Flexibility on the fly

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Maryland has a whole lot of wideouts without a whole lot of separation.

But the good thing for the Terps is the number of guys who can play multiple spots.

Maryland has three receiver positions: X (split end), Z (flanker) and F (slot).

In Ralph Friedgen parlance, you’ll usually hear about X and Z, but the slot receiver is typically called … a slot receiver.

In any case, Torrey Smith can play both X and Z. So can Kevin Dorsey. Tony Logan, right now at Z, has experience at slot. LaQuan Williams has played all three.

“That’s a pretty big luxury,” Friedgen said. “You don’t have to retrain a guy and lock them into a position. There’s some flexibility in that.”

Which is helpful when there’s nine scholarship players trying to earn playing time. It’s even more helpful when a dropped pass or two – which Friedgen groused about occurring too frequently so far – can separate guys who will play from those who won’t.

But separation is hard to come by just three days into camp.

“I would still say right now [Adrian] Cannon and Torrey Smith, then all other guys have flashes,” Friedgen said. “LaQuan will have a flash and then he’ll drop a ball. Ronnie Tyler the same way. Tony Logan, he’ll do some things. Quintin McCree. Emani [Lee-Odai]’s been playing with a bad ankle and yesterday he cramped up, so he’s been kind of up and down.”

It’s such a deep position that Friedgen put in a plug for a guy who wouldn’t be any higher than fourth-string at any of the three positions.

That would be sophomore walk-on Webb Dulin, an Eastern Shore product.

“He’s a pretty good player,” Friedgen said. “He could play at a lot of places. I wouldn’t be afraid to put him in a game, either.”

For now, it’s a matter of just choosing the guys who can make it in. Friedgen suggested he might just rotate wideouts like he does with running backs, perhaps yanking one after running a 40-yard route to ensure everyone who plays is fresh.

Especially if it’s tough to differentiate one receive from another.

“I don’t have a problem with that unless they’re just head and shoulders above,” Friedgen said. “They’ve all shown me they have their good days and  their bad days.”

Patrick Stevens

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