COLLEGE PARK, Md. - With a pair of two-a-day practices and the first scrimmage of preseason camp behind them, the Maryland football team continues to amp things up in preparation for the start of the 2015 season.
The Terps concluded their 10th practice of preseason camp on Tuesday at the on-campus practice facility and position battles are starting to heat up.
"We are evaluating the guys and we'll see where we are Saturday before the next scrimmage," said head coach Randy Edsall. "I don't want to make decisions too soon. I want the guys to decide who's going to be out there. We are moving guys around and trying them in different positions. I have been impressed with the freshmen - I think they are a very good group and they are picking things up."
Maryland's offensive line is starting to round into form as senior's Ryan Doyle and Andrew Zeller have locked down the guard spots. Junior Michael Dunn and redshirt freshman Damian Prince have looked great thus far in camp at the tackle positions.
"I like the way they're moving," explained Edsall. "I think some of them have put a little bit of weight on, but it hasn't slowed them down. The one guy that is much improved is Ryan Doyle. I've seen some things out of him that I haven't seen before. It's about being consistent and getting the communication down and utilizing good technique. All those things are really starting to come together and I think they've done a really good job of communicating."
The Terps have a great deal of depth at center as senior Evan Mulrooney and redshirt freshman Brendan Moore are locked in a battle for the starting spot.
"Brendan is running with the one's right now and it's just a matter of seeing if he can do the things that you need," said Edsall. "You have to be able to knock people off the ball at center, make all the calls and be good with the snaps. It's a good competition right now and I know that we have two guys that can play the position."
Maryland will conduct its third two-a-day practice on Wednesday.
More from Coach Edsall:
On A.J. Hendy:
"A.J. has done well. That's something that you would expect out of a guy that's a fifth year player. He's playing well right now. He's playing with confidence. He's doing all the things that we want him to do back there. He's communicating well which is important for a safety. Now it's his opportunity to step up and shine in that role. I like that he's working hard each and every day and not taking anything for granted."
On Damian Prince:
"The big thing with Damian is he has got to continue working on fundamentals and technique. If he does that, he's really going to be good. But he's just a redshirt freshman who has a tremendous about of ability and you can see him getting better. You can see him getting more comfortable. The biggest thing with him is just the speed of the game. He's just got to react a little quicker to some things and be better with his hands. I like the way he's coming along. He's not going to be the finished product this year, but he's working and he's coachable and he's giving everything he's got right now."
On the battle at the quarterback position:
"They've been good. Some guys have had their moments and done well. We are looking for that consistency. You'll see Daxx [Garman] with the one's today - Caleb [Rowe] had the one's yesterday. Perry [Hills] had the one's in the morning practice. We'll do the same thing for the next three practices and hopefully by that time somebody will have separated themselves. We are just taking it one day at a time and one practice at a time."
On Jefferson Ashiru:
"He's doing well. He's a guy that has experience playing. He's a very knowledgeable football player. He understands the defense. I think he just needs to get comfortable with the terminology. I think he's got that down and we'll see him continue to do more. I think the more he practices and the more he takes reps, the better he will feel."
On the tight end position:
"Derrick [Hayward] is getting better. We know what P.J. [Gallo] can do. Avery Edwards is a young guy that's going to continue to get better and it's just a matter of him trying to pick things up and learn everything. P.J. Gallo came in to see me today and he was offered a job with Goldman-Sachs, so this will be his last year with us because he'll be taking a job up there next July and that's great for him. He had a great internship with them this past summer and it's great for him and great for the program."