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TJ gives Terps some defensive help

August 28, 2000

TJ gives Terps some defensive help



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer


COLLEGE PARK, Md. - During their careers at Thomas Johnson High School, Randall Jones and Leroy Ambush relied on their offensive talent and hard work to pull the Patriots to wins.

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Now at the University of Maryland, they hope their hard work and defensive prowess give them a chance to put the Terrapins in a bowl game.

"We've talked about it. We had some winning seasons at TJ, and we want to help get one here," said Jones, a junior who started six games at quarterback during his first two seasons before converting to the secondary. "We've just got to continue to work hard here."

Both stand second on the depth chart right now: Jones at free safety behind two-year starter Shawn Forte and Ambush at outside linebacker behind two-year starter Aaron Thompson.

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Despite the Terrapins' move-'em-in-move-'em-out defensive tactics, though, both players know they'll have to keep impressing people during the week.

"I'm not expecting anything," said Ambush, a redshirt freshman. "I've got to go out and work as hard as possible and contribute what I can. ... Everybody's got to wait their turn."

Jones, meanwhile, has contributed plenty during his first two years in College Park. He started four games at quarterback in 1998, then started two games each in the secondary and as the signal caller in 1999.

"I've been adjusting, but I'm finally comfortable in (the secondary)," Jones said. "I like playing safety a lot better. You don't have to worry about being hit as much.

"And you get to hit somebody else. That's a lot more fun."

That's the feeling Ambush can't wait for. He injured a knee midway through his final prep season in 1998 and redshirted last season - making it almost two years since he's even played a down.

"It's going to be just a big adrenalin rush," Ambush said. "I'll probably be running out there like a chicken with his head cut off. But once that first play is over, I'll settle down."

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