ACC: Jared Harrell

Terps on display at pro timing day

March, 10, 2010
3/10/10
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A few former Terps will audition today for NFL scouts at Maryland's pro timing day, which will be held at the Gossett Team House, Cole Field House and the outdoor practice facility.

Among those expected to work out are OL Bruce Campbell, DB Nolan Carroll, DL Jared Harrell, DL Travis Ivey, RB Cory Jackson, DB Terrell Skinner, QB Chris Turner and DB Anthony Wiseman.

The players will be tested in several drills, including the vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, 60-yard shuttle and 40-yard dash. Campbell has already made a splash with his freakish physique recently at the NFL combine. Jackson and Skinner played in the Under Armour Senior Bowl, and Ivey took part in the Texas vs. the Nation game. Carroll also participated in the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Maryland moving on without starting corner

September, 15, 2009
9/15/09
5:32
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich


When Maryland defensive tackle Travis Ivey came off the field on Saturday against James Madison, defensive end Jared Harrell noticed his teammate “had that look on his face.” Ivey wasn’t cramping up, but he threw his helmet on the ground, and Harrell realized Ivey was just reacting to teammate Nolan Carroll’s injury.

Carroll, a fifth-year senior who was arguably the Terps’ top cornerback, was operated on Saturday night for a broken tibia and will likely miss the rest of the season.

“I think there is a tremendous amount of feeling for Nolan on the team and obviously, not only is Nolan very well liked, but he is very well respected,” coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I think it was a rallying point to come back when they knew Nolan was done. I talked to Nolan on Sunday about when he gets out of the hospital that he is still captain of this football team and he needs to continue his leadership role. And he said he would definitely do it."

Carroll was fourth on the team with 10 tackles, and one pass breakup. He’s unlikely to be granted a sixth year of eligibility because this would be the only season he would have missed with an injury.

“We’re going to miss Nolan a lot, especially I am, and the other seniors,” Harrell said. “We’ve been here the whole time together. No doubt he’s still going to be our team captain. We’re going to try to make sure he’s on the sidelines with us as much as possible. We’re going to find a way to make sure he’s with us this entire season. We’ll be there for him, and he’ll be there for us. The truth of the matter is, the next guy has to step up and that’s what he would want. He’d want to make sure the defense plays as strong as possible.”

Sophomore Cameron Chism, who played in nine games last year as a backup, is listed on this week's depth chart as Carroll's replacement. It was a huge blow to a young defense that ranks last in the ACC in scoring defense, having allowed an average of 43.5 points over two games. The Terps also rank last in total defense, last in rushing defense, and last in pass defense efficiency. They’re still trying to adjust to first-year coordinator Don Brown’s new scheme, but now they’ll have to do it without one of their top players.

“I know the score and stat sheet doesn’t really reflect, but the defense made great improvements from Cal to JMU, we had more three-and-outs,” Harrell said. “If we eliminate a few big plays here and there, we’re actually playing pretty strong games. When you eliminate those big plays, that turns a lot of stuff around. We feel very confident looking at the tape that we can correct our mistakes. There are a few mental mistakes, a few assignment mistakes, and we feel like if we can correct those, we’re going to be tough to deal with.”

Around the ACC: FSU's Pressley returns ... for a little

August, 20, 2009
8/20/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here's a quick catch-you-up on practices from around the league, as reported by each school's sports information office:

FSU

With tailbacks Tavares Pressley and Ty Jones getting their first extended work since returning from hamstring strains, the Seminoles moved the ball effectively on the ground throughout the second half of Wednesday's afternoon practice.

"We ran 'ol Pressley a lot today just to see what kind of shape he was in," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "He ran good, but he gave out."

Pressley was the primary ball carrier for the first-team offense during 11-on-11 work, when the Seminoles started at the 50-yard line. He repeatedly ripped off runs between 6-and-12 yards, displaying power and speed, though he did lose a fumble downfield. That fumble proved costly when Pressley landed on the football, knocking the wind out of him, and ultimately ending his day prematurely.

