On an overcast, brisk, breezy day that felt more like fall, the Maryland Terrapins held their first open practice of spring workouts. Players say they’re ready to get back after it following a 6-7 season and a bowl game loss.
“There’s unfinished business. We don’t like how last year ended,” said Terps center Brendan Moore. “We’re just all coming out here with a reckless abandon and just trying to get better.”
A big question mark for 2017 is who will replace Perry Hills as starting quarterback. Right now it looks like North Carolina transfer Caleb Henderson has an arm up on the competition. After sitting out a year per NCAA rules, the junior is battling sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome, freshman Kasim Hill and others for the number one job.
“Things are going well,” said Henderson. “We put in a couple new plays today that I need to brush up on a little bit. First four practices, and even today, I thought I did really well.”
“I love his competitiveness. He’s a fiery guy. He’s into it. He’s high energy and he’s really talented,” said Terps head coach DJ Durkin. “Caleb, he can really run the ball as well as throw it. He’s got a strong arm and he’s a big, thick body who runs really well. He’s a good athlete.”
As far as a pecking order is concerned, Durkin says all of his quarterbacks are getting equal reps at this point.
Year number two for this coaching staff already has the Terps a step ahead of last year’s progression. Durkin says his players are much more comfortable now than at this point last March.
“They understand the expectations a little better,” said Durkin. “It’s allowed us to really focus more on what we want to get done technique-wise, fundamental-wise. More that than opposed to just talking about a mentality and a culture and how we do things.”
One surprise on Thursday was that Coach Durkin announced senior linebacker Shane Cockerille (Gilman) is being held out of practices for now.
“He has some responsibilities he needs to fulfill to remain an active member of this team. He is still a member of this team but he’s fulfilling some other responsibilities,” said Durkin.
Spring practices culminate on April 22 with the annual red-white game.