Three practices into its 2019 spring slate, Maryland football was in shoulder pads for the first time Saturday.
We’re still four weeks from the spring game, but this is still an important step as Mike Locksley implements his system. While the first practice in pads wasn’t always smooth, the Terps’ new head coach remains optimistic about his team’s direction.
“I thought today we were a little sloppy, which is to be expected when you first put pads on,” Locksley said after Saturday’s practice. “We did get some good work in. I feel like we are continuing to do our installs with all three phases, and our players have been very willing. They have bought into a lot of things and different things and changes we’ve made. I’ve been pleased with that, but we definitely have to learn to come out, start fast and practice on a consistent basis with the energy that you want from your team.”
There hasn’t been much on-field news out of camp yet, and with only two newcomers already on campus, that might not change. (Here’s the notebook dump from Tuesday’s practice.) Still, every player has a new position coach, and some are on their third or fourth at Maryland. That familiarization process has been going on since the winter, but now it’s carrying over to the gridiron.
“What we’ve tried to do from the day we got here is develop real relationships with our players,” Locksley said. “When you create a family environment, it’s about spending time—quality time, not necessarily how much, but the quality time. Since we’ve gotten here and since our players have returned from their winter break, we’ve had team dinners where our coaches eat with our players every night. We’ve got coaches assigned to be mentors for other positions. We’re doing everything we can to develop the relationships and have the bond that you need to have.”
Maryland has practices Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week.
In other news
In case you weren’t around all weekend, here’s Lamar’s awesome feature on Bruno Fernando, who’s staring down an important decision in the coming weeks.
Maryland men’s lacrosse is no longer unbeaten at home, coming up short against No. 1 Penn State last night.
The women’s team, though, was absolutely dominant against Rutgers, winning 20-3 on the road.
Softball also followed a close win with two blowout losses against Ohio State.
And tennis hasn’t earned a point in its last three matches. The losing streak is five.
In better news, the track team set a new school record in the men’s 4x400-meter relay at the Florida Relays in Gainesville.
Here’s a nice story on former Maryland golfer David Kocher, who’s currently playing on the PGA TOUR Series-China (he finished third in the season’s opening event).
And while Maryland basketball didn’t advance to play in the East Regional in Washington, D.C. — which produced some incredible moments and saw Michigan State reach the Final Four — the national champion men’s soccer team was in the building Friday night.
In April Fool’s news
Maryland basketball announced the addition of the College Park Boys & Girls Club to the 2019-20 nonconference schedule. “It should be an exciting matchup between two of the youngest teams in the country,” head coach Mark Turgeon said, calling the youth players “hard to guard.” We’ll update with more fake information as it becomes available.