The Rookies

TSR recaps how former Terps are performing in their rookie training camp

Full of promise and potential, these former Terps are trying to adjust to the speed and intricacies of the NFL while still performing up to the standards demanded of them if they want to succeed.

The most high-profile former Terrapin rookie coming into training camp was easily guard Bruce Campbell, whose legendary numbers in the NFL Combine but lack of performance on the field made him a popular choice to be picked by the Raiders in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. While Oakland ultimately did select Campbell, they waited three more rounds before picking him up.

In his first preseason game, Campbell saw time with Oakland’s second-team offense and after some initial struggles, the guard played quite well. And while that is certainly a good sign for the Raiders, Campbell is still viewed as a project who is a couple years away from really contributing to an NFL team, so anything he gives them now is a bonus.

The only other Terrapin drafted this year was cornerback Nolan Carroll, who’s quickly bolting up the Dolphins depth chart. Projected to go early in the draft, Carroll ultimately fell to fifth round because of a leg injury that ended his season prematurely last year. Now healthy and just as quick as he was pre-injury, Carroll is showing off the speed and instincts that made him such a productive player for the Terrapins. By using that speed to return kicks and play defensive back for the Dolphins, Carroll has seemingly managed to snag away the position of fourth corner on the depth chart from struggling veteran Jason Allen.

Carroll took on the role of third corner in Miami’s first preseason game thanks to an injury to veteran Will Allen, and Carroll has thrived in it, with two tackles and a pass defensed. If Carroll continues to impress, look for him to be making an impact as a member of the Dolphin secondary this year.

Another former Terrapin, Travis Ivey, is also attempting to make the Dolphins roster as a rookie, but things are not looking too promising. Ivey, an undrafted free agent nose tackle, is doing nothing particularly wrong in camp, but with two quality players in Randy Starks and Paul Soliai ahead of him on the depth chart, it’s going to be difficult for Ivey to snag a roster spot.

Safety Terrell Skinner, another former defensive player has had a bit more tumultuous first season in the league than both Carroll and Ivey. Skinner, an undrafted free agent, initially signed with the Vikings but was recently cut before the Vikings first preseason game. Now Skinner is working to catch on with the Philadelphia Eagles, as he worked out for the team on Sunday in hopes of getting a shot at a roster spot.

Finally, Phil Costa, who started at center last year for Maryland, is currently practicing with the second-team offense for the Cowboys, and is getting praised by Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, who acknowledged that though Costa is performing against second-team defenses, the team needs “to see is if he can play well against the first team guys”. There still are concerns about if Costa is too small to play center in the NFL, but he seems to be silencing those critics quickly.

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