The Washington Times - March 24, 2009, 04:23PM

Maryland has plenty of guys on the shelf because of injuries for spring practice.

It also has two players focusing on academics rather than football.

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Coach Ralph Friedgen said both tackle Bruce Campbell and nose tackle Dion Armstrong will attend meetings, but will spend time in study hall rather than practice this spring.

That doesn’t sound like all that much fun, and it certainly can’t be a pleasant thought that either of those guys could be an academic casualty if they don’t improve. Obviously, it’s a concern enough for Friedgen to keep them off the field in the next five weeks.

There are some beneficiaries, notably redshirt freshmen R.J. Dill (who swings from right tackle to left tackle) and A.J. Francis (who slides into Armstrong’s spot). That’s all well and good for the Initials Gang, but it still highlights that key parts on both lines are at least slightly questionable for next season.

Sometimes, these “focusing on academics” moves works out splendidly. At others (hello, Jared Gaither), it doesn’t turn out so great. Well, for Maryland anyway, since Gaither eventually did rather well for himself.

So get ready for a lot of Dill and Francis – and you can be sure Friedgen will receive an academic-related question or two on Campbell and Armstrong more than a few times down the road.

Patrick Stevens