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Terps' Stefon Diggs feels 'fresh' heading into Foster Farms Bowl vs. Stanford

Terps wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
Terps wide receiver Stefon Diggs. (Jonathan Dyer, USA Today Sports)

Stefon Diggs caught the pass from quarterback C.J. Brown deep across the middle of the field, absorbed a nudge from safety Sean Davis and kept running up the field until the whistle was blown.

In the practices leading up to Tuesday's Foster Farms Bowl against Stanford, Maryland's star wide receiver has looked like the same explosive player that he was before his injury, making plays like that one Friday.

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Diggs has not played since suffering a lacerated kidney against Penn State on Nov. 1. However, Diggs was cleared for contact Dec. 1 and has shown no ill effects this past week stemming from the injury that threatened to end his junior season.

"Actually, when I came back out, I felt myself. I felt fresh," Diggs said. "Some guys have been out there all season who haven't missed a game, so it's kind of rough on them. I feel kind of fresh. My legs were better. My cuts were sharper. I feel good right now."

Diggs was forced to be patient after suffering the injury, unable to even participate in practice until being cleared by doctors.