It was bound to come up, especially with the depth chart Maryland posted Monday morning.
And so the question emerged: What true freshman might play for the Terrapins?
It wasn’t exactly elegant phrasing. And credit to coach Randy Edsall —- he answered in precisely the way a snarky outside observer might.
“Might be a little shorter list to say which ones won’t play,” Edsall said Tuesday.
Maryland has 14 true freshmen on its two-deep, and it has only 23 scholarship freshmen. Listing only 10 guys might not cover a season’s worth of first-year players seeing the field.
But it might cover everyone in the opener, starting with …
1. KR/PR/WR Stefon Diggs
If Maryland receives the opening kickoff, Diggs will be the first true freshman on the field. It took him less than a week to secure the starting return positions, and special teams figures to be where he makes his steadiest impact all season.
2. QB Perry Hills
He’s the starter with junior C.J. Brown out for the season with a torn right knee ligament. He will play. A lot.
3. S Sean Davis
He rose up the list thanks to injuries to Matt Robinson and A.J. Hendy. As the listed starter at strong safety, he could be the first true freshman to play a snap for the Terps this year if Maryland kicks off to open the game. Of course …
4. K Brad Craddock
… maybe the Aussie freshman pops up on the field before then under that circumstance. With senior Nick Ferrara dealing with a hip injury, Craddock appears set to handle Maryland’s kicking duties. He’s also in the mix to serve as the Terps’ punter.
5. DE Quinton Jefferson
The grayshirt wasn’t a sure thing to see the field … at least until ends Keith Bowers, Andre Monroe and Isaiah Ross all got hurt. Maryland will likely rotate its defensive line, and that means Jefferson will at least see some action in place of Joe Vellano.
6. CB Alvin Hill
7. S Anthony Nixon
The pair of defensive backs could factor in if Maryland goes with a nickel or dime package. And if they’re going to play, they seem like strong options to appear on special teams as well.
8. LB Avery Thompson
Alex Twine‘s backup at strong-side linebacker is also a candidate to be a regular on several special teams.
9. RB Wes Brown
10. RB Albert Reid
Neither Brown nor Reid is included in the two-deep, but it appears at least three running backs will have some sort of role for the Terps. Both could also emerge as useful special teams players in their first season at Maryland.
—- Patrick Stevens