First it was an injured foot.
And then a bunch of blocked kicks.
This week, Nick Ferrara's miserable sophomore camp got even worse: A groin pull for the Maryland football team's incumbent kicker.
Travis Baltz handled the kicking for the Terrapins in Thursday's practice, and it might be time to wonder if Ferrara will be a credible option in time for the Sept. 6 date with Navy at M&T Bank Stadium.
"Some people talk about a sophomore slump and things like that, but I don't believe in that," special teams coordinator Charles Bankins said. "I think he had some early success and didn't quite prepare as well as he needed to and that allowed him to get injured."
While Baltz could step in as an emergency substitute, what Maryland really needs is for Ferrara to get well. Baltz has never attempted a field goal in college, and it's clear his greatest skill is as a punter.
Ferrara was a freshman All-America pick by the FWAA a year ago, when he made 18 of 25 field goals and connected on all 26 extra points. He also was the team's kickoff specialist, and played half the season at punter when Baltz got hurt.
In short, he was one of a handful of bright spots in a dismal 2-10 season. And before his sophomore season is underway, it looks like Ferrara will be hard-pressed to match his strong debut without a quick turnaround.
"We all get excited when we get accolades," Bankins said. "He's third-team freshman All-American or whatever, but they neglected to tell him there's only like four freshmen kicking in the country when they have him that award. He kind of let that go to his head, and he performed on par with Travis last year punting, so of course he probably was feeling his oats a little bit and he didn't prepare properly. Now, it's catching up with him and he has to come along. The special teams are only as good as the specialists."