COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland Football team completed its 13th practice in 11 days at the on-campus practice facility on Thursday morning. Nearly two full weeks into camp, the Terps are starting to makes large strides on the field.
One of the players head coach Randy Edsall has been pleased with throughout preseason camp is junior wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo. With plenty of competition at the wide out spots, Etta-Tawo is hoping to solidify a starting role with a big camp.
"He's doing a lot of good things," said Edsall. "He's really improved and you see a more confident young man. I think anytime you gain strength and also have more experience, you gain that confidence which is what he has done. We've got to get his legs back a little bit more just like all these guys, but that's the nature of where we are right now."
Although the battle for the starting running back job is still up in the air, Edsall knows that he has plenty of options at the position.
"I think we're in pretty good shape there," explained Edsall. "I think Brandon [Ross] is having a good camp. I see a much improved and more focused Brandon Ross. I see Wes [Brown] doing some really good things. I've been very impressed with Ty Johnson. I think Ty has done a really good job. There are things that a freshman has to pick up and understand and he is getting better.
"Joe Riddle has stepped up and he's doing some nice things. Shane Cockerille is having a really good camp. Shane is really pushing. Andrew Stefanelli has things that he does well. I think overall from a running back standpoint we have a chance to have a really productive group there."
Maryland will hold its final two-a-day practice on Friday and then take part in an intersquad scrimmage at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Byrd Stadium. Saturday's scrimmage is part of Fan Appreciation Day.
More from Coach Edsall:
On Malik Jones' season-ending injury:
"I feel really bad for Malik. He was having a good camp. He worked extremely hard to make himself better and anytime you have an injury of that magnitude it is tough. You always feel bad. It's unfortunate and it's part of the game, but you hate to see it happen. He's going to have surgery Friday and he will be out for the year. Oseh [Saine], Ty Tucker and those guys will move up into that mix and guys have to step up. It's unfortunate, but now those guys have to step up and be counted on."
On the quarterbacks:
"Still waiting to see who is going to separate themselves. If they don't by next week, then we will separate them ourselves. It's a consistency thing. There's guys that are doing things really well to start, but there's not that consistency that I'm looking for. I'm waiting for somebody to be sharp and consistent the whole way through practice."
On Brandon Ross' ball security issues:
"He's been good so far this preseason. There are some things that [running backs coach] Terry [Richardson] gave him to work on and you can see a different guy. I see a different guy."
On Derwin Gray's status:
"Derwin's not going to be cleared for contact until September 10. That's what the doctors and trainers have given me. He's going through some non-contact individual stuff right now - he's in the meetings and all those things. He just won't be allowed full contact untilSeptember 10."
On the development of Cavon Walker and Jesse Aniebonam:
"They are getting better. Cavon has made that transition to [defensive end] and his get-off has to be a little quicker. He's still getting used to the position. He's a very strong, powerful and explosive young man, but he's still just getting the technique down. You can see that Jesse has completely changed his body. He's a lot thicker. He's more mature and a lot more in-tune to things going on around him, so we're expecting big things out of him, too."
On tight end P.J. Gallo getting a job with Goldman Sachs:
"He does everything that you ask for. He's really what you look at as a student-athlete in terms of what you want out of the experience. He has contributed a great deal for us and while he was here he also got himself ready for life after football. Not everybody is going to go to the next level, but eventually everybody has to go to work and make a living. It's great to give P.J. those opportunities where he did an internship with Raymond James two summers ago and then he was with Goldman Sachs and now he got the job. That's what it's all about. He does everything you ask him to do. He's a good leader and he's just a really good kid all-around."