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With Week 1 approaching, Maryland football’s positional battles are heating up

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Julia Lerner | Testudo Times

Maryland football held its fourth and final open media practice Tuesday afternoon. While he was still tight-lipped about who the starting quarterback will be for the Terps’ Week 1 matchup against Texas, DJ Durkin reiterated that the staff will take all the time it needs to make that decision.

“I was told, one time in my life, some wise words. ‘When you have a big decision to make, take all the time necessary to make it. There’s no reason to hurry into it,’” Durkin said. “So we’ll take all the time we have to make a very important decision for our team and our program.”

During practice, Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill, the two perceived favorites to win the starting job, once again looked like the two best options under center. Pigrome, though, almost exclusively worked with the first string, while Hill mixed it up with both the first and second team offenses. Though the quarterback battle is the most high-profile, position battles are going on all over the roster and for a number of different slots on the depth chart.

“It’s part of training camp,” Durkin said. “It’s what makes you great. It’s what’s fun about this part of year. There’s true, open competition for positions and that’s what I love about our practices.”

Denzel Conyers, now a sixth-year senior who was awarded a medical redshirt after he missed last season with a knee injury, understands the value of depth, even though new faces may cost him some playing time as he continues to work back to being fully healthy.

“I think it’s good,” Conyers said. “The more depth, the better we are as a team, especially on the back end. We have to hold the defense down, so we’ve got more guys being able to have confidence—knowing the plays, knowing the system—it makes everybody play harder.”

As Conyers and the rest of the defensive backs battle to determine how the depth chart plays out, Durkin and the rest of the position coaches maintain that every player on the roster has to earn his position.

“As a staff, we talk about these things almost every day,” Durkin said. “‘Who’s in the roster and who’s doing what? Where do I slot guys?’ ... Everybody looks at just offense defense, but there’s a lot of positions on special teams too.

“It’s certainly taking shape. It’s not set in stone. It’s not written in pen yet, but every day it gets closer it’ll grow more permanent.”

In other news

Maryland has one of the toughest schedules in the country this season. As such, making another bowl game would be an enormous accomplishment.

Maryland men’s soccer kicks off its season Friday night against Santa Clara. Here’s Joe previewing what lies ahead for the Terps.

According to ESPN, Maryland football has the 55th-happiest fan base of all FBS teams. The program’s top categories were “Twitter Buzz” and “Recruiting Trend,” which mostly makes sense.

Field hockey coach Missy Meharg named redshirt senior Marissa Cutry team captain for the upcoming season, which is looking to be a promising one for the Terps.

The Maryland women’s basketball team is representing Team USA in the World University Games in Taiwan. After winning the first two games of pool play, the Terps will look to close out the stage with a win over the Czech Republic at 8 a.m. today. We’ll have an in-depth recap of pool play in the afternoon.