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Barnard gets most out of Maryland's 'boot' camp

August 20, 2002|Staff & Team reports

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Brooks Barnard has already fashioned quite a career in his first three seasons at Maryland.

But Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen has even bigger things in store for the punter.

Bernard will be counted on to put his best foot forward when he also assumes kickoff duties for the Terrapins when they open the season on Aug. 31 against Notre Dame in the Kickoff Classic.

"Brooks has had a great preseason camp, and he's picked up where he left off in the spring," Friedgen said Monday. "He's corrected a lot of things in his form, and he's kicking the ball farther and higher than he ever has before. I think he's one of the real weapons we have on this team, and I plan to utilize him."

Barnard, a candidate for the Ray Guy Award as the nation's best punter, already owns Maryland career (43.9), single-season (44.7 in 2000) and single-game (53.8 vs. Temple, 2000) punting average records. He captured first team All-ACC honors in addition to All-America mention from a variety of sources last season.

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It has carried over to this year when the Arnold, Md., native earned All-America notice from Athlon and Lindy's and second-team mention from Street & Smith's.

Barnard has not only carried he weight as an important member of the Terps ... he's lifted it, too. He has bench pressed 400 pounds, an accomplishment that has not gone unnoticed among his teammates.

In many respects, his efforts in the weight room mirror his performances on the field - both are head-turning.

Maryland turned to Bernard to eliminate the problems it suffered on kickoffs. The Terps found themselves allowing their opponents good field position because of the inablility to kick the ball into the end zone, which is usually unreturnable.

Bernard's past performances forced Friedgen to toy with the kickoff idea. It started last season against North Carolina when his 50.4 yard per kick average led to the Terps win over the Tar Heels.

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