With senior quarterback C.J. Brown rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament, transfer Ricardo Young took all of the first-team snaps at the position as Maryland opened its spring practice schedule Saturday at Byrd Stadium. It was a chance for the junior to get valuable repetitions under center.
"I felt like I threw the ball really well today," Young said. "I need to clean up on some details. Getting proper depths on drops. Just finishing off. I'm in a beginning stage right now."
Young transferred from New Mexico to play under Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who was previously the Lobos head coach.
The Washington, D.C., native sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules, but he displayed some of the athleticism in practice that has Maryland coaches excited about his future.
"I thought he did some good things," Terps coach Randy Edsall said after the practice. "You can see the natural athleticism that he has. The thing that we have to get Ricardo to understand is, yes, he's a very gifted athlete. But he's got to learn to do the things technically the right way."
When asked what specifically Young needs to work on, Edsall responded: "everything."
Long shows his speed
Terps redshirt junior wide receiver Deon Long, another transfer, broke away from his defender late in practice and made a nice catch 50 yards down the field while hugging the sideline. It was a big play, and one that shows why Long is expected to make an impact when lined up across the field from sophomore wide receiver Stefon Diggs this season.
"I still got things to work on. I'm not a perfect player," Long said. "But for the first day out, I think it went fairly well."
Long is already familiar with Maryland's offense, having also played for Locksley at New Mexico.
That familiarity, Long said, allows him to "play fast. I can think on the move, and I can help other people."
Diggs working on skills
Coming off a standout freshman season, Diggs said he wants to become "more of a technician" on the field for the Terps this season.
"Just running a lot of routes. Working the ladders, working my feet. Just perfecting my craft," Diggs said about what he hopes to improve.
Diggs also said he put on about eight pounds of muscle since the end of last season.
The gain in strength that guys like Diggs have made is a product of their offseason work, Edsall said.
"These guys have really worked really hard in the last five weeks," Edsall said. "We've made significant gains from a strength standpoint in the five weeks that we had our winter conditioning and offseason program. Now what we got to do is carry that over."
Edsall 'pleased,' not satisfied
Terps coaches finally got a look at the players in action for the first time in over three months as they practiced without pads on a chilly morning in College Park.
"I was pleased with the approach that they came out here with," Edsall said. "There was enthusiasm. We've just got to get a lot better.
"You could just tell it was the first day, but we've got to finish better, we've got to focus on the little things better."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times