Still, it was the first significant contact work Pressley has had in more than two years, since transferring from El Camino (Calif.) Community College last fall. He missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, suffered early in preseason camp.

"[Pressley] did some good things and some bad things," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said. "When you hit it up in there now, this ain't junior college. There are men on the other side."

Jones also received significant work with the second-team offense and was largely effective running between the tackles.

While Jermaine Thomas earned a break throughout a large chunk of scrimmage work, 212-pound freshman tailback Lonnie Pryor continued to rip off yardage after initial contact and earn the coaching staff's praise.

"The guy that keeps looking good is Pryor," Bowden said. "Sometimes he looks like he's the best back we've got. He just does better than he's supposed to do. He's supposed to faint every now and then, but he ain't fainted yet."

MARYLAND

After Tuesday afternoon's practice turned into an evening session due to a couple of rain delays, the Maryland Terrapins were back on the football field Wednesday morning for the first of two workouts scheduled for the day.

"We had a good, tough practice today," said coach Ralph Friedgen. "It was tough because we went late last night, then we got up this morning. It was hot and humid. We forced them to push themselves out of their comfort zone. Some did it and some didn't."

Despite the short rest, heat and humidity, several players that have stood out in practice so far continued to impress.

"A couple guys really stand out right now," Friedgen said. "Chris Turner -- he's really doing a great job of seeing things, setting the defense, using his cadence, making decisions. I'm very pleased with how he's playing. Kenny Tate is having a sensational camp. He's all over the place. He's intercepting passes, he's sacking guys. [Defensive coordinator Don] Brown's got him blitzing, covering. Every time you look up, he's making a play. You saw that in the scrimmage the other day."

Friedgen like the development the team has made through 11 preseason workouts.

"I think we're getting better," Friedgen said. "We're a long way from where we need to be, but I'm seeing progress."

Now a week and a half in to fall camp, Friedgen is starting to see separation at some positions, while others remain a wait-and-see situation. Parts of the offensive line remain a question, Friedgen said, but the coaching staff is remaining patient with a group that is talented but very young.

"We have [three] redshirt freshmen [Justin Lewis, R.J. Dill and Justin Gilbert] and two regular freshmen [Pete White and Bennett Fulper] and then Maurice Hampton, he's a redshirt sophomore," Friedgen said. "They're very, very young. We knew going in, it is what it is. You just have to be patient and keep working them and keep encouraging them."

MIAMI

Miami held its third two-a-day of fall camp Wednesday, with the team working out in shells in the early morning and late afternoon sessions.

In the morning session, the defense played well in red zone drills and Javarris James led a strong showing by the running backs in 11-on-11 work. In the afternoon, James continued his strong play with a couple big runs to go along with interceptions by Sam Shields and Vaughn Telemaque.

Thearon Collier had a big afternoon offensively, catching several balls from Jacory Harris in 11-on-11 action.

The team continues to focus on kickoff coverage, in addition to the usual work in 11-on-11, 7-on-7 and positional drills.

After five practices in three days, the Canes will take the day off on Thursday before holding a closed scrimmage on Friday.

Morning Practice Highlights -- (shells)
• Randy Phillips stood out defensively, recording a sack and pass deflection in 11-on-11 play.
• In a series of 15-to-20 red zone plays, the defense held the offense to just one touchdown (Taylor Cook to LaRon Byrd for a 20-yard score).
• James had a rush and a reception of over 20 yards in 11-on-11 play.
Lee Chambers had a few runs of 10-to-15 yards in run drills and in 11-on-11 action.

Afternoon Practice Highlights -- (shells)
• James had runs of approximately 65 and 30 yards in 11-on-11 drills.
• Harris hooked up with Collier (twice) Jimmy Graham and Travis Benjamin for substantial gains in 11-on-11 action.
• Shields recorded an interception in 7-on-7 play.
• Telemaque picked off a pass in the end zone during two-minute drills.

Maryland starting nose tackle leaves Terps

August, 14, 2009
8/14/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Maryland nose tackle Dion Armstrong has decided to leave the team, according to a report in the Washington Times, and that leaves the Terps even more thin at a position that was already of concern. (Sounds like UNC's troubles on the offensive line.)

It's not entirely a surprise the Terps won't be able to depend on Armstrong, as his academic eligibility had been in question all spring, and he missed practices to concentrate in the classroom. But the reality is that Armstrong had starting experience, and that's something the Terps' D-line is severely lacking right now. Without Armstrong, Maryland's D-line has a whopping seven career starts worth of experience to fall back on. In line to replace Armstrong is redshirt freshman A.J. Francis. It's no wonder the Terps' D-line falls last on the list in the position rankings.

When you switch to a four down-linemen structure and you're forced to do it without your top four defensive linemen from a year ago, it's going to make for a rocky start. Jared Harrell, Travis Ivey, Derek Drummond and Deege Galt will be facing higher expectations this fall.

Ranking the ACC units: Defensive lines

July, 20, 2009
7/20/09
5:05
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

1. Clemson -- The Tigers return three starters up front, and first-year defensive coordinator Kevin Steele's pressure defense is the perfect fit for guys like Da'Quan Bowers and Ricky Sapp. Sapp was having a good season last year before he tore his ACL at Virginia and missed the rest of the season. Defensive end Kevin Alexander is a returning starter who had 34 tackles last year, and nose guard Jarvis Jenkins tied Sapp for the team lead with 10 tackles for loss. Opposing quarterbacks won't have time to think against this bunch.

2. Miami -- Anyone watching the Virginia Tech game last year saw what this group is capable of, and of the nine linemen who started at least one game for Miami last year, seven are back. Allen Bailey has moved from end to tackle, but he sometimes played there in third-down situations. He led the team with five sacks. Marcus Robinson is a solid pass rusher, Marcus Forston could also be an impact and Eric Moncur is entering his sixth season and if he plays like he did in 2007 (11.5 tackles for loss) could really give this line a boost.

3. Virginia Tech -- Depth is the only question mark here, as Jason Worilds, John Graves, Cordarrow Thompson and Nekos Brown are more than capable of continuing Bud Foster's tradition of nationally ranked defenses. Nobody is questioning Worilds' toughness, that's for sure, and Graves and Thompson both started every game last year. They're still looking for another defensive end, though, and will keep an eye on what Chris Drager adds to the position after moving from tight end.

4. North Carolina -- Not only do all four starters return, but the depth is the best it's been in recent years. Last year, defensive end Robert Quinn became a starter in the second game of the season, and defensive tackle Cam Thomas had one of his his best season at UNC. Marvin Austin and E.J. Wilson played well, and should be even better this year. Reserves Quinton Coples and Michael McAdoo had solid rookie seasons and will push Wilson and Quinn for playing time this year. Aleric Mullins and Tydreke Powell are interchangeable with Austin and Thomas as starters at tackle.

5. Florida State -- The end position is reason for concern, as the Noles have to replace both Everette Brown and Neefy Moffett, who were first and second, respectively, on the team in sacks. Markus White will be tasked with filling the shoes of Brown, but he had a good transition season from junior college last year to build off of. Kevin McNeil, who had four sacks last year, is the favorite to replace Moffett. The interior should be solid with the return of Budd Thacker, Kendrick Stewart, Moses McCray and Justin Mincey.

6. NC State -- Defensive tackle Alan-Michael Cash and end Willie Young have combined for 46 starts and should be two of the best linemen in the conference. The other two players penciled in as starters -- Shea McKeen and Leroy Burgess -- were both junior college transfers who earned starting time last year. Backup tackles will be a concern, but Markus Kuhn could wind up playing a bit of both until the staff decides where he can help the most.

7. Wake Forest -- Tackles John Russell and Boo Robinson will highlight a defense that recently bid farewell to some of the best seniors to come through the program. It should be one of the Deacs' most experienced groups in recent years, which is important considering the new faces behind them at linebacker. Defensive end Kyle Wilbur showed a lot of promise as a redshirt freshman with three sacks in only seven starts, and Tristan Dorty played in 10 games as a redshirt defensive end last year.

8. Virginia -- It's one of the few units on this team that didn't get a complete makeover, as seven of the top eight linemen return. Sophomore Matt Conrath, who had 35 tackles and four sacks last year, returns at end. There's a lot of experience next to him at nose tackle, where senior Nate Collins and sophomore Nick Jenkins split time last season. Collins' 35 tackles are the top among the returning linemen, while Jenkins finished with 25. Junior John-Kevin Dolce proved himself in the pass rush package with five sacks among his nine total tackles last year.

9. Boston College -- Replacing tackles B.J. Raji and Ron Brace is obviously one of the biggest concerns for this team, but they've got several options. Damik Scafe, Nick Rossi and Brendan Deska were each second-stringers at the tackle position and are the early favorites to replace the NFL draft picks. The Eagles also signed a pair of defensive tackles in the offseason, including highly touted recruit Dillon Quinn, who could make an immediate impact. Austin Giles replaced the injured Alex Albright last year for 12 starts, and Jim Ramella started all 14 games at the other end position.

10. Georgia Tech -- The Yellow Jackets have to replace three of four starters up front, and until they prove they found dependable replacements, they're going to be stuck down here. The lone returning starter is junior end Derrick Morgan, and there's no doubt about his capabilities, but the Jackets will sorely miss the three starters who combined for 100 career starts and 100 tackles for loss. Ben Anderson, Robert Hall and T.J. Barnes are all candidates to start.

11. Duke -- The Blue Devils took a step forward last year and should improve again with the return of tackle Vince Oghobaase and end Ayanga Okpokwuruk, who started five games and had 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. They combined for 9.5 sacks last year. Oghobaase ranks second in the ACC in both career tackles for loss (29.0) and quarterback sacks (11.5). They'll need new starters at nose guard and right end.

12. Maryland -- The Terps have to fill a void left by Jeremy Navarre and Trey Covington, and so far it looks like that will be up to Derek Drummond, Dion Armstrong, Travis Ivey and Jared Harrell, though Armstrong was dealing with some academic issues. The arrival of De'Onte Arnett, Zachariah Kerr, and Cody Blue this past spring should help with the depth.

Defensive changes at Maryland challenging and welcome

April, 23, 2009
4/23/09
9:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- There have been "some heated times" this spring between Maryland's two competitive coordinators, but don't mistake that for animosity -- James Franklin and first-year defensive coordinator Don Brown get along well.

But Brown, who spent the past five seasons as head coach at Massachusetts, hasn't wasted any time making life difficult for an ACC offense.

It just happens to be Maryland's.

"Let me say this," Franklin said, "I think Don Brown is the single best hire that Ralph Friedgen has made since he's been here eight years. I think he's going to bring a mentality, he's extremely competitive, he's extremely aggressive. I can't wait until spring ball and camp is over so we can get back on the same team. During spring we're going after each other. We're both very competitive. We've had some heated times just because we're both competitors."

Brown, who was hired when Chris Cosh left for the same position at Kansas State, has implemented a new scheme this spring, and those within the program seem to agree it's a refreshing yet challenging change.

Transition is nothing new for this defense, which introduced Brown as its third coordinator in five seasons. The hopes in College Park are that Brown's aggressive style -- even though it has the potential to give up a few big plays -- will create far more momentum-changing plays and opportunities for the offense. Brown knows his system's strengths, but he also knows how to hide its weaknesses.

This spring, he has installed five fronts, seven different coverages, and about 16 different blitzes.

"What we've tried to do is throw as much scheme and concepts at them as we can, get it on tape, so we can utilize it for teaching purposes for the fall," said Brown, whose Minutemen reached the 2006 FCS championship game. "We threw as much as we could at them at a fast pace so when they come back in the fall they'll hear it for the second time. Hopefully it will be a lot of recall for them.

"I'm totally pleased with their effort, their energy, their focus and determination. I think we're very talented at wide receiver, so we've asked our corners to play a lot on the island. I think they've done a solid job. That will give some flexibility in what we do up front."

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