RB Rodgers Springs into New Terps Role

Article excerpt

It has been a different kind of spring football season for Buddy Rodgers. Rest assured that the bruising Maryland tailback has put a hurting on plenty of would-be tacklers during the Terps' 15 practices the past month.

But there were a few self-inflicted wounds as well - the kind you get on your forehead when you bang it on the playbook in frustration. The Maryland coaching staff is redesigning the offense around Rodgers and quarterback Brian Cummings, and Rodgers has endured a mentally taxing spring.

"There's been some bumps and bruises," Rodgers said yesterday after Maryland wrapped up spring drills with its annual Red-White scrimmage. "There's been a lot of things to learn, and at times it's been hard. It's tough on us to learn a new offense, but the guys have done a great job and it seems to fit our style."

Rodgers was the focal point of yesterday's scrimmage, carrying 25 times for 125 yards and making six receptions for another 76 yards, leading a Red squad loaded with first-teamers to a 33-0 victory.

As opposed to the hybrid run-and-shoot that Maryland has used the past five years under coach Mark Duffner, the new offense features a fullback to pair with Rogers and at least one - and sometimes two - tight ends for additional blocking. Mario Chavez and Brett White appear to be the team's top two fullbacks, while Josh Hough and junior college transfer Tim Brown are alternating at tight end.

Although there were occasional forays into the four-wide receiver set yesterday, most of Cummings' pass plays incorporated run-fakes and bootlegs. All of which delighted the 5-foot-11, 231-pound Rodgers, who will be a junior this fall.

"I know I'm glad that we're running the ball more," he said. "That's one of the reasons I came here, to be the featured runner in a system like this, so I don't feel any pressure. …