Consider Isaiah Ross back.
The sophomore Anchor (defensive end) returned to practice this afternoon for the first time since suffering a torn ACL Nov. 7 at N.C. State. Immediately, he becomes a serious contender to start when Maryland opens the season Sept. 6 against Navy.
"I feel like I'm ready to go full speed," Ross said. "That was the plan the whole time. Regardless of whether I was ready or not, I was going to step out there and try it."
Ross participated in workouts over the summer, so it's not as if he was just getting up to speed. He was initially limited laterally a bit, but for the last month was a full participant in the offseason sessions.
Ross' injury occurred nine months ago, and by the time of the opener it will be nearly 10 months removed from a setback that occurred off to the side of the action.
"It was a freak accident," Ross said. "Things happen, but you have to go along with whatever happens in life. It's a little speed bump."
Speed, of course, is the one thing that's tough to tell about Ross at this stage. The comeback from an extensive knee surgery is never easy, but Ross believes he is better off today than he was when he arrived in college Park a year ago.
"Mentally, of course, I'm better prepared," Ross said. "Experience means a lot, and I feel like I'm in better shape physically --- stronger. I don't know about faster, but I'm stronger and more in shape."