It’s been only 10 days, but De’Onte Arnett’s move from defensive end to offensive line appears to be a good one.
De'Onte Arnett is picking up offensive line "surprisingly fast," Friedgen said. Photo by Christopher Blunck.
Coach Ralph Friedgen said Arnett has picked up the guard position “surprisingly fast” and has been taking repetitions with the second team.
“I’m not so sure he’s not a tackle, but he’s athletic enough to play guard,” Friedgen said. “He’s a very bright kid, and he’s picked it up much faster than I thought he would. Now he doesn’t have all the protections and everything down yet, but he’s kind of a natural there really. It’s been a very good move for us.”
Arnett approached Friedgen last Monday with the idea of moving to the offensive line to try to find playing time and help with depth. The redshirt freshman came to Maryland as a highly touted defensive end recruit, but a series of setbacks at the position led him to try something new.
“It’ll be a good move definitely for the future,” Friedgen said.
As for his chances of playing on offense this season?
“We’re giving him a speed course because we could certainly use him,” Friedgen said. “I’m surprised he’s able to pick up as much as he had this week. I wouldn’t out-rule that by the end of the year.”
Miami RB Berry Out, But Not 'Big News'
Miami’s leading rusher, running back Damien Berry, was ruled out for Saturday’s game with an injury, but Friedgen doesn’t see it as a huge blow to the Hurricanes’ backfield.
“They got about four or five of them, so I don’t think that’s big news,” he said. “They’re all about--I think the least was averaging over 5.1 (yards a carry). They’re all 5.1, 5.9, 5.8. They’re all around 6-foot, 215 and run like the wind. So plug in the next guy.”
Berry has 690 rushing yards and four touchdowns and is averaging 4.9 yards a carry. His 86.2 yards a game is fourth in the ACC. Lamar Miller has 252 yards and two touchdowns with a 5.5-yard average. Mike James has 243 yards on 5.9 yards a carry, and a now-healthy Graig Cooper has nine carries for 75 yards.
In ACC play, Maryland leads the league in rushing defense, allowing 1.9 yards a carry and 58.8 yards a game.
As for quarterback Jacory Harris, who suffered a concussion against Virginia, “there’s probably about a 75 percent chance that he will not be participating in the game this week,” Miami coach Randy Shannon said Wednesday morning. Harris didn’t practice Tuesday and was not expected to practice Wednesday, Shannon said.
--Tight end Dave Stinebaugh, who suffered an MCL injury against Duke and has missed the last three games, is close to returning, Friedgen said.
“He’s coming along good. He ran pretty good today, he’s cutting a little bit better,” Friedgen said. “We might have him in week. That would be good to get somebody back.”
Stinebaugh has four catches for 42 yards this season.
--Cornerback Avery Graham, who pulled his groin in practice before the Duke game, could return next week, Friedgen said. He has missed the last three games.
“Avery can run and he can cut but he’s not full speed. I was wanting to see if we can use him this week, but we don’t know if he can stop and go, so it’ll probably be another week,” Friedgen said.
--Safety Desmond Kearse is “probably still a ways away” in returning from a high ankle sprain he suffered against Florida International, Friedgen said, adding that he’s exploring obtaining a medical hardship redshirt for the true freshman, who played in three games.