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Maryland camp notes: Update on running backs and quarterbacks

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Some injury updates and other observations.

Joe Robbins

It was the first day in pads for Maryland football! Let's take a look at how that went.

We've got injury updates, unfortunately.

Evan Mulrooney is out as well, with and illness, but it doesn't sound like he or Long are in any sort of danger of missing a meaningful amount of time. We'll likely hear more on Christie, a true freshman right guard, tomorrow.

Is the running back battle gaining a leader?

The head coach declined to name a leader in the running back battle, but said Reid's biggest competition, Brandon Ross, had been fumbling the ball "a little bit."

Edsall had some interesting things to say when asked about Will Ulmer's position status, saying Ulmer will stay at quarterback until "he comes to me and tells me he doesn't want to be a quarterback." For those that wanted to see the Terps employ a quarterback with that kind of speed, looks like he'll get a shot.

For those aboard the Shane Cockerille train: Edsall noted the redshirt freshman is "a little bit better" than in the spring but still has some mechanical issues to work out.

Edsall also had praise for the freshman class, JaJuan Dulaney and Jeremiah Johnson. Full quotes, via a release:

On if there is any update on Evan Mulrooney or Sean Christie:

"No. We're still waiting to get back results on some tests that were done. I went up and saw [Evan] today. He's doing well. I think he'll still be in the hospital through the weekend and then hopefully we'll have some more information after that and he'll be out really soon. Sean, we're waiting for word from the doctor. He had an MRI, so we'll see where he's at."

On if he would consider moving Will Ulmer from quarterback:

"I told Will during the recruiting process that he'll be a quarterback until he comes to me and tells me he doesn't want to be a quarterback. We're working him at quarterback and we're developing him as quarterback. It he doesn't think that he wants to be a quarterback anymore then he'll come and tell me that."

On if Shane Cockerille has improved:

"I think Shane is a little bit better than he was in the spring. Again, there are things he still needs to work on. He needs to get his elbow up a little bit when he throws and just some mechanical things that he's got to do all the time. He does them sometimes, but he's not doing them all the time so sometimes the accuracy isn't where it needs to be. We've got to just continue to get him to focus on all those little things."

On P.J Gallo's improvement as a pass catcher:

"P.J's a guy that can line up on the ball and can also flex out. He's in a great competition with Andrew [Isaacs] and also with Derrick [Heyward]. It's going to be interesting to see how that all plays out. P.J.'s just got to keep improving because he's got great competition at that position."

On the running back competition:

"I think there is great competition there. Brandon [Ross] has put the ball on the ground a little bit, which I don't like. We have some guys that have missed some assignments. Again, we're looking for those guys that can be consistent with everything they're doing in terms of ball security, in terms of catching the ball, in terms of pass protection and in terms of their assignments. It's too early to say this guy is sticking out or that guy is sticking out, but again, we'll have a little bit of a scrimmage today with redzone and tight redzone and short yardage and goal line. We'll have a bigger scrimmage on Saturday."

"Like I said, I hope that somebody takes the bull by the horns and just separates them self. If nobody does then we're going to have to make a decision on who are the two or three guys that have earned the right to play. Again, you can't get four guys reps during the season. You can hardly get two guys reps there at that position. They are going to determine that. I hope that it'll be determined when those guys determine it."

On the settlement between the ACC and Maryland:

"Just glad that it's over and we can just focus on the season and focus on football."

On the freshman class:

"I'm pleased with the freshman class. Let's reserve judgment until we get enough of a book on them here in preseason to be able to make any comments as they get into some of the scrimmage situations and more game like situations. Let's see how they respond. Practice is one thing, but then when you get into the scrimmages, that's another. I'm very pleased with the overall group. I think it's a very good group and one that works hard. You can tell that they have a lot to learn. Again, I think the biggest thing from high school to college is just the technique. It's so much different. For some of these guys, they've been coached, but they might not have had the extensive coaching they're getting here and all the meeting time and everything else. How do they take it from the meeting room to the field and then when they get a little bit tired in the up tempo that we go, can they manage that. Overall I'm very pleased with the group. Those guys will separate themselves, but I'm very pleased with what I've seen so far."

On if adding more pads adds more intensity to practice:

"I thought we had pretty good intensity yesterday. Here's the thing, I'm never going to be satisfied after we get out here and everything because, again, I'm trying to get them to understand that we are striving for perfection each and every day. We might not get there, but we're going to strive for it. I'm still looking for us to go from start to finish without any ebbs and flows to that practice. Sometimes some sides of the ball make more plays than others, but in terms of that consistent effort running to the ball and finishing plays on offense, that's what we're looking for and we're not quite there yet. Now that we have the full pads on, all that's going to do is allow us to a little scrimmaging, but we'll still do some drills where we tag off and some drills where we thud. Of course today we'll have scrimmaging, but even though we're in full pads, other days we won't be going live."

On if he saw improvement from the receivers:

"I thought we were better in practice three and four, but still not at the level that we expect out of them. I thought we were better and we'll continue to get better. I think the biggest thing there is once we get through Sunday; we'll sit down as a coaching staff and say, who are our three best guys? Then come out here on Tuesday and kind of practice that way. That's the thing we're always looking for. Even though you'll see some guys in the slot and see guys on the outside, it's still a situation of who are our best three or who our best four, when you go into a four wide receiver set. Just because you see a guy at No. 2 right now, I'm not going to do too much with the depth chart until after our first scrimmage."

On JaJuan Dulaney:

"I think he's playing with a little bit more effort and intensity than he did in the spring. That's good to see and that's what we saw in film from high school. Maybe it's him feeling more comfortable coming off that injury. That's one thing you've got to take a look at, or at least I do, from the standpoint that he might have not felt so comfortable cutting it loose in the spring. Now I see a guy who is starting to cut it loose more. He's being more physical. Like all those young kids, he's just got to get more consistent. That's the one thing he's lacking right now is consistency. All the young kids, especially the lineman, it's the technique. At this level you've got to be able to punch and keep the hands in. Too many of them are going in and trying to hug the bear. Those are some of the big thing that we're concentrating on with those young linemen."

On Jeremiah Johnson:

"I thought he was a little bit rusty as we first got started. You could start to see him get a little more comfortable and more confident. When you come off the toe and you come off the hamstring, that's probably natural. Then you come out here and you do all the things that you did before. I like the progress that he's making and he's just going to continue to get better and like I said, he hasn't had any ill effects with the toe or with the hamstring, which is good."