Diggs is named starting punt and kick returner for Terps

SportsFootballMaryland Terrapins

Expect a big dose of Diggs when Maryland’s football season opens Saturday at Byrd Stadium against William & Mary. Freshman Stefon Diggs, the highly-touted recruit, will be the punt returner and kick returner.

He is also listed as a backup receiver, behind Kerry Boykins. He was lining up in the slot during practices and scrimmages.

Maryland today released its new two-deep depth chart, announcing its starters for Saturday’s game.

While there was little mystery over many starting positions, here are three I was watching, and the outcomes:

*Running back: Redshirt freshman Brandon Ross has supplanted Justus Pickett as the starting tailback. Maryland fans haven’t seen much of Ross – he played in the preseason open scrimmage – but his teammates who practiced with him spoke glowingly of the player’s promise during his 2011 redshirt season.

Here is what offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said in the spring about Ross, who is 5-feet-10 and 205 pounds:

"He has the ability to hit the home  run with that closing and finishing speed. Very explosive, and not just an outside guy. He's a guy that runs physical in between the tackles. He's a guy I'd call a three-down back."

I don’t rule out that one of the true freshmen – Albert Reid, Wes Brown – could crack the top two during the season.

A key: how well will Maryland's reconfigured offensive line open holes for the backs?

*Kicker: Brad Craddock, the Punter (and kicker) from Down Under, is a surprise winner of the starting place kicking job. Craddock, who played Australian Rules Football, is still battling Nate Renfro for the punting job.

As preseason opened, Nick Ferrara, the senior, was listed atop the chart as the kicker and punter. I spoke with him last week after Edsall told the media that Ferrara would not be the punter. But Ferrara still seemed to anticipate kicking field goals. We’ll keep you posted on this.

*Strong safety: Sean Davis, a true freshman from Washington’s Maret School, will step into the defensive backfield to fill the strong safety spot with Matt Robinson injured. It’s a big test for him, although Robinson (shoulder) said he expects to start practicing and be ready for Week 2 at Temple.

Here is the two-deep depth chart, which includes 14 true freshmen:

OFFENSE

WR-X 12 Kevin Dorsey 6-2 210 Sr.-3V

3 Nigel King 6-3 210 Fr.-RS

LT 74 Nick Klemm 6-5 300 Jr.-2V

77 Mike Madaras 6-5 290 Fr.-HS

LG 63 Bennett Fulper 6-5 295 Sr.-3V

64 Nick Brigham 6-2 280 Fr.-HS

C 65 Sal Conaboy 6-4 285 So.-1V

50 Evan Mulrooney 6-5 285 Fr.-RS

RG 70 De’Onte Arnett 6-4 290 Jr.-1V

66 Andrew Zeller 6-6 295 Fr.-RS

RT 75 Justin Gilbert 6-6 300 Sr.-3V

55 Ryan Doyle 6-4 295 Fr.-RS

TE 89 Matt Furstenburg 6-4 245 Sr.-3V

34 Devonte Campbell 6-2 255 Sr.-3V

QB 11 Perry Hills 6-3 205 Fr.-HS

7 Caleb Rowe 6-2 185 Fr.-HS

or 2 Devin Burns 6-3 200 So.-1V

TB 45 Brandon Ross 5-10 205 Fr.-RS

44 Justus Pickett 5-10 185 So.-1V

FB 49 Tyler Cierski 6-0 190 Fr.-RS

39 Jeff Hernandez 5-10 235 Sr.-SQ

or 30 Kenneth Goins Jr. 5-10 220 Fr.-HS

WR-A 13 Kerry Boykins 6-0 190 Sr.-3V

1 Stefon Diggs 6-1 185 Fr.-HS

WR-Z 82 Marcus Leak 6-0 205 So.-1V

10 Tyrek Cheeseboro 6-0 190 Fr.-RS

DEFENSE

DE 72 Joe Vellano 6-2 285 Sr.-3V

99 Quinton Jefferson 6-4 260 Fr.-HS

NT 97 Darius Kilgo 6-3 300 So.-SQ

73 Alex Walker 6-0 285 So.-SQ

DE 96 A.J. Francis 6-5 305 Sr.-3V

95 Justin Anderson 6-5 280 Jr.-2V

SAM 35 Alex Twine 6-0 225 So.-1V

37 Avery Thompson 6-3 210 Fr.-HS

MIKE 47 Cole Farrand 6-3 245 So.-1V

53 L.A Goree 6-2 235 So.-1V

MO 9 Demetrius Hartsfi eld 6-2 240 Sr.-3V

58 Bradley Johnson 6-1 230 Jr.-1V

WILL 52 Darin Drakeford 6-1 240 Sr.-3V

41 Marcus Whitfi eld 6-3 245 Jr.-1V

CB 14 Jeremiah Johnson 6-0 185 So.-1V

27 Alvin Hill 5-11 190 Fr.-HS

SS 21 Sean Davis 6-1 190 Fr.-HS

38 Clarence Claiborne 6-0 210 Sr.-1V

FS 48 Eric Franklin 6-2 215 Sr.-3V

20 Anthony Nixon 6-1 205 Fr.-HS

CB 25 Dexter McDougle 5-11 190 Jr.-2V

23 Makinton Dorleant 5-11 180 Fr.-RS

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK 15 Brad Craddock 6-1 180 Fr.-HS

12 Brendan Magistro 5-9 170 Fr.-HS

P 15 Brad Craddock 6-1 180 Fr.-HS

or 18 Nathan Renfro 6-1 205 Fr.-RS

LS 59 Greg Parcher 6-4 185 Jr.-SQ

59 Christian Carpenter 5-11 215 Fr.-HS

H 18 Nathan Renfro 6-1 205 Fr.-RS

29 Michael Tart 6-3 185 So.-SQ

PR 1 Stefon Diggs 6-1 185 Fr.-HS

25 Dexter McDougle 5-11 190 Jr.-2V

KR 1 Stefon Diggs 6-1 185 Fr.-HS

45 Brandon Ross 5-10 205 Fr.-RS

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