By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun
6:43 PM EDT, August 29, 2013
COLLEGE PARK —
Stefon Diggs was too polite to pose the question.
But it surely crossed the minds of Maryland's coaches: How good might the receiver have been in his freshman season if he had a talented, experienced quarterback throwing him passes?
Diggs' numbers were more than respectable last year: 54 catches for 848 yards and six touchdowns. He also had two kickoff return touchdowns.
But the receiving statistics begin to look better — remarkable even — when you consider that he was never on the field with a quarterback who had thrown a college pass prior to 2012. Because of injuries, Maryland played the last four games with 230-pound Shawn Petty — a converted linebacker — at quarterback.
This year, Maryland will have graduate student C.J. Brown — who missed last year with an anterior cruciate ligament injury — back at quarterback.
Together, Brown and Diggs could form one of Maryland's most potent combinations in years.
Diggs spent the summer bulking up — he has gained about 10 pounds and now weighs 195. He liked to work out with his younger brother, Trevon, a Wootton High School sophomore who wears the same number ("1").
When he wasn't with Trevon, Stefon was often training with Brown. Even before training camp began in early August, the two were making up for time lost during the quarterback's recovery
"Almost every day in the summer we pretty much worked on something," Diggs said. "We put a lot of time in — on and off the field — just to time the routes out right and give his arm a lot of action. You'll see the difference."
Even when he was on crutches, Brown had watched Diggs closely. "I think the biggest thing was that I'd seen film on him. I'd seen him in person. I'm still a quarterback on and off the field. So I'd take notice of those things — his cuts and how he likes to do things," Brown said.
Diggs had four quarterbacks throwing him passes last year. He hopes this season it's just one.
"It definitely makes a difference because you're going to see the same quarterback every week and he's going to know what to expect out of you — how you run your routes and how fast you run your routes," Diggs said.
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