Not a Maryland football season goes by without a perpetually injured player popping up in conversation with coach Ralph Friedgen.
Sometimes they play. Often they don’t. It’s not always their fault they get talked about. But rarely a week goes by without a mention.
In 2005, it was kicker Obi Egekeze. The next year, wideout Drew Weatherly. Last season, cornerback Richard Taylor.
This year’s front-runner is tailback Morgan Green, a guy who seemed like he was poised to be extremely useful when the month started. (Full disclosure: When some acquaintances asked me for insight on Maryland for an ACC fantasy football league, Green was a guy who I recommended as a late-round steal).
Instead, he’s been relegated to green-jersey duty, and not because he’d like a shirt to match his name. What once was an early-season quadriceps injury has either lingered or grown or something. Either way, he hasn’t done much.
“Wanted to go the other day and he couldn’t go,” Friedgen said. “Doctor says he’s OK, and I don’t know what’s the problem. He’s only practiced parts of two practices. I think something must be really wrong with his leg.”
Everyone knows Green’s basic story by now. Maryland took him over Steve Slaton as part of its class of 2005. Green prepped at Hargrave, redshirted and played sparingly. Slaton starred for three years and left school a year early for the NFL.
Green barely has more carries in his career (three) than Slaton has BCS game appearances (two). And this is probably about the 17,652nd mention of the two together. (A Google search yields 171 pages).
It would make all the sense in the world if Green is fed up with the comparisons, which is why I suspect he really is in quite a bit of pain regardless of what Maryland’s team doctors tell Friedgen. After all, with no established tailbacks on the team, this is probably his best chance to create a positive legacy at the college level.
Instead, he’s the early favorite to be the guy discussed the most for not doing anything this fall. And that could hurt just as much as Green’s mysterious injury.