The Washington Times - September 12, 2008, 09:51AM

Antwine Perez probably ranks second on the list of people with Maryland athletic department ties who are also connected with Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, N.J.

The other one would be Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams, who started his career there way back in the day.

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Of course, there will be plenty to write about Gary soon enough (just five weeks until practice starts). For now, a little more on Perez, who will start in place of Terrell Skinner tomorrow for Maryland.

“Antwine is a John Lynch hitter at safety,” linebacker Dave Philistin said. “He brings quite the run support that we need. Antwine is a rangy player. He’s very smart as far as his football knowledge. His football IQ is very good.”

Here, by the way, is where to find today’s dead-tree story that the website won’t permit me to link to properly: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/12/maryland-bringing-in-perez-to-pinch-hit/

So, to dispel any questions about the guy, Perez can most definitely play the run. That’s what Maryland is looking for him to do. The Terps plan to bring in Jamari McCollough to work in coverage situations, since that plays to his strength and hides a relative weakness in Perez’s game.

Yes, that means Maryland will use two guys to replace one, which says a lot about how good Skinner really is. It hasn’t been an impressive two weeks in College Park, but the one thing the Terps could feel good about was Skinner’s emergence – at least until his high ankle sprain late in last week’s game.

That opens a door for Perez, who arrived at Southern Cal in the winter of 2006 and then played in seven games the next fall. He transferred, sat out a year, almost flunked out and then was beat out by Skinner, a former wideout who proved a perfect fit at safety.

But Perez probably emerged from it all a bit more mature – especially after being shelved for a year because of the NCAA’s transfer rules.

“I got to sit back and basically just see where I was at in life, with school and football,” Perez said. “I basically got to think about where I wanted to be at this time next year. It was a real good experience.”

The Terps will start to get a better idea of how much it helped tomorrow.

Patrck Stevens