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August 29, 2012

Randy Edsall

MIKE FINN:  We're now joined by Maryland head coach Randy Edsall.  We'll go to coach, ask for a brief opening statement, then go to questions.
COACH EDSALL:  Thanks.  We're really looking forward to getting our season started on Saturday, know that we got a team coming in, William & Mary, who is going to be very fired up, eager to play.  Extremely well‑coached.  Very multiple on offense.  Really aggressive.  Give you a lot of looks on defense.
We're really looking forward to Saturday at 3:00.
MIKE FINN:  Questions for Coach Edsall.

Q.  (Question regarding Nick Ferrara.)
COACH EDSALL:  No, we'll end up coming out with the injury report tomorrow.  We'll see what happens today and tomorrow, then just go from there.

Q.  A year ago you had to open with a conference game against Miami.  Big deal, all the attention.  You're opening with a IAA team this year.  Can you talk about the difference?  You have to jump right in against a top‑10 opponent, sometimes lesser.  Do you approach it differently or want to schedule it in some way to get a warmup?
COACH EDSALL:  I don't think anybody's a warmup (laughter).  Again, I think I would much rather have our non‑conference games first before we get into the conference schedule.  At least it's always been my philosophy, if you're playing a IAA team, I would like to schedule that first in terms of our non‑conference schedule and go into that.
In the ACC we have a TV contractual agreement where there has to be a game played on Labor Day night.  That's what took place a year ago.
Moving forward in the future, in terms of our schedule, we're always going to try to schedule that IAA game the first game of the season and then move forward from there and get all of our non‑conference games done before we play our conference games.

Q.  (Question regarding the quarterback position.)
COACH EDSALL:  I feel very comfortable with Perry Hills.  Perry had a good camp.  We just see him keep getting better day to day.  I know he's anxious and he's excited to get going.  Feel very, very confident with Perry.
Behind him we've got Caleb Rowe and Devin Burns.  Feel very good about where we are with the quarterback and look forward to watching Perry play this weekend.

Q.  What skill sets does he bring to the table?
COACH EDSALL:  Perry is a guy that can do all the things we want him to do in terms of executing our offense.  Very heady young man, good arm, can make all the throws.  Just a student of the game.  He's somebody who works very hard, very poised, somebody that has command and the respect of his teammates in a very short period of time.

Q.  Do you think you've done a pretty good job this week of conveying to your team William & Mary may be IAA but this is a program that's been successful for a long time and is a definite threat to you guys?
COACH EDSALL:  I feel everybody's a threat.  As I told our team, this is the first of 12.  We have to respect all of our opponents the same amount.  We only get 12 opportunities, and this is the first one.  This one counts as much as any of them.
Again, I know our team will be ready to play and we're looking forward to it.

Q.  How many true freshmen do you anticipate playing this week and what has been your history in terms of playing true freshmen?
COACH EDSALL:  Well, again, with guys playing on special teams, we could have quite a few that are going to play.
My history has been, we're always going to play the best players that we have.  If a true freshman is the best player, we'll do that.  I think this year I'll probably play more true freshmen than any time I have in my career as a coach.  Again, I think that's one of the things that's there, the fact of some of the injuries we have but also because of the talent these young men possess.  They've put themselves in a position to garner playing time either as a position player or as a special teams guy.

Q.  How about Diggs' development?  Can you see him being a big‑threat play from play one?
COACH EDSALL:  Stefon is going to be our punt returner and kickoff return, and also playing as a wide receiver.  He's a guy that has tremendous ability, has the ability to make plays.  The thing that really has impressed me about Stefon, and I saw that when we recruited him, watching him play, he's a tremendous competitor.  He loves the game of football.  He's one of those guys that wants to know everything that's going on.  He's well‑respected by his teammates in terms of how he works, how he competes.  I'm really anxious to see him play.
As he gets more comfortable in everything that we do, he'll probably end up having a more prominent role as a receiver as he continues to learn and grasp all the things we'd like him to grasp at that position.

Q.  Have you ever awarded as many scholarships as you did yesterday to walk‑ons and how does that make you feel?  Has there been any more roster attrition that paved the way for those guys?
COACH EDSALL:  No.  We had those available to us.  I just wanted to make sure that we got through pre‑season, got into game week, there were things on my mind I wanted to do.  I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to be able to award that many at the beginning of the season based on the numbers.
We had the numbers available.  Some of those guys are seniors, some of them aren't seniors.  It's a way to reward guys for what they've done, and they've earned it.  That's the thing, they've earned it through what they've contributed to the program.  It was nice to be able to do that, just to sit here and see the expressions on those kids' faces when you could tell them they were going to be on scholarship.  It was really neat to see and you felt good for them and their families.

Q.  I know you've had four players at runningback who looked good in camp.  Wondering how you were going to work the rotation, if both of your true freshmen would play this year?
COACH EDSALL:  I would say that both of our true freshmen will play this year at runningback.  We have an idea of how we want to play those guys.  Again, what we want to be able to do is go through practice again today and tomorrow and really finalize exactly how we're going to go about splitting reps, getting reps, who fits into what role.
But, no, I anticipate that both Albert and Wes will be playing this year, probably playing this weekend.
MIKE FINN:  Coach, thanks for being with us today.  Good luck this weekend.
COACH EDSALL:  Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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