GREENSBORO, N.C. —- It was around this time last summer when Maryland’s array of wide receivers —- and the smattering of work they received the previous two years —- generated some natural preseason scrutiny.
Gone were Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon, staples for the Terrapins in 2009 and 2010. There was a clear onus on veterans Quintin McCree and Ronnie Tyler. Yet both seniors were suspended for two games in mid-September. McCree recovered to have a decent season. Tyler struggled with dropped passes when he returned.
And overall, Maryland’s receivers endured a generally difficult autumn that mirrored the Terps’ 2-10 season arc.
Move ahead to 2012, and Maryland has two established options at wideout: Seniors Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins. Together, they have 116 career catches entering their fifth seasons in the program.
But they’ve seen a lot, have proven to be steady contributors and will be leaned upon heavily with an otherwise raw group of wideouts. There are no other scholarship juniors or senior receivers on Maryland’s roster.
“We’ve talked to Kevin about that. We’ve talked to Kerry about that,” coach Randy Edsall said Monday. “Those two guys have got to be big parts of what we’re going to do with the receiving corps. They are the veterans. There’s a bunch of younger guys that are wet behind the ears still that aren’t real experienced.”
The most commonly hyped name among the newcomers or seldom-used returnees is freshman Stefon Diggs, though sophomore Marcus Leak impressed briefly last season. Redshirt freshman Tyrek Cheeseboro drew praise for his speed from Dorsey even after knee surgery last fall. Nigel King, who sat out because of an NCAA eligibility last year, demonstrated some intriguing moments in the spring.
“When you take a look at that receiver spot, those guys are young there,” Edsall said. “They’re going to have their hands full, but they’ll do a great job.”
Getting a bit of help from Boykins and Dorsey to nudge that along certainly won’t hurt.
—- Patrick Stevens