Plenty of Wide Receivers to Go Around
Sure, Maryland won't have Darrius Heyward-Bey around this season to draw the attention of opposing defenses. And yeah, the Terrapins at times will miss having a quality possession receiver such as Danny Oquendo.
But Coach Ralph Friedgen doesn't appear all that worried about the depth his team has at the wideout positions. In fact, he sees the Terrapins' abundance of wide receivers and considers an entirely different sort of problem.
"Losing Darrius, you don't just replace a guy that can run 4.2" seconds in the 40-yard dash, Friedgen said. "But we've been bringing this class along for a while. I think we've got nine receivers that I wouldn't be afraid to put in a game. The problem is there's going to be tremendous competition to make the first two teams."
Friedgen mentioned how Torrey Smith, then a redshirt freshman, beat out Isaiah Williams, who was a senior, for the starting spot at the split end position last year and how Smith himself was pressured heavily this past spring by junior Adrian Cannon. The solution? Friedgen said Smith will play at the flanker position this season, while Cannon will man the split end.
And then, to try to prove he wasn't kidding when he said he could think of nine wide receivers he'd feel comfortable putting on the field, Friedgen proceeded to list six more* wideouts who will battle for playing time in the coming weeks: sophomores Tony Logan, Ronnie Tyler and Quintin McCree; juniors Emani Lee-Odai and LaQuan Williams; and redshirt freshman Kerry Boykins.
"Three pretty good receivers are probably going to be on the scout team," Friedgen said. "Or at least going to be rotating off the bat."
Depth, it appears will not be an issue for the Terrapins at wide receiver this season. The question will be how many of them will produce at a level that will take some pressure off a Maryland ground game that features preseason all-ACC selection Da'Rel Scott.
"We've got a lot of receivers and a lot of quality receivers," Friedgen said. "That's a good thing."
*Well, eight receivers isn't so bad, either. And I'm sure Friedgen probably could have come up with another named had he been pressed on it.
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