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Highlights from our first look at the new Cole Field House

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

Cole Field House Thomas Kendziora / Testudo Times

Though the players got their first walk through last week, Maryland opened the new Cole Field House to the media and public for the first time on Wednesday, and the Terps new indoor practice facility looks pretty amazing.

“The last couple weeks it’s been hard to wipe the smile off my face,” Coach DJ Durkin said at the event. “If you asked some of those guys [on the team], they probably thought it was never going to happen.”

The facility is the culmination of a first phase of development five years and two universities in the making. The indoor football facility is open for use, and the Terps started fall camp Wednesday, although they’re still primarily practicing outside.

“I’m still going to practice out in the field because, obviously, that’s where we play,” sophomore punter Wade Lees told Testudo Times on Tuesday. “As cozy and as nice it is to punt in the indoor, we play outside, so I’ve got to punt outside.”

The Terps are the last team in the Big Ten to get an indoor facility, but it is already paying dividends.

“There has been a lot of talk about that building for a long, long time,” Durkin said Tuesday. “The best part to me was seeing the look on our players faces when they walked in there... It has already helped us a bunch in recruiting, as well as it will help us with the team and our development.”

In any case, Maryland definitely hit the upgrade button, and a building that holds a lot of history for the campus, now looks to usher in a new future.

Other event highlights

  • Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Sr. recounts telling Governor Larry Hogan about the project funding: “A week before the election, he wasn’t sure if he was going to get elected or not. He thought he was, I was sure he wasn’t. So we met at Rip’s in Bowie and he said, ‘Anything I need to know?’ And I said, ‘Governor, I got you on the hook for $25 million.’” The state would eventually add another $15 million in funding to bring the total state contributions to $40 million, so far.
  • Yeah, this happened.

We’ll have more on this event later this week.

In other news

For all the attention on Cole, it was women’s basketball to walk away with a recruit yesterday. Brenda Frese adds four-star center Olivia Owens, and Maryland becomes only the second team, so far, to get three top 60 commits for 2018.

As one of the highlights of Durkin’s 2017 class and an early enrollee, Markquese Bell already figures into Maryland’s safety rotation.

Caleb Henderson will be ready to go when fall camp starts, and he figures to be one of the main competitors in the Terps’ QB battle.