COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Outside of the newly opened Jones-Hill House football facility, on the flawless fields built for the Terps, head coach Mike Locksley has his team laser focused as they hit the midway point of preseason camp.
"Been really pleased with [camp]. It’s been probably the most competitive training camp that we’ve had since I’ve been here," he said.
Locksley, entering his third year leading Maryland, knows it’s time for the Terrapins to take the next step. He went 1-on-1 with WMAR-2 Sports Reporter Shawn Stepner on Thursday.
"I’m really tired of potential. We’ve got good players in our program. We have recruited the right way. It’s time for us to go out and live up to the expectations that we set," said Locksley.
Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is prepping for his second season as the starter. The junior led the Big Ten last season averaging 13.48 yards per completion. On Thursday he was named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm watch list. The award is given annually to the top upperclassman quarterback in the nation.
"Taulia is a guy who we all know has the talent, has the skillset," said Locksley. "He has been able to really develop a great chemistry with our team."
He provides the Terrapins with a legitimate returning starter under center for the first time in a while.
"To have the luxury of a returning starter or a guy that is able to grow in our system, it’s been a great benefit for our team because just the consistency, knowing him and what his skillset is and being able to develop and call offensive plays based on what he does well," said Locksley.
This weekend brings another big day for the Terps in their march toward the season. Scrimmage No. 2 arrives on Saturday inside Maryland Stadium.
Locksley describes what he wants to see from his players:
"The competitiveness that we had in the first one. I’d like to clean up some of the late penalties and the sloppiness. I call it the discipline of how we need to play, the championship level football. I want to see some of these young players continue to determine and create roles as we kind of go into our last week before we begin our West Virginia [University] prep."
The Terps open the season at home against WVU on Saturday, September 4.