Jacquille Veii played two years at Maryland before transferring to Towson. After one season with the Tigers, he decided to head back to College Park, knowing he’d sit out 2016 and have one final chance to make an impact this year.
On Saturday, he’ll suit up against his former team. He’s been waiting for this chance.
Towson was able to block Veii’s transfer back to the Terps because Maryland was on the Tigers’ 2017 schedule. This meant that Veii wasn’t on scholarship for the 2016-17 school year. Still, he followed through with the transfer for academic reasons, and he’s back on scholarship with DJ Durkin’s team.
“I never understood why they [blocked the transfer], because they never really said anything,” Veii said Wednesday. “I was just under the impression it was just because Maryland plays Towson in 2017, and I was gonna be on that team if I did [transfer].”
Veii still keeps in touch with a handful of Towson players; he mentioned running back Shane Simpson and cornerbacks Lyrics Klugh and Tyron McDade. As one of the Terps’ starting wideouts, Veii will be lining up one-on-one against a handful of his friends. “It’s just gonna be a fun competition with my old teammates,” he said.
The redshirt senior caught his first pass for the Terps since 2014 against Texas for a three-yard gain. He said he was nervous when he stepped on the field for his first game action in nearly two years, but that everything was “just like how I remembered it” before long. Still, Veii worked all offseason to learn the intricacies of wide receiver, which he never played full-time in his first Maryland stint.
“All through last year, when he first came back, he was really kinda just a great athlete, more of like a slot running back,” offensive coordinator Walt Bell said. “You saw the skills and the foot quickness, but now he’s really refined his craft and really improved at playing the position.
“The one consistent with him is regardless of phase of the game, whether it’s special teams or receiver, is he is one of the hardest-playing dudes I’ve ever been around in my life.”
Veii’s first game back in College Park was already going to be an emotional afternoon. To play his former team will simply add to that anticipation.
In other news
Toward the end of his press conference yesterday, Bell mentioned that running backs Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison have been taking emergency reps under center ... just in case.
"If we ever got down to it, Lorenzo Harrison and Ty Johnson could both collect the football and run our run game. Obviously they're not going to drop back and throw a lot of balls, but they're prepared to at least manage the line of scrimmage and run the offense."
Here’s our quick list of the freshmen who’ve made the biggest impacts across all Maryland sports.
This week’s Testudo Times Podcast tries to make sense of the last couple days, with the win at Texas and the subsequent injury news.
Maryland has a “graveyard” by its practice fields to commemorate big upsets. Texas has been added to the cemetery.
Good morning #TerpNation pic.twitter.com/XEvWyGuBep— The Pride (@UMDThePride) September 6, 2017
The Terps will have a new concession this weekend: the Baltimore Cheese Steak.
Speaking of things you can buy, we have found “Excessive Juice” shirts on the internet.
Maryland women’s soccer wraps up non-conference play tonight at Ludwig.
The NFL regular season starts tonight, and 11 former Maryland players start the year on active rosters.