After Maryland soccer head trainer Mike Locksley noticed Anthony McFarland Jr. catch a swing cross, get chased down by way of a linebacker and drop a the most important landing cross within the first quarter towards Purdue on Oct. 12, he understood simply how hampered the Terps’ big name working again used to be.
As Locksley put it, “That’s one thing that by no means occurs [with him].”
McFarland suffered a high-ankle sprain towards Temple on Sept. 14 and used to be a restricted player at practices main as much as the matchup towards the Boilermakers. However McFarland didn’t apply final week after his efficiency in West Lafayette, buying and selling his No. five white apply jersey in for a yellow non-contact penny — very similar to those that Maryland’s quarterbacks recreation.
On Tuesday, Locksley introduced that McFarland is totally wholesome and anticipated to go back to sport motion towards No. 17 Minnesota on Saturday, which can immensely lend a hand the Terps as they try not to lose 3 consecutive video games for the primary time this season.
“He used to be glad — greatest smile — as a result of no person desires to sit down at the sideline and watch, particularly now not with a skill like [McFarland],” fellow working again Javon Leake mentioned about McFarland’s response, lights up himself. “Simply having him again at the box goes to be a distinction maker. I do know he’s going to have numerous a laugh and be further bouncy going round, working round.”
Following his damage towards the Owls — a sport the place the redshirt sophomore won 26 carries for 132 yards and one landing — McFarland noticed a pointy lower in touches. Since that highway matchup in Philadelphia on Sept. 14, McFarland had 20 carries for a complete of 115 yards.
All the way through that 3 sport span, Maryland additionally misplaced every other working again when redshirt junior Lorenzo Harrison III suffered a torn MCL and in part torn ACL within the first quarter towards then-No. 12 Penn State. And fellow working again Jake Funk tore his left ACL towards Temple.
With two working backs out for the rest of the season and McFarland nursing his ankle, the Terps have been left with simply two contenders — Leake and junior Tayon Fleet-Davis. Leake won a career-high 23 carries, which is an identical quantity that he had in all of 2018, towards the Hoosiers for 158 yards, two touchdowns and one expensive fumble.
“I’ve been fortunate to have some unbelievable backs. We had [Harrison] and [Ty Johnson] my first couple years,” offensive lineman Ellis McKennie mentioned. “After which [McFarland] final 12 months, Leake… it’s only a blessing to have that form of athleticism in that room that after one man is going down the following guys choices it proper again up.”
The care and strengthen that every participant has in Maryland’s working again room is authentic. So whilst Leake and Fleet-Davis have been seeing the vast majority of the offensive snaps, McFarland confirmed no indicators of animosity and used to be supporting his fellow backs.
“[He was] celebrating his ass off as though he scored — that’s the kind of room it’s,” McKennie mentioned. “We’re the one college within the nation with two, seven-touchdown rushers in a single room. And [Leake and McFarland] know that with one among their luck, comes each their luck.”
McKennie mentioned that he witnessed McFarland spending numerous time within the workforce’s coaching room, making sure that he would go back to complete well being once imaginable. Due his paintings ethic, and a few herbal therapeutic, the DeMatha product’s ankle swelling has dwindled — and it couldn’t have come at a greater time for the Terps.
Maryland will now be capable of go back to its shared-backfield and provides offensive coordinator Scottie Sir Bernard Law and Locksley extra choices towards the Golden Gophers on Saturday. McFarland had a dominant sport towards Minnesota final 12 months, sporting the ball six occasions for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
With the Terps desiring a the most important win with their bowl eligibility hopes depleting, one would possibly be expecting the playbook to open up just a little extra for the workforce.
“I know he used to be annoyed as I used to be and as we have been as a workforce that he wasn’t at 100 p.c,” Locksley mentioned. “To have a 100 p.c Anthony McFarland will lend a hand the Terps.”