- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2002

In recent years the Maryland football program has established a tradition of producing quality linemen who anchor the defense without a lot of flash.
This season, Durrand Roundtree is ensuring that trend continues.
The end is one of only two seniors starting on defense for the Terrapins (2-2), who meet Wofford tomorrow at Byrd Stadium. He is also the lone senior starter on a defensive line that has helped limit foes to two rushing touchdowns in the Terps' first four games.
Roundtree's numbers to date (14 tackles, one sack) are not gaudy, but he has helped stabilize a defense that lost six starters including former nose tackle and current Houston Texan Charles Hill from last season's ACC champions.
"Bottom line is he's where he's supposed to be when he's supposed to be there," Maryland defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo said. "If you're in coaching long enough you just want guys that are dependable, and he is extremely dependable. You don't want guys that are a flash in the pan."
After getting little playing time as a freshman and earning a part-time role as a sophomore, Roundtree took over at defensive end last season. His 4 sacks ranked behind only Butkus Award finalist E.J. Henderson among Maryland players. Throughout his career, he has learned from future pros Delbert Cowsette, Kris Jenkins and Hill.
"Those guys took me under their wing," Roundtree said. "Every mistake that I made, they were in my ear, not putting me down but getting me going. That's why I'm the person I am today."
He has also etched near-legendary status for himself in the Terps' weight room. His strength index (a measure that combines a player's weight and his bench press, squat and power clean lifts) of 831 is the best in program history. At 6-foot-3, 256 pounds, Roundtree is not large for a defensive end, but he has learned to take advantage of his strength and become a better pass rusher in the last two years.
Through his efforts in the weight room, Roundtree has discovered his preferred way to lead. Not always a vocal player, he is a model.
"Everybody's dead tired, and we're in the middle of the season," Roundtree said of the team's midweek lifting sessions. "I'm a little tired like everyone else, but I can't show that because I'm a leader and that's the way that I lead."
It's worked so far. Roundtree has helped younger lineman like sophomore nose tackle Randy Starks develop into stronger, smarter players, much like Cowsette and Jenkins guided him earlier in his career.
"He's just a person that does things that are unnoticed, but he's very important to the defense," Starks said. "I know for me, he makes me want to lift harder. I want to catch him, and I want to put my name up there on the all-time chart."
Note Coach Ralph Friedgen said tailback Bruce Perry practiced briefly yesterday but was still bothered by scar tissue from a torn left groin sustained Aug. 20 and is now unlikely to be ready tomorrow. "I doubt he'd play, but I'll know more [today]," Friedgen said. "If he comes out [today] and his soreness is gone, I would think it would be fine the next day." Perry, last season's ACC offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns, has not played since January's Orange Bowl.


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