Maryland kicker Nick Ferrara’s offseason hip surgery pushed away some of the pain of a disappointing junior season.
Now back to kicking three times a week, Ferrara is eager to fully push his struggles into the past.
Ferrara was just 12-for-20 on field goal attempts last season, missing five of his final eight. He made only one attempt of more than 33 yards and had three tries blocked.
“Last year was last year,” Ferrara said Tuesday. “To be honest, I don’t really care about it. I just have to learn from my mistakes, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It happened. I didn’t perform nearly as well as I know I can or wanted to, obviously, and neither did the team. We all just have to pick it up. It’s show or shut up, and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to do everything I can.”
He probably won’t be asked to do as much as a year ago, when he handled the punting, placekicking and kickoffs as the Terrapins went 2-10.
When Ferrara’s multitasking was broached, special teams coordinator Andre Powell offered a succinct prognostication on the subject: “Not all three.”
“We just hope to utilize all the tools we’ve got,” Powell said. “It’s two totally different leg swings, and doing both is a lot of leg swings. What I’d like to see him do is lead the league in field goals and do a great job kicking and not have to worry about the other. If it’s not working out, we’ll do what we have to do. I don’t think it’s in his best interest or the team’s best interest for him to do both.”
Redshirt freshman Nathan Renfro and sophomore Michael Tart are the most logical candidates to compete for the Terps’ punting job.
As for Ferrara, the ability to move past last season didn’t develop as soon as last season ended.
“Not at first, no,” Ferrara said. “Then it’s easier to evaluate how you did and clearly I’m not satisfied with how I did. You move on from it. It’s like anything in life. You can’t just get stuck.”
—- Patrick Stevens