Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Terps mixing things up this spring
By Matt Fortuna
Maryland's third week of spring practice has given way to two notable position changes, though the biggest news may revolve around a player standing pat.
Kenny Tate will play the strongside linebacker position for the Terrapins in 2012, coach Randy Edsall said. Tate played safety for three years before moving to linebacker last season, a move that produced mixed results.
"We've talked to Kenny and he knows that's where he's going to be," Edsall said. "He'll be in the meetings there. He likes it and understands that's what's best for him and that's what's best for us."
Tate recorded 35 tackles and two picks in four games last season before undergoing season-ending knee surgery. He is not participating this spring, though he was granted a medical hardship waiver for the upcoming season.
An All-ACC selection in 2010, Tate recorded 100 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions as a safety. It was unclear where Tate would play this season in new defensive coordinator Brian Stewart's new 3-4 system.
Meanwhile, Nate Clarke has moved from offensive guard to nose tackle and A.J. Hendy has moved from safety to cornerback.
Clarke redshirted during his freshman season last year after playing on both sides of the ball during his prep career.
"When you took a look at Nate, you saw a guy who was struggling a little bit on offense," Edsall said. "And then when you take a look at what we have on defense and what we’re trying to do defensively, you see a guy that you say, 'OK, he's probably going to be better with less to think about and less to do.' "
Hendy had 30 tackles and a pick last season as a freshman.
"The big thing with the spring with the players who are here is it's a chance to evaluate them and make sure they are in the right spots," Edsall said. "As we sat down and evaluated, [we said] let's go ahead and take a look at A.J. there and he looks a little more natural [at cornerback]."