April 21, 2003
Spring 2003 OverviewThe PooP
It's hard to believe that so many schools, including a couple (Duke, UNC) in the ACC, turned away inquiries from Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen back when he was a star offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech. All he's done in two years with the Terps is build an outstanding staff, win a conference championship, post the first consecutive 10-win seasons in school history, go to the Orange and Peach bowls, compile a 13-1 home record, earn consensus national coach of the year honors (2001), direct back-to-back school scoring records, help increase season-ticket sales and revolutionize the program's approaches to facilities, technology and who knows what else. One word: awesome.
Probable 2003 Starters
* returning starter
+ injured/missed spring drills
Coming On Strong
As he continues to bolster his talent and depth levels, Friedgen virtually assured his program of some sustained momentum in 2003 with this appetizing nonconference slate: at Northern Illinois, The Citadel, West Virginia, at Eastern Michigan. This is simply a well-coached, moderately skilled team that plays hard and smart and is very tough to beat. Rock-solid returning starters: OL C.J. Brooks, TE Jeff Dugan, CB Domonique Foxworth, LB Leon Joe, QB Scott McBrien, PK Nick Novak, RB Bruce Perry, DT Randy Starks, WR Steve Suter, FS Madieu Williams. Also looking good: LB D'Qwell Jackson, LE Shawne Merriman, SB Rich Parsons.
Cause For Concern?
Football is a physical, nasty, collision-based sport, and this team lost a bunch of its toughest and most experienced players: P Brooks Barnard, OL Matt Crawford, LB E.J. Henderson, FB James Lynch, DE Durrand Roundtree, OL Todd Wike, etc. In particular, the defensive front seven may be vulnerable, and that's a bad place to have questions. Also: big-play receiver, pass rush, depth on both lines and at linebacker, punter.
On The Sidelines
The following players missed all or most of spring drills: RB Josh Allen (groin), NT C.J. Feldheim (knee/no contact), CB Gerrick McPhearson (shoulder), TE Derek Miller (knee), WR Steve Suter (knee), OL Donnie Woods (knee/no contact).
The following scholarship athletes left the program in the past 12-18 months with eligibility remaining: OL Nathaniel Clayton (left team), RB Jason Crawford (left team), OL Tim Donovan (academics), LB Randy Earle (left team/may return), OL Jason Holman (academics), OL Reggie Kemp (medical), OL Raheem Lewis (academics), FB James Lynch (academics/early NFL entry), WR Ike Roberts (transfer/Western Illinois), DE Mike Whaley (academics/before 2002 season).