The Washington Times - September 25, 2009, 07:29PM

Linebacker-turned-defensive end Isaiah Ross played three snaps against James Madison.

Then another six against Middle Tennessee.

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So, logically, he’ll see at least a dozen snaps tomorrow when Maryland meets Rutgers at Byrd Stadium.

“Hopefully, man,” Ross said.

He’s drawn praise from coach Ralph Friedgen the last couple weeks, and he’s risen from a player no one figured to see this season to a increasingly large component of the Terrapins’ defensive line rotation.

He projected as a linebacker in college, but was shifted to defensive end just before camp.

“I just went along with it, no problem,” Ross said.

For good reason. Not only did Ross want to play as soon as possible, but he’s also a quick learner. He credits it to both his father and some quality coaches early in his career, but some of it is simply natural.

“That’s kind of a gift,” Ross said. “I can understand quickly. Whatever you teach me, in two days it’s embedded in my head. It’s just football. School, I have to work hard at it. I wish it was the same for school.”

Ross hasn’t been on the field much, but somehow has popped up with either a tackle or creating pressure in both of his brief stints.

Combine that with his knowledge, and it’s almost like Maryland has a line equivalent of another savvy defender who usually winds up somewhere in the neighborhood of good things: Linebacker Adrian Moten.

“As far off the field, in the weight room or 40 time, he isn’t the best person like me,” Ross said. “I’m not the strongest the weight room or the fastest, but once you get on the field it’s a different thing.”

Chances are, he’ll be there quite a bit more going forward.

Patrick Stevens