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It's Ricardo Young's turn to spring into action for Maryland

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy,Terps,University of Maryland

D.C. native will receive most of practice snaps at QB

"Next man up" is a common mantra used to motivate reserves. Last fall, the Maryland football team took it to extremes, losing four quarterbacks to season-ending injuries until the next man up was a freshman linebacker.

With three of those injured quarterbacks still rehabilitating torn ACLs and the fourth (Devin Burns) transferred out of the program, the next man up as the Terrapins open spring practice is Ricardo Young. The well-traveled redshirt junior, at his fourth college in four years, is anxious to seize his unexpected opportunity in his hometown.

Aug. 31 Florida Int'l

Sept. 14 at Connecticut

Oct. 5 at Florida State

Oct. 19 at Wake Forest

Nov. 9 Syracuse

Nov. 23 Boston College

*?M&T Bank Stadium

2013 schedule
Sept. 7 Old Dominion
Sept. 21 West Virginia*
Oct. 12 Virginia
Oct. 26 Clemson
Nov. 16 at Virginia Tech
Nov. 30 at N.C. State

"I'm just blessed. I take the opportunity in stride," Young said. "Now that I got this chance to showcase my talents, I'm not going to disappoint."

Young, a former Gatorade Washington, D.C., player of the year at H.D. Woodson, started his college career at Virginia Tech but moved to New Mexico after it became clear in the spring of 2011 that Logan Thomas was the Hokies' quarterback of the future. When coach Mike Locksley, now the offensive coordinator at Maryland, was fired by New Mexico, Young moved on to Iowa Western Community College, then to Maryland.

Young has yet to throw a pass in a college game, but coach Randy Edsall liked what he saw from him last fall as a scout team quarterback who was forced to sit out a season following his transfer. Young, who said he runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds, is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds and has skills similar to those of redshirt junior C.J. Brown.

"From what I have seen he is a very good athlete. He can throw the football. We will see how accurate he can be this spring," Edsall said. "[When] things break down, he has more than enough speed and athletic ability to make a play. He will be able to make plays with his feet and his arm."

Brown, the starter heading into preseason camp last year, is the only one of the three quarterbacks with a torn ACL who will do any work this spring, but he will be limited to individual drills. Sophomores Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe are sidelined for the spring. Edsall hinted that one could be redshirted.

In hopes of keeping Young upright, Edsall will not allow him to be hit in spring camp. The only other quarterback with no physical limitations heading into Saturday's opening practice will be walk-on Dustin Dailey.

Last year's emergency quarterback, Shawn Petty, has returned to inside linebacker, where we will get a good look as junior Cole Farrand is out for the spring.

Another injured player, junior Matt Robinson, will not participate in contact drills as he transitions from safety to outside linebacker. Sophomore running back Wes Brown will sit out after surgeries on his shoulder and ankle. Wideout Marcus Leak has been grounded as well by injuries and academics.

The spot that will bear the most watching, however, will be quarterback, where Young will try to show he is ready if Brown is not.

"I feel like he's actually the incumbent starter. He was the starter before he went down," Young said. "The only thing I can do is come in and fill his void."

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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