- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Domonique Foxworth says it wasn't that big of a deal. The cornerback had traveled with the team to road games all year even though he planned to take a redshirt season, and his teammates had been offering advice on how to prepare for his first collegiate game.
"It wasn't that big of a jump," Foxworth said.
Hold on. Getting your first start for the Maryland Terrapins against Clemson on Nov. 10 a big game in the run at the conference title was not that big of a deal?
"Well, the jump was big," he corrected himself, "but it wasn't that difficult."
It's hard to argue with the performances of Foxworth, who stepped in at cornerback for the last two games and played solidly, or his two freshman counterparts, wideout Rich Parson and defensive tackle Randy Starks. All held crucial roles at different times in Maryland's march to Miami.
It almost didn't happen. In the season finale at N.C. State, Parson, who finished as the team's top kickoff returner and sixth-leading receiver, was nearly remembered as the player who helped cost Maryland an ACC title and a BCS bowl.
With the Terps driving for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter, Parson caught a deep pass over the middle from Shaun Hill and took off for the end zone. Just short of the goal line, Parson was caught from behind and stripped of the ball by Lamont Reid, and the Wolfpack recovered in the end zone. Parson went from a goat to a joyous victor when the Terps rallied to victory.
"And that play, I had a chance to make a difference for my team, and I didn't make it," said Parson, his face still showing signs of relief weeks later. "The whole play was awesome I made a great move on the safety, caught the ball, and I thought I was home free. That was a young mistake. I won't let it ever happen again. But I just thank God that we won the game."
Parson also returned five kickoffs and three punts in the game, showing coach Ralph Friedgen's trust in the freshman from Newark, Del. Foxworth, though, was pressed into duty out of dire need the Terps' secondary had been riddled two weeks before by Florida State, and with starter Tony Okanlawon out of the lineup and Dennard Wilson injured, Foxworth was the only logical option.
At 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds, Starks worked into the defensive line rotation from the beginning and had a remarkable freshman season, recording seven tackles for a loss, including 31/2 sacks. His highlight came against Georgia Tech, when he was credited with forcing Joe Burns to fumble in overtime, preserving a 20-17 Maryland victory.
Starks said the Georgia Tech game (in which he also had two tackles for a loss) made him realize he shouldn't hold himself to the same standards as other freshmen that's when he believed he could make a difference for the Terps.
For Parson, he said it was the West Virginia game, when he stepped in for the injured Daryl Whitmer, though he also had two catches on the Terps' game-tying fourth-quarter drive against Georgia Tech.
"Personally, I don't think I should be making mistakes, because I'm not a freshman anymore," Starks said. "I've had enough experience where mistakes are not acceptable now."
Of course, it has been quite an experience for the trio to play supporting roles in the program's first 10-win season in 25 years. It has given the group an idea of what it takes to be successful, something they'll carry with them through their careers in College Park.
"It feels great," Foxworth said. "I'm sure we don't appreciate it nearly as much as the guys who have been here as long, but it still feels great to be part of a big-time winning program that's going to the BCS."
Said Parson: "We come right in, we're going to the Orange Bowl we got to be a part of that. We're just real thankful that we got to be a part of it real early in our careers. The next few years are going to be awesome for us."

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