Maryland Terps

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4 reasons why Stefon Diggs was smart to head to the NFL

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4 reasons why Stefon Diggs was smart to head to the NFL

Former Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs left college early and entered the 2015 NFL Draft, only to slip into the fifth round where he was selected by the Minnesota Vikings.

But as time passes, even though Diggs fell to that point, it is becoming clear that the former Terrapins star made the right decision.

In his first career NFL start on Sunday, Diggs tallied 129 receiving yards. It was the second straight game that he had at least 80 yards each in two straight games. The last Vikings rookie to do that? A guy by the name of Randy Moss.

Set aside the coaching change at Maryland or any internal program questions. On strictly a personal basis -- because that’s ultimately what should dictate a player’s decision -- here are four reasons why Diggs made the right call.

1) Getting paid

Amateur athletes don’t get monetarily compensated for their work. Professional athletes do. Diggs reportedly signed a four-year, $2.5 million deal with the Vikings after being drafted. That’s obviously far more than the scholarship athletes receive in college and often at least one major driving force behind declaring.

It also sets up for this....

2) Contract implications

Perhaps part of the criticism for Diggs leaving was that falling to the fifth round put him in a certain pay bracket and if he could have improved his stock with another year in college, he would be making more.

But that’s a risk (explained more below) and coming out now starts the clock, so to speak. He is working through the first year of that four-year deal, instead of starting the first year next season. Second contracts are where players can really cash out and Diggs is essentially betting on his own talents.

If he continues to produce this way, he can make himself some good money in a few years -- one year sooner than if he had stayed.

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3) Injury concerns

Injuries were part of the reason Diggs slipped in the draft. Though they could really be classified as freak injuries -- he got rolled up on and broke his leg, then got hit in the abdomen and bruised a kidney -- NFL scouts take notice of that.

If he had stayed in school, he would have run the risk of being injured again while not being under contract. If injury does occur now at some point, he’s still receiving a paycheck.

4) Quarterback issues at Maryland

Diggs caught passes primarily from dual-threat quarterback C.J. Brown in college, who was an impact player with his legs, but had limitations through the air. But Brown would likely get the starting job over the three quarterbacks on the Maryland roster right now.

Maryland has struggled to get the ball to its receivers with consistency this season, whether it be Perry Hills, Caleb Rowe, or Daxx Garman under center.

Maryland is 121st of 128 teams in the country in yards per pass attempt at 5.1. Its top receiver, Levern Jacobs, has 222 yards through six games.

If Diggs were to play another year in an offense that struggles to get him the football, perhaps he could have slipped further in the draft. Now he is in an offense with a blossoming quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and he is quickly becoming his favorite target.

Stay tuned.

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

Going into the 2018 NBA Combine, Kevin Huerter was not receiving much hype, was off many NBA Draft boards, and many assumed he was heading back to college anyways.

Playing in the first scrimmage of the combine process, all those storylines quickly changed.

Playing against players like Jacob Evans, Donte DiVincenzo, Udoka Azubuike, and Jevon Carter, Huerter emerged as one of the top stars. The two-year Maryland spot-up shooter saw 25 minutes of action and only trailed Penn State prospect Tony Carr in points on his squad.

With 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-8 three-pointers), Huerter showed development since he was last seen with the Terps. His passing was the biggest asset for his team and was not afraid to take a shot against these top defenders.  The 6-7 forward also added three rebounds, an assist, and had only one turnover.

Although his shooting in-game was not fantastic, in the individual drills he showed off.  Of the seven shooting marks, he ranked in the top five in five of them.  He also had the best shuttle run (2.96 seconds).

No question, Huerter’s draft stock significantly rose. Although still early, he is looking to be the highest rated Terp prospect this year over Justin Jackson and Bruno Fernando.

Consensus among those at the NBA Combine seems to believe that Huerter will return for his junior season at Maryland.

After today though, it may be hard to say no.

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

D.J. Moore has an adorable new puppy!

Days after the Carolina Panthers selected Moore as the No. 24 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the former Maryland wide receiver returned to his roots and paid a visit to College Park.

But the first-rounder wasn’t alone when he went to Maryland. According to the Terps’ football Twitter account, he brought his new puppy with him. Seriously, look at this puppy!

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The Big Ten Receiver of the Year in 2017, Moore was obviously a crucial component of the Terps’ offense. He finished the season with 80 catches — a Maryland single-season record, which was also a Big Ten high.

He declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season with Maryland.

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