- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 21, 2011

Maryland wide receivers coach Lee Hull isn’t the sort to point out external criticism and doubt to his players.

Besides, the Terrapins’ wideout group is well-aware observers can’t help but wonder how life after Torrey Smith will unfold in College Park.

“They know what everybody is saying about them,” Hull said. “They’re a little [expletive], and they’ve got a lot to prove, and they understand that.”

Smith and Adrian Cannon, the Terps’ No. 2 receiver the past two years, are gone. Their replacements don’t possess the gaudiest stats, but most of the veterans played notable roles a season ago.

Quintin McCree was third on the team in receptions. Kevin Dorsey hauled in a pair of touchdowns, including one in the Military Bowl. Ronnie Tyler’s resume includes three years as a steady slot receiver. And Kerry Boykins is a reliable option and a ferocious blocker.

But they’re also not household names, perhaps because none of them has a 30-catch season to his name. Combined, they own seven career touchdown receptions - or five fewer than Smith had a year ago.

“It gets overlooked because they look at your receptions, catches, this and that,” McCree said. “They think ‘OK, he didn’t play much.’ But you go back to the games, I played a lot of snaps. Even though Torrey was the starter, I played a lot of snaps. A lot of guys played a lot of snaps.”

Indeed, the Terps played up their depth a year ago. Maryland had eight scholarship receivers who were in at least their fourth season in the program, and it was a priority to rotate players whenever possible.

Smith, of course, generated plenty of attention for his 1,000-yard season. But five other receivers hauled in at least 10 passes.

“I feel like people really didn’t understand how good we were as a whole,” Tyler said. “You look at Adrian, he got invited to the Chargers’ camp. You look at LaQuan [Williams] and he had [six] receptions as a senior, and he’s with the Ravens. We just have so much talent in that meeting room. Even though we graduated a lot of seniors, we still have that lineup.”

The holdovers aren’t the only possibilities to emerge as reliable targets for quarterback Danny O’Brien. Senior Tony Logan, best known for returning punts, is eager to etch out a role for himself. Marcus Leak has enjoyed a solid camp and is one of several freshmen who could contribute.

“One of those guys is going to step up,” Hull said of the entire group. “I dont know who it is, and I hope it’s not just one guy. I hope they all step up, because that’s just going to make us more dangerous if we have three or four guys out there who can make plays. You can’t roll your coverage and just key on one guy. All those guys want to be that guy.”

For now, though, the group retains a bit of anonymity. Boykins shrugged off the possibility of being overlooked and acknowledged the Terps’ wideouts simply arent well-known to the outside world.

For now, anyway. After all, it was only two years ago the same unit lost a high NFL pick and quickly produced a new star.

“After Darrius Heyward-Bey left, everyone was talking about that,” O’Brien said. “It’s going to take this season for someone to emerge for that to kind of get buried to rest, and I think it will.”