation is they will both be ready for the fall season.

Notes from Terps practice

* New Terps TE Will Yeatman is a behemoth. Running a drill that included every offensive skill player, he dwarfed everyone, but showed good quickness and burst when running the drills. In positional drills, he started off slowly, once forgetting the instructions to a drill and cursing. He was having some trouble staying low but looked strong enough in the drills to be a one man team…of oxen.

* In the passing drills, starting QB Jamarr Robinson looked by far the sharpest of the five signal-callers, with 2nd string Danny O’Brien, and backups C.J. Brown, Devin Burns and Tyler Smith also participating. O’Brien particularly was having trouble keeping the ball from sailing over his target’s head, and Smith, a highly-touted true freshman, had a nice, high release point and threw absolute darts.

* The whole team seems to rally around fullback Haroon Brown, as he drew the loudest cheers when he went through the group drill.

Interviews with two impact players for the Terps:

Senior WR Adrian Cannon

TurtleSportsReport: Coach Friedgen, when he talked about the offense this year, he said the receivers are the best unit. You’re a big part of that unit; you had over 40 receptions last year. What would you say is your personal goal this year?

Adrian Cannon: To be honest, my personal goal is to win. I have more of a team philosophy, and the only thing I’m thinking about right now, to be honest, is Navy in our first game, and I’ve been devoting all my time to making myself better so I can make the team better. I know if we have team success, individual success will come.

TSR: Having a guy like Torrey (Smith) on the opposite side of the field really opened things up for you last year. How much do you rely on his presence to help you?

AC: I really don’t rely on him to be honest. Not just him, but our entire unit. It’s deep, I mean, we have no weaknesses in our unit. That could be Torrey, it could be Quintin (McCree), or Emani Lee-Odai, you know, it doesn’t really who’s on the other side of me, but having Torrey there definitely makes things easy. He’s a good guy and he’s a great player too. I love playing with him.

TSR: One thing I’ve noticed about you is you’re a very physical wide receiver. How excited do you get when you see a small little cornerback lined up across from you in one-on-one man coverage?

AC: Whether he’s 6-9, 315 or he’s five feet 110, I’m going to go at him. I’ve always been like that. I just go at him and let the best man win. But that’s a big part of my game, you know, being physical and I love it. Whether it’s the pass game, the run game, it doesn’t matter.

TSR: What did you improve on most in the offseason? What did you see in watching your game tape that you need to improve.

AC: Honestly, a lot of things. I want to say every aspect of my game. That was one thing I really wanted to do this year, focus on my cut-ups, my flaws, making those flaws better and making my strengths even stronger. Every aspect of my game will be better.

TSR: If you had to choose one thing that you really saw that you need to work on, what would it be?

AC: I’m going to say getting vertical, both during my routes and after I catch the ball, you know, just getting vertical and exploding upfield, just fine-tuning from last year.

Sophomore K Nick Ferrara

TSR: You did a bit of everything last year, with (senior punter) Travis (Baltz) being hurt. This year, you’re focused more on place-kicking. How does that affect your mental state and preparation for the game?

Nick Ferrara: Last year I grew as a player because I came in as a freshman, and my coaches decided that I was going to start against Cal as the place kicker two days before the game. I went from almost not playing to doing everything throughout the season, so I’m pretty much mentally prepared completely for any obstacle. I even had a game-winner last year, so I’ve endured pretty much anything you can go through.

TSR: This year you know you’re the starter, there’s no two-day warning before the game. What have you done differently this offseason as opposed to last year.

NF: I don’t look at it as “I’m the starter.” No matter what, no one has a secure job. So I just went in with the same attitude as last year, just no matter what, I have to work hard and I have to focus in. That’s what I’ve been doing this offseason: a lot of field goals moreso than kickoffs and punting, because that’s what coach wanted me to do, now that we have Travis back, so I haven’t really focused on punting much, but I’ve kicked a little bit.

TSR: You were named Freshman All-American last year. How much did it mean to you getting that honor?

NF: It was an honor to get Freshman All-American, but I set higher goals now. First of all, I want to beat Navy. Awards will come on their own, I just want to go 10-0.

TSR: When you started punting after Travis went down, and there was one play where you sort of bobbled a snap and scrambled a bit and still got off a punt and landed it inside the 20, I gave you the nickname “Freaky Feet” Ferrara. What do you think of that nickname?

NF: (Laughing) It’s good. I had one of those in high school too. My high school name was “Sweet Feet” Ferrara, so it’s pretty much similar stuff, but it’s nice.

TSR: Did you punt in high school too?

NF: Yes

TSR: Did you ever have a play like that?

NF: I did once, in the state championship game, but not as scary and they weren’t as fast.


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