Maryland Terps

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'Different guy' trying to fix Maryland's 106th-ranked rush attack

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'Different guy' trying to fix Maryland's 106th-ranked rush attack

COLLEGE PARK -- It hit Maryland running back Brandon Ross for the first time during spring ball earlier this year.

Five years ago when head coach Randy Edsall took over in College Park, Ross was one of the younger players on a roster that has seen significant turnover at the position since.

He looked around at camp and realized it. Now, he’s the old guy -- and not the same player than he has been in the past.

“There’s something different about him. I see a different Brandon Ross,” Edsall said at practice this week.

“Whatever he did, whether it’s physically, mentally. I like what he’s done. To me, he’s a different guy this preseason and maybe it’s because it’s his last go-around but I like that he’s working hard, he’s being productive, he’s seeing things, he’s running with great vision, and doing the things necessary in order to put himself in a position that he has.”

Ross acknowledges it -- the change Edsall sees -- as he begins the final chapter of his five-year college career.

“It’s a different feel when it’s your last year,” he told CSN. “You really just want to leave it all out on the field for your coaches, your teammates, really just playing for your family and stuff.”

MORE TERPS: TRACING STEPS FROM ONE-TIME STARTING QB TO POSSIBLE THIRD-STRINGER

What was once a crowded backfield has thinned in the offseason with the transfer of Albert Reid and Jacquille Veii. Ross now undeniably leads the pack, alongside Wes Brown and freshman Ty Johnson.

And there should be carries on the table after the graduation of quarterback C.J. Brown, who was a more pure option quarterback than the three players competing for the starting job this season -- Perry Hills, Daxx Garman, and Caleb Rowe.

Ross looks poised to take on those responsibilities.

“He’s more decisive and I think he has a really good understanding of what’s happening in front of him and I think the one thing is he’s playing with a lot of confidence, too,” Edsall said. “I see a much more confident running back this preseason than what I saw before.”

Maryland’s running game was among the nation’s least productive last season. The Terrapins ranked 106th in yards per carry at just 3.4 in 2014 behind an offensive line that even Edsall admitted needed to be beefed up to deal with a more physical fight in the Big Ten trenches.

Ross’ average was much higher than the team’s, at 4.8 yards per carry, but his total carries were nearly cut in half compared to the 2013 season.

With Brown’s departure from under center, perhaps those numbers return closer to where they were in 2013.

“In the past, I haven’t always had my focus level right,” Ross said. “I wasn’t always as strong as I could have been and that’s really one thing I wanted to change year-by-year in the program.

“I just want to be like an all-around back. If I can get more carries, that’s great.”

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Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

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Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun

Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Jordan McNair, a University of Maryland football player hospitalized after an organized team workout two weeks ago, has died.

Maryland executive athletic director Damon Evans said McNair was hospitalized on May 29 and died Wednesday.

McNair was a 6-foot-4, 325-pound offensive lineman preparing for his sophomore season. A graduate of McDonogh (Md.) High School, McNair played one game last season.

After leading McDonogh to an 8-3 record as a senior, McNair chose Maryland over Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State and Rutgers.

In a statement, Maryland coach DJ Durkin said, "Our team is heartbroken with the loss of Jordan McNair. Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team."

He added, "Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side. Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter."

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Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball

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USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball

Maryland basketball head coach Mark Turgeon announced earlier today that assistant coach Dustin Clark is parting ways with the program to pursue an opportunity in Texas with a family business. 

In three seasons as a full-time assistant, Clark was responsible for recruiting Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan Jr., along with incoming freshman Aaron Wiggins. 

The 35-year-old also made a point to recruit overseas, spending much of his time at the Canaris Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands, where he found former Terps center Michal Cekovsky and current redshirt freshman forward Joshua Tomaic. 

Clark will become the second member of Turgeon's staff to leave the team following this past season. Nima Omidvar, who was brought on to replace Clark as director of basketball operations in 2014, walked away to become a full-time assistant coach at South Alabama in April. 

At the start of the 2018-19 season, Bino Ranson will be the only original member of Turgeon's staff. 

Matt Brady, who has had previous head coaching stints at James Madison and Marist, will replace Clark. 

In his eight years at JMU, Brady won 139 games and enjoyed four seasons with 20 wins or more. His 2012-13 team won the Colonial Athletic Association and reached the NCAA tournament. He finished with a 73-50 overall record after four seasons at Marist. 

The news comes after a season in which the team failed to make the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 19-13, including 8-10 in Big Ten play.