- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 28, 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. — Sam Hollenbach watched four seasons go past as departing teammates were carried off the field after the final practice of their Maryland football careers.

This time, he had a different view.

Hollenbach and the Terrapins’ other 12 seniors enjoyed their ride as Maryland (8-4) had its last full workout before tomorrow’s Champs Sports Bowl against Purdue.

“This time, it was my turn to go out,” said Hollenbach, who chose strength coach Dwight Galt and center Edwin Williams to give him a lift. “It was a lot of fun. I’ll remember that.”

There were some comical moments. Left tackle Stephon Heyer exulted “It feels good,” at the end of his last practice. Redshirt freshman Jared Harrell helped Barrod Heggs hoist defensive tackle Conrad Bolston, then admitted, “I’m not going to lie. I thought you’d be a little heavier.”

There was an impromptu celebration for junior guards Donnie Woods and Garrick Clig, who already said they would not return next season. Both were carried off by fellow offensive linemen.

“It was the way I wanted to go out,” Woods said.

The Terps still have one last on-field moment, and cornerback Josh Wilson — who was lifted up by Williams, Jeff Allen and Anthony Wiseman — hopes the send-off is a precursor to the game.

“I had all my DeMatha boys carrying me off,” Wilson said. “There was no other way that I wanted to go out. Hopefully, I can make a big play and get carried off Friday.”

Moore’s matters

Junior Dre Moore is one of a handful of Terps players who could make an early jump to the NFL Draft. The athletic defensive tackle submitted paperwork to the NFL office requesting a draft grade, though he has not received his results yet.

Moore said he consulted with several former teammates in the pros — including Shawne Merriman, Randy Starks, D’Qwell Jackson and Vernon Davis — and was urged to see where he stood and learn what he needed to improve.

“It is a very exciting thought,” Moore said. “It’s kind of like living a dream. You saw your friends do it before you, it’s a very exciting idea and something I’m looking forward to when the time comes.”

Moore frequently ran afoul of coach Ralph Friedgen early in his career but was arguably Maryland’s best defensive lineman this season. He had 45 tackles, including 7 for loss.

“It’s one of those good things where you see a kid mature, and all the sudden he’s having success in a lot of areas in his life,” Friedgen said. “I’m pretty proud of that. He seems to be more at peace with himself now. If he can maintain that, I think he will have a future in the NFL some day, and he’ll get a degree.”

Friedgen said another player who has looked into the draft, sophomore Jared Gaither, had fallen to second string behind Dane Randolph at right tackle.

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