It’s not enough to give Stefon Diggs more touches this season. Maryland coaches also want to give him more of a leadership role.
Coach Randy Edsall said after Friday night's spring game that the team has named the receiver-returner as one of 10 members of its leadership council.
The team won’t use permanent captains in the fall. Rather, it will name captains game by game.
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It sounds like Maryland really wants Diggs invested in the team. Not that he wasn’t last season. But it’s difficult for freshmen – still transitioning to college life – to play leadership roles.
“I think Stefon is making sure he can do everything he can to live up to the role he now has as part of that leadership council,” Edsall said after the Red-White game, which ended in a 13-13 tie.
The game ended when Red team kicker Brandon Magistro’s low field-goal attempt from 22 yards away was blocked by Avery Thompson, preserving the tie.
Media colleague Patrick Stevens joked beforehand that he was wondering if Edsall would call timeout to ice his own kicker.
I've filed a story on the spring game. Here are some more thoughts:
*Maryland has a collection of gifted receivers led by Diggs but also including Deon Long, Nigel King (who hyper-extended a knee Friday night but is expected to be fine) and others. The question is whether there is a quarterback who will have the time and the accuracy to get them the ball.
Said Diggs: “We’ve got a lot more threats -- Deon Long, Nigel King, Marcus Leak… I feel as if we’re going to have an electrifying offense.”
*Maryland seems poised to use its short passing game like a running game. That makes sense because it takes pressure off the quarterbacks and because the Terps have receivers who can turn swing passes into long gains.
Maryland’s second play on Friday night was a swing pass to Diggs, who juked Sean Davis and went for 21 yards. The third play was a swing pass to Diggs on the other side for two yards.
Diggs’ third-quarter touchdown was also on a swing pass that he broke for 51 yards. You get the picture.
Diggs’ catches were from quarterback Ricardo Young. He’s the stand-in for C.J. Brown (knee) who is expected back in the fall as the starter.
“With Ricardo, the big thing I thought he did tonight was be inconsistent,” Edsall said. “We have to get more consistent.”