Last season, Stefon sometimes brooded after defeats. Animated and emotional on the field, he occasionally made mistakes — such as fumbling a punt in a win at Temple — trying to do too much.

His teammates would tell him to forget about any miscues and move on to the next play. Most of them marvel at his pass-catching skills and the ease with which he eludes defenders. "I've never been around an athlete like him," quarterback C.J. Brown said.

He's made mistakes off the field, too, but is maturing. Before arriving at Maryland, he apologized for a racially insensitive tweet about NBA point guard Jeremy Lin. "Not saying I was a bad kid, but I had a lot to learn. You've just got to not be impulsive," he said last season.

Said his mother: "I mean, all kids get in trouble for high school — little boy, mischievous stuff."

As his Maryland career began, Stefon wore a tattoo. On the inside of one arm, close to his chest, was the word "self." The word "made" was in the same spot on the other arm.

Asked if he wanted to elaborate on being "self-made," Diggs replied: "It's self-explanatory."

The subject of his father's death didn't come up in interviews with Stefon last year. Neither son talks much about their father's passing. The topic still seems too raw. "The kids are still very sensitive and grieving," the mother said.

Ironically, the forum in which both sons seem to share the most about their loss is on Twitter — a particularly public medium.

"He thinks out loud," Stephanie Diggs said of Stefon. "Being that young, that's probably the way he processes it. He's learning how to express what he was feeling. He's straightforward, just like his father."

Maryland declined to make Stefon available this summer before camp opened, although he was interviewed during spring practices and last season.

Trevon's Twitter page says "RiP Dad."

He was in the fourth grade when his father died. He and the rest of the family treasure a football in the basement signed by Aron and the members of one of his youth teams.

His father's memory "motivates me to do well every day on and off the field," Trevon said.

I want her to never have to work again — Stefon Diggs tweeting about his mother, May 12.

Tucked away in the Diggs' North Potomac townhome are two large bins. They are stuffed with letters, stickers, calendars and photographs from Florida, Auburn and other leading football schools.

Stephanie Diggs holds on to the bins' contents as keepsakes of a frenetic period when Stefon was one of the nation's most heavily recruited high school athletes.

Aron surely would have loved managing his son's recruitment. After his death, the task fell to his widow.

She already had, in effect, two full-time jobs — raising the boys (an older daughter had already graduated high school) and working as a customer service representative for a corporation in Washington.

Handling Stefon's recruitment was akin to a third job. But she was determined to do it right. "I'm hands on," said the former high school and college basketball player who grew up in Alexandria, Va.

Long partial to basketball, she has grown to love football because of her husband and sons. After being interviewed, she playfully tossed a football to Trevon and extended her left arm to strike a mock Heisman Trophy statue pose.