By Megan Smedley
Maryland football hopes to prove their place in the Big Ten following their inaugural season and bowl appearance. The team kicked off training camp with Media Day on August 10.
Head Coach Randy Edsall is entering his fifth year here in Maryland and the team has steadily improved since Edsall took over.
“I’m really excited and really enthused about this team,” Edsall said.
Edsall believes this team is one of the hardest working teams he has coached, adding that the players own discipline holds themselves accountable. The upperclassmen have shown leadership and encouragement to the incoming freshmen, increasing the morale in the locker room.
Maryland currently does not have a starting quarterback resulting in a fight for the position among Daxx Garman, Caleb Rowe, and Perry Hills. Garman transferred from Oklahoma State during the offseason to finish his eligibility here and compete for the starting position. Edsall calls Garman a “football junkie” and a “student of the game.” Garman is looking forward to the challenges this new season will bring.
“You only get better from experience and I valued my time at Oklahoma State,” Garman said. “I’m ready to take that experience and elevate my game to a new level here at Maryland.”
Caleb Rowe is returning after a season-ending ACL injury in 2014. Rowe says he has not had any problems with his knee and will do whatever it takes to win games. Perry Hills is hoping to get more playing time this season after serving as the backup to CJ Brown last year. Hills improved his agility during the summer and enjoys the quarterback competition.
“We’re all great competitors and that’s great because it will bring out the best game in each of us,” Hills said.
Maryland defense has shifted to a 4-3 formation, which consists of four defensive tackles on the line and three linebackers allowing for more depth. Defensive back Sean Davis likes the new formation.
“I believe in it and so does everyone else,” Davis said.
Defensive Coordinator Keith Dudzinski knows the new formation is his responsibility.
“I have to do a good job at implementing the schemes,” Dudzinski said. “I have to be smart about what we can and cannot do.”
Placekicker Brad Craddock is coming off his best season yet. Craddock was the 2014 recipient of the Lou Groza Award given to the best kicker in the country. Despite this honor, Craddock believes he still has work to do.
“I’m still not quite satisfied with where I am, but I will get there,” Craddock said.
Coach Edsall praises Craddock’s leadership skills and says “there is a tremendous amount of respect for him.” Maryland football training camp is underway as the team prepares for the upcoming season. The team opens the season at home on September 5 against Richmond. Cornerback Will Likely put this season’s goals quite simply.
“Play all four quarters and win,” Likely said.