- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 17, 2008

Maryland’s Brett Weiss had just completed a long lacrosse practice last month as he filed back toward the locker room with one set of teammates.

After trading helmets and switching equipment, he rushed out to join the football team for an extended spring workout.

“I was just like ‘That is ridiculous,’ ” said freshman attackman Travis Reed, Weiss’ lacrosse teammate both at Maryland and in high school at Boys’ Latin in Baltimore. “I don’t know how you do that. It’s like seven hours on the field.”

It’s what Weiss wants. The freshman was a well-regarded lacrosse attackman and plays on the extra-man unit for the seventh-seeded Terrapins (10-5), who meet second-seeded Virginia (13-3) in the NCAA quarterfinals today at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

In the fall, though, he is a walk-on kicker with Maryland’s football team and spent last season as a reserve on a team that reached the Emerald Bowl.

“It was a lot of work trying to get used to my freshman year in school and then sports,” Weiss said. “I definitely thought I managed it fine. My grades were fine, and as long as my grades keep up it’s something I want to do.”

That desire made his recruitment atypical. The last time someone was on both the football and lacrosse roster at Maryland was in 2001-02, when senior wide receiver Guilian Gary played in two games as a defensive midfielder.

Weiss, though, wanted to be part of both from the start, and former Maryland special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski and lacrosse coach Dave Cottle worked in tandem to see if it could happen.

The pair alternated calls, trying to see if accommodations could be made to keep Weiss close to home. Ultimately, the Terps outlasted North Carolina. Cottle agreed to let Weiss out of fall ball. The football program emphasized lacrosse would be Weiss’ priority in the spring.

“It was the weirdest recruiting in the world,” Cottle said. “It seemed like the less we talked to him, the better it was. I think in the recruiting process he infuriated everyone who tried to recruit him, and we just hung around in the end. Brett just wouldn’t make a decision of what he wanted to do. I think that probably lent himself to playing two sports.”

Weiss didn’t crack the football depth chart as a freshman, hardly a surprise with scholarship kicker Obi Egekeze entrenched as the starter. But Rychleski, who is now the special teams coordinator at South Carolina, said Weiss possesses a strong leg for a 5-foot-10, 165-pounder.

His impact with the lacrosse program was more immediate, even though three freshmen start ahead of the lefty.

Weiss has four goals and four assists this spring, including a pair of scores at North Carolina and a game-tying goal late in the first half against Denver in last week’s postseason opener.

In the process, he has been able to run out of the locker room at Byrd Stadium for two teams. But Weiss is interested in doing more than simply taking in the atmosphere from the sideline for a football game under the lights.

“Being able to get on the field in both sports would be pretty cool,” said Weiss, who said a 35-yard kick in high school against rival St. Paul’s is the highlight of his football career. “I’m going to work hard and see whatever happens.”

Chances are, it won’t leave much wiggle room for other things — something Reed knows won’t slow down his determined long-time teammate.

“He’s just busy all the time,” Reed said. “He literally has zero free time. He’s one of those kids who can pull that off because he has a certain personality. He kind of figures out how to get it done.”

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