As for the local high school coaches, Turgeon has spread enough goodwill on his first two seasons by making himself very visible that passing up a couple of Baltimore players shouldn't hurt his reputation in the city. Eventually, though, Turgeon is going to have to take a chance on a Baltimore kid as he has with Layman and now with Nickens.
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Are any Maryland players being overlooked for preseason college football award lists?
Matt Bracken: It shouldn’t be a huge surprise that wide receiver-returner Stefon Diggs is the only Terp that has been added to a watch list for a preseason college football award. The true sophomore was certainly a no-brainer for the 75-man Biletnikoff list – an award given to college football’s top wide receiver. Ditto the Maxwell Award, which is given to college football’s top overall player.
But Diggs had no Maryland company over the past couple weeks as the national college football awards association watch lists were rolled out.
C.J. Brown didn’t have a chance to make the 34-man Davey O’Brien list for top quarterback thanks to his torn ACL last summer. But he’s certainly a guy who – if he lives up to the expectations Maryland coaches have for him – could find himself added at some point in the season.
Doak Walker is probably a less likely bet, given the uncertain legal status of Wes Brown, and the possibility that Brandon Ross and Albert Reid will split carries. The Maryland coaches love Dave Stinebaugh’s potential at tight end, but he has to prove he can stay healthy and be productive before he gets in the Mackey Award conversation.
I think Maryland’s offensive line will be improved in 2013, but there are still too many question marks to merit award consideration. Mike Madaras and Andrew Zeller might be guys to watch down the road.
Defensively, it probably shouldn’t come as a shock that a unit that lost Joe Vellano, A.J. Francis, Demetrius Hartsfield, Darin Drakeford, Kenneth Tate and Eric Franklin wasn’t recognized. Since most of these watch lists are stats-based, junior linebacker Cole Farrand (78 tackles, six TFLs, three forced fumbles) might have a legitimate gripe, but then again, college football savant Phil Steele didn’t have Farrand – or any other defensive Terp, for that matter – on any of his four preseason All-ACC teams.
So this has been a roundabout way of saying that no, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that Diggs is the only name on any of these lists. Maryland has much to prove in its last year in the ACC. There’s intriguing talent across the board, but nothing is a given heading into the fall.