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Homecoming ’09

BACK IN THE DAY In continuing our 100th year anniversary celebration, The Diamondback has an old game story from the Terps’ 1953 homecoming win against South Carolina. PAGE 2 | FULL RECAP



For some players on the Terps, Byrd Stadium serves as a backyard. Here, The Diamondback features introductions to three hometown products.

Live from, The Diamondback’s sports blog, Terp players comment on why the homecoming game takes on an added level of importance.





DIAMONDBACK 100 YEARS 1910 | 2010

Terps fry Gamecocks, 24-6 Tatum holds back as homecoming crowd cheers big red to victory Editor’s note: In 1953, the Terrapin football team went 10-1 and won the program’s only National Championship. On Oct. 31, the Terps defeated homecoming opponent South Carolina 24-6 in front of 22,000 at Byrd Stadium. As part of our look back at the nearly 100-year history of The Diamondback, here’s the homecoming game story from the Nov. 2 edition: BY RON BROOKS DBK Staff Reporter

Shortly after four o’clock Saturday Jim Tatum’s Terrapins presented the 1953 Homecoming Queen with her first tribute, a convincing 24-6, victory over South Carolina. Miss Lydia Steward, an independent student representing Somerset Hall, accepted her crown before sitting back to watch the “Big Red” roll to its seventh straight win. Almost ignoring the famed split-T option, quarterback Bernie Faloney had his backs crashing over the center of the huge Gamecock line. The offensive play of Maryland prompted Carolina head coach Rex Enright to say, “They can do everything

with the ball, run, pass, kick and constantly keep a defense off balance.” Early in the game it looked like Maryland had caught a case of the fumbilitis at Miami last week. In the first quarter Faloney’s hand-off was fumbled and Carolina recovered. Faloney immediately intercepted a pass and the ball was resting on the Carolina 17. He elected to carry and this time the ball was knocked out of his reach. However, Marty Crytzer pounced on it on the two for an additional four yard gain. Two plays later Felton scored and added his first of two extra points to make it, 7-0. Just before half-time Hanulak got slippery fingers, too. After putting his team ahead 14-0, by a tricky 66 yard punt return, the “Hackensack Flash” fumbled on his own 35 but recovered on the 42. The Terps were gaining so much yardage on the fumble play that it began to look like a part of Tatum’s offense. Under the passing of John Gramling the Gamecocks crossed the goal-line for the first and only time of the day at 12:10 of the second quarter. Gramling hit his favorite receiver

Clyde Bennett on the Maryland nine to set up the score, and then sent Bill Wohrman through the Terp defensive wall for the score. The conversion attempt was wide. Besides a fine game at fullback, Bielski showed promise of becoming a real scoring threat with his “toe.” His field goal kick of 40 yards split the uprights, and gave Maryland a 17-6 lead at halftime. Maryland’s final score came just as the fourth quarter got under way, climaxing a 55 yard drive in eight plays. Ed Vereb scored from six yards out to end the scoring for the day. Speaking on his team’s effort Tatum seemed well pleased when he said, “running against that big Carolina line was enough for one afternoon’s work.” The Terp mentor mentioned especially the defensive play of Stan Jones, Faloney and John Irvine. Adding another fine performance to his climb up the All-America ladder, Faloney engineered the Terrapins flawlessly and earned this comment by Enright, “It’s easy to understand why many expect him to be nominated for All-America honors.”

Almost 56 years ago, the Terps beat homecoming opponent South Carolina on their way to a National Championship. JIM HANSEN/THE DIAMONDBACK

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Cornerback Chism is learning on the move True sophomore forced into major role this season BY CONOR WALSH Staff writer

Cornerback Cameron Chism has had to start earlier than expected because of a season-ending injury to teammate Nolan Carroll, but the sophomore is making progress, according to defensive coordinator Don Brown. ADAM FRIED/THE DIAMONDBACK

As cornerback Nolan Carroll was carted off the field during the game against James Madison on Sept. 12, many Terrapin football players knew that his injury would effectively end the fifth-year senior’s career. However, it would provide his protégé, Cameron Chism, with a chance to shine. Chism, a graduate of Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md., came to the university as one of the area’s most highly touted cornerback recruits. Despite entering the season as a sophomore reserve in a defensive backfield highlighted by four fifthyear senior starters, Chism has been forced into a starting role earlier than expected because of Carroll’s broken tibia. The comfort of playing so close to home, where his coaches and friends can easily follow his progress, has helped with the transition. Chism, who primarily played special teams in his true freshman

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last weekend set him back after solid performances in the three previous games. Chism was tested early and often against the Demon Deacons and quarterback Riley Skinner, who ended up passing for 360 yards and four touchdowns. On one touchdown pass, Chism had a chance at the ball but fell down. Veteran safety Jamari McCollough has helped Chism respond to the adversity. “I told him that playing corner, you’re going to get beat, going to get scored on,” McCollough said. “It’s a matter of how you bounce back.” Chism hopes to begin his return to form in Saturday’s homecoming game against rival Virginia. Virginia has rebounded from a tough start, posting 47 points last weekend against Indiana, including 305 yards and a touchdown through the air. “Now he’s got to be a man,” cornerbacks coach and defensive coordinator Don Brown said. “His response has been everything that I thought it would be.”


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season last year, has started all four games since Carroll went down, making 27 combined tackles and recording two interceptions against Middle Tennessee. “It’s tough to see [Carroll] go down his senior year like that, but somebody’s got to fill in for him. I guess I’m the guy,” Chism said about his mentor’s injury. Carroll has been a big influence on Chism since he arrived on campus, helping him adjust to the faster game-speed and heightened intensity of the college game. Chism is accustomed to being counted on as a key contributor, having starred at cornerback and wide receiver at Bishop McNamara, while also returning punts and kickoffs. “It motivates me to not look like the weakest link ... to go hard and do better,” Chism said of his increased responsibilities. Chism also added the starting role requires him to be more mentally prepared. So far, his progression has been up and down, as the Prince George’s County native’s sub-par performance against Wake Forest

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Freshman Ross ends up right at home Defensive lineman considered other options before choosing program just minutes away BY MICHAEL LEMAIRE Staff writer

Whenever a highly touted football prospect lives in the shadow of an ACC program, one would think choosing the right university would be a no-brainer. But, at least at the beginning of the process,Terrapin defensive end Isaiah Ross’ head told him to look outside Maryland for an opportunity to play. A former standout at linebacker and defensive end at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, located just miles away in Greenbelt, Ross initially thought he would follow teammates Stephon Morris and Derrick Thomas to Penn State or go join coach Ron Zook at Illinois. But as his senior season progressed, Ross could not stop visiting College Park. Those repeated visits, combined with the recruiting prowess of offensive coordinator James Franklin, convinced him to stay close to home. “I just kept coming up here,” Ross said. “After a while, I got a good feeling once I got deep into it and see how good the program is. Because from the outside I didn’t know that.” Halfway through the season, Ross is glad he made the chose to come to the university. He is less than 10 minutes away from his home and his family, which is great, especially for his taste buds. Ross said he goes home once a week, primarily to enjoy home cooking from his father, who he likens to a “personal chef.” Ross, who comes from a family of eight, said he expects at least 12 family members in the stands tomorrow when the Terps welcome Virginia for

homecoming — which might not have been possible if he decided to leave the state for college. Playing in Champaign, Ill., would have required flying, and State College, Pa., is more than a three hour car ride away, Ross’s family has a much easier commute to his games. “I thought high school was going to be the last time my parents would get to see me play every game,” Ross said. “But this year they have been able to make it to every single game except for California. It’s great.” The transition from high school to college can be difficult for any student, but it can be especially trying for a student who is balancing academic and social pressures with the demands of big-time college football. No university or player is immune to the stress, not even the Terps. Recently, defensive tackle Dion Armstrong and offensive lineman Bearthur Johnson left the team due to academic issues. Armstrong transferred when he learned he would be academically ineligible this season, and Johnson flunked out. Franklin believes having family nearby gives players a leg up in the transition. “It is a huge advantage for anybody to have a support system this close to home,” Franklin said. “We are all gonna get homesick and have those tough times, but he can call his family and they can come scoop him up. I don’t care what anybody says, being able to have great experiences and doing it in front of the people you love is what it’s all about.” That support has helped Ross make the transition on the football

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field quicker. Before the season, the Terps signed 10 linebackers and defensive lineman in their 2009 recruiting class. Rated a three-star prospect by after recording 80 tackles and 12.5 sacks for the Raiders, Ross flew under the radar while fellow classmates, such as defensive end De’Onte Arnett, received the bulk of the accolades and attention. But while Arnett, who is redshirting, will have to wait until next year to make an impact, Ross has taken advantage of the lack of depth and inexperience on the Terps’ line, impressing coaches enough to earn playing time earlier than he expected. Though he has played sparingly and only has three tackles thus far, from talking to the coaches it is clear they think the 250-pounder has a bright future ahead of him. “He surprised me with how quickly he was able to pick up the technique and fundamentals as fast as he has,” defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo said. “He takes coaching particularly well. You tell him to do something once and he picks up on it. He still needs to work on his pass rush, but he is a real smart kid and will be a player for us.” Even with an entourage of friends and family making the short trek to watch Ross tomorrow at Byrd Stadium, seeing more playing time isn’t his primary concern. “Of course I wanna play,” Ross said. “But for real, I am just looking forward to getting a win. That’s the most important thing in my book.”

Isaiah Ross went to high school at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., just minutes away from the campus. But the defensive end didn’t consider the Terps until offensive coordinator James Franklin made a recruiting push. MATTHEW CREGER/THE DIAMONDBACK



Tight end Campbell trying to put it together Local product was inspired by former Terp star Vernon Davis BY ADI JOSEPH Senior staff writer

As Devonte Campbell runs his route, plants a foot, quickly and subtly shifts direction and turns to catch freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien’s pass in the Terrapin football team’s practice Wednesday, his movements are as free and natural as any slot receiver. It’s his thick frame, then, allowing onlookers to determine that, even with his No. 34 creased in the middle, this is not 190-pound receiver Ronnie Tyler, who wears No. 24. The reserve tight end weighs in at 250 pounds, his barrel chest and free lateral movement defining him as a double-wide receiver. Campbell, a redshirt freshman from Forestville, Md., boasts some of the most impressive measurables on the team, including a 655-pound squat and 4.6-second time in the 40yard dash. “Devonte’s a freak,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “You’re not going to see too many tight ends who can run like a receiver. And he’s built like a defensive end. He’s just a freak.” Freak is the operative word. It’s used to describe those athletes whose abilities seem to go against nature. Michael Phelps. Shaquille O’Neal. Usain Bolt. Freaks, all of them. But in the context of Terp football, specifically among tight ends, freak refers to one player: former All-American Vernon Davis. Davis was the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft in 2006. That same spring, Campbell signed his first letter of intent to play with the Terps. Coach Ralph Friedgen played into the obvious comparison, announcing Campbell could offer the Terps many of the same things Davis did. These are the types of comments fans on message boards and in bars latch onto — the local kid would replace the superstar. Campbell’s SAT scores were too low to enroll here straight out of Forestville High School. He attended Hargrave Military Academy for one season before joining the Terps in 2007. With another year, the hype grew. Again, on National Signing Day, Friedgen compared his new tight

end to his former star. So far, those comparisons remain unfulfilled. In his second year, Campbell is behind fellow redshirt freshman Matt Furstenberg for playing time at the secondary tight end position. Players and coaches referenced his athleticism and playmaking potential, but also inconsistency and a lack of fundamentals stemming, in part, from his not playing very often until his junior year of high school. “He brings a lot to the table,” starting tight end Tommy Galt said. “The struggle he has is putting everything together. He’s very good with the ball in his hands. Sometimes, he’s very good catching the ball. And he’s a great route-runner, obviously. But putting it all together. Reading on the run, learning leverage with defenders — he’s still developing those things.” Of fensive coordinator James Franklin said Campbell is still learning how to use his physical abilities in football. Even at 6-foot-2, Campbell was more of a basketball player for most of his life. Fate can be a funny thing, though. Campbell attended a Terp football game at Byrd Stadium in his sophomore year, while he was still playing a role he described to The Baltimore Sun as “a tackling dummy.” The year was 2004, and he got to see a strapping, young sophomore tight end who was still in the process of earning the title of “freak.” “It kind of inspired me, I would say,” Campbell said of watching Davis play. “I felt that God gave me enough ability where, if I worked enough and put in that type of work, I could be the type of player he was.” The process continues. Campbell has accumulated just one catch this season, in a year where the Terps are using their tight ends less than in years past. He’s also carried the ball once, losing two yards in an experiment while the Terps were struggling with their run game in the team’s loss to Middle Tennessee. The previous Terp tight end with a carry? Vernon Davis.


Devonte Campbell became interested in playing tight end after seeing former Terp All-American Vernon Davis play in 2004. MATTHEW CREGER/THE DIAMONDBACK

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For three young Terps, home is not far away For Prince George’s County natives Devonte Campbell, Cameron Chism and Isaiah Ross, every week is like homecoming. Read about how playing so close to home has affected each player as they embark on their careers.

DE Isaiah Ross Greenbelt, Md.



From the blog: Terp football players talk homecoming By Michael Katz Homecoming isn’t just an excuse for the Greek community to spend a week blissfully inebriated. Sure, that’s a big part of it. But there’s also a football game on Saturday, and plenty of alumni return to College Park to watch. Some of those returnees are former players. More and more ex-Terps show up in Gossett Team House as game day approaches. They’re all welcome. “Once you a Terp, you always a Terp,” Torrey Smith said. That’s the theme this week as returning Terps — from both on and off the field — are on the minds of the current players preparing to face Virginia. Players said they’ve already started getting calls from recent graduates. And they expect more to come. While offensive lineman Phil Costa said it’s just another game, he couldn’t deny that this one is a little different.

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Wide receiver Torrey Smith hopes to give the homecoming crowd a “show” tomorrow. ADAM FRIED/THE DIAMONDBACK

“Every game is important, but this one is maybe more of a pride game,” Costa said. “You have a lot of graduates coming back, and former players, and they want to see a win that game.” Smith added that there is a noticeable difference in the stands, especially in the student section. This could be even more pronounced given the underwhelming crowds that have graced Byrd this season. “It’s homecoming, a lot of people are back in town, whether it’s old players, alumni and everything,” the Terps leading receiver said. “It’s just an exciting environment here in Byrd. Hopefully we’ll give ’em a reason to come out and cheer for us. Give a show for ’em.”




Devonte Campbell Forestville, Md.

Cameron Chism Forestville, Md.

And that’s what defensive lineman Travis Ivey is most concerned with. Especially for last year’s seniors, who remember the sting of the Terps 31-0 loss at Virginia last season. It’s a sore subject for the current Terps as well and will provide plenty of motivation Saturday — no matter the occasion. “To understand what happened to us last year, first and foremost that’s what makes this a big game,” Ivey said. “We didn’t play our best game last year and we got shut out. “Now’s a chance to redeem ourselves,” he added. “Regardless of whether it’s homecoming or not, that in itself is enough.”

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