The Washington Times - August 13, 2009, 07:45PM

Here’s a quick brief from what I filed for tomorrow’s dead-tree edition:

Maryland nose tackle Dion Armstrong, who started three games last November before sitting out spring practice to concentrate on academics, left the team Thursday.


Armstrong returned to practice this week, but his eligibility remained in doubt.

“He came in this morning and thanked me and said he was sorry he disappointed me and said he was going to transfer,” coach Ralph Friedgen said.

Redshirt freshman A.J. Francis took first-string snaps in Armstrong’s place and is expected to be the Terps’ starter at nose tackle. Armstrong’s departure leaves the Terps’ defensive line with seven combined career starts.

The 6-foot-1, 303-pound sophomore took over a starting job for the final three games of the regular season and appeared to be a crucial piece of Maryland’s defensive line future.

Yet his academic issues prompted Friedgen to concede he “wasn’t really counting on him” for this season.

“I said ‘Fine. It’s time to move on,’” Friedgen said. “I don’t want to get into the whole thing and make a big deal. We have to worry about kids who want to be here. That’s where I’m going with that.”

—- Patrick Stevens