The Washington Times - August 28, 2009, 11:08AM

Ralph Friedgen hoped to have a kicker named after two weeks of camp.

There’s a chance we might not know until nearly four weeks in – namely when Maryland visits No. 12 California on Sept. 5.

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Clearly, it’s down to Mike Barbour and Nick Ferrara. Neither, though, is making it an easy decision.

“I gave Ferrara a shot and he kicked three long ones,” Friedgen said of last night’s scrimmage. “Then Barbour came in and I gave him a shot at a couple long ones. We were 5-for-5, all of them over 45 yards.”

As a point of reference, Maryland has made five field goals of at least 45 yards in the last four seasons.

So one guy who can do that is welcome. Two … well, that just leaves the decision to linger on longer.

“I would have said after Ferrara made the first three long ones, he was the guy,” Friedgen said. “Then Barbour came in and kicked right with him. So game on.”

While Friedgen wasn’t going to make a call last night, it seems pretty obvious who the long-term guy is. Ferrara, while a freshman, is also on scholarship.

And already, he’s demonstrating improvement from earlier in camp.

So even if he doesn’t win the gig now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him before the year is through for a long-range attempt.

“He has the stronger leg,” Friedgen said. “He’s getting height on the ball. He wasn’t before. We were out there pregame, he kicked one from the 41-yard line. That’s, what, a 57-yard field goal? He had a wind, but he nailed it. Wouldn’t that be a weapon?”

The Terps, by the way, haven’t kicked a field goal of 50 yards or more since Nick Novak’s 54-yarder against Duke on Oct. 11, 2003

Patrick Stevens