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Terps' Diggs providing an all-purpose plan

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Maryland has forced 18 punts over its first three games.

Stefon Diggs opted to return 11 of them.

Clearly, the freshman is far from bashful about giving himself a chance to do something interesting.

“Eventually, I’m going to call a fair catch,” Diggs said.

For what it’s worth at this early stage, Diggs has 152 punt return yards. Steve Suter had 148 through three games in 2002, when he rolled up a school-record 771 yards in 14 games. Tony Logan had 192 yards after three games in 2010 en route to a 560-yard season that ranks second in school history.

On a broader scale, Diggs had 223 all-purpose yards Saturday, the most for any Terp since Torrey Smith’s 272-yard day against N.C. State in the 2010 regular season finale.

To further illustrate how Diggs compares to recent Maryland players, here’s a look at every time a Terp has managed 180 all-purpose yards since 2005:

287: Torrey Smith, 2009 vs. Middle Tennessee (13 rushing, 165 receiving, 109 kickoff)
272: Torrey Smith, 2010 vs. N.C. State (224 receiving, 48 kickoff)
268: Torrey Smith, 2009 at N.C. State (64 receiving, 204 kickoff)
267: Torrey Smith, 2009 at Wake Forest (3 rushing, 70 receiving, 194 kickoff)
245: Torrey Smith, 2008 at Boston College (115 receiving, 130 kickoff)
242: Torrey Smith, 2010 at West Virginia (149 receiving, 93 kickoff)
232: Torrey Smith, 2009 at California (16 rushing, 29 receiving, 187 kickoff)
232: Torrey Smith, 2009 vs. Rutgers (112 receiving, 120 kickoff)
229: Torrey Smith, 2009 vs. James Madison (22 rushing, 80 receiving, 127 kickoff)
223: Stefon Diggs, 2012 vs. Connecticut (57 receiving, 98 kickoff, 68 punt)
214: Torrey Smith, 2010 at Virginia (-2 rushing, 157 receiving, 59 kickoff)
200: Da’Rel Scott, 2010 vs. East Carolina (200 rushing)

197: Da’Rel Scott, 2008 vs. Delaware (197 rushing)
193: Torrey Smith, 2010 vs. Florida International (159 receiving, 34 kickoff)
189: Lance Ball, 2005 at North Carolina (161 rushing, 28 receiving)
187: Quintin McCree, 2011 at Florida State (10 rushing, 177 receiving)
184: Torrey Smith, 2008 vs. Eastern Michigan (58 receiving, 126 kickoff)
180: Da’Rel Scott, 2008 vs. N.C. State  (163 rushing, 17 receiving)

Yes, that list has a lot of Torrey Smith. It’s also a reminder that rolling up a ton of all-purpose yardage is often easier when you’re getting a lot of kickoffs to return, as was the case for Smith throughout the 2009 season. That, of course, is not a good thing.

Nonetheless, only one person other than Smith had cracked 200 all-purpose yards in a game for the Terrapins over the last seven-plus seasons, and that was Da’Rel Scott in his patented bowl game explosion. Diggs’ presence on this list with a couple current pros is another welcome hint for Maryland about the newcomer’s talent.

Patrick Stevens

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