GREENSBORO, N.C. — Before Maryland's nightmarish 2011 football season came to an end, wide receiver Kevin Dorsey already knew changes were afoot. Many of his teammates were about to flee for other college programs, and Dorsey wasn't too surprised to see the exodus.
After ther Terps' 2-10 campaign, he watched 13 players choose to transfer, including quarterbackDanny O'Brien to Wisconsin, left tackle R.J. Dill to Rutgers and right tackle Max Garcia to Florida. In the midst of the exit process for several of the players, Dorsey offered the kind of simple advice he thought was appropriate — make up your mind and live with your decision.
"You kind of knew in a sense who was probably thinking about leaving," Dorsey said at the first of two Atlantic Coast Confernce media days Sunday at Grandover Resort. "I talked to a few of those guys. I wasn't really trying to convince them to stay or trying to convince them to leave. I was convincing them to make a decision that you feel is best for you. If you feel in your heart you need to be somewhere else, then you need to be where your heart is."
Now, as the Terps prepare for year two of coach Randy Edsall's rebuilding project, Dorsey is optimistic another change is on the horizon. He's a team captain now, so enthusiasm comes with the territory, but Dorsey is convinced better times for Maryland football have arrived.
"Right now, we're in the underdog position, which really honestly isn't a bad position to be in," said Dorsey, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior who led the team with 45 catches for 573 yards and three touchdowns last season. "You're kind of under the radar."
Junior quarterback C.J. Brown, who completed 82 of 166 passes for 842 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions last season while running for 574 yards and five touchdowns, will be called upon to lead the offense this season under new coordinator Mike Locksley.
If Brown is to succeed, he'll need help from a receiving corps that routinely dropped passes last season. Dorsey realizes another season of drops and inconsistency in the passing game could spell trouble for Edsall, who was criticized after his disastrous first season in College Park.
"He's taken it pretty well," Dorsey said. "He's been pretty much a punching bag in the media."
As a player who signed at Maryland when Ralph Friedgen was still the coach, Dorsey has seen his fair share of seismic events in the Terrapins' football program. Though they still have to prove it to the rest of the ACC, Dorsey is ready to proclaim the dark days over.
"I can guarantee you right now we're going to win," Dorsey said. "We're going to win, and we're going to bring Maryland back to what it used to be."