- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2002

MIAMI Domonique Foxworth played for Western Tech High School in Randallstown, Md., last season. Tonight, Maryland's freshman cornerback is expected to start opposite one of the nation's most prolific offenses Florida.

It has been a whirlwind second part of the season for Foxworth, who was scheduled to redshirt before Tony Okanlawon and Dennard Wilson were sidelined. Foxworth ended his redshirt season and started for the Terrapins in their 10th game of the season against Clemson. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound cornerback was key in shutting down Woody Dantzler in Maryland's 37-20 win to clinch at least a share of the ACC title.

"I don't think Domonique minded trading a year for an ACC championship," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen.

The coach was right, but then Foxworth is not your ordinary freshman. He began taking college courses at a community college last year as a high school senior and paid his own way to take classes last spring at Maryland. While in College Park, he worked out with the Terps during the spring practice sessions and learned the defense.

"I don't really deserve too much credit," he said. "I just did what everybody else had been doing for nine weeks. I just held up my end."

Father figures

Benching regular players for the game's start for team violations is hardly a new occurrence at bowl games. Still, it has become a real focus considering that arguably the top passer in the country, Florida's Rex Grossman, won't start for missing curfew.

One side note of the benching is the role of Grossman's father, Dan. Florida coach Steve Spurrier brushed off a reporter's question regarding Dan Grossman's reported statements about Spurrier's handling of the benching. Brock Berlin will start in Grossman's place.

"I'm not going to tell you what our conversation was, but it was pretty good when I talked to [Dan Grossman]," Spurrier said at a news conference yesterday.

"[Dan Grossman] is not involved in this. You know Brock Berlin got a daddy too? You know that? Everybody's worried about this guy's dad and mom and this guy's dad and mom. Whenever you take one player out and put another player in, somebody's happy and somebody's sad. When you win and lose, somebody's happy and somebody's sad. As a coach, you have to do what you think is fair and best for the team."

Injury update

Florida defensive ends Kennard Ellis (knee), who started six games, and Darrell Lee (wrist) will not play.

From Grey to Orange

Maryland offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe coached in the Canadian Football League last season, and led the Montreal Alouettes to the Grey Cup championship game in Calgary. Taaffe's team lost the final 28-26 to the British Columbia Lions in Calgary.

What's the difference between coaching in Canada's championship game and the Orange Bowl?

"It's a lot warmer here," said Taaffe, with a laugh.

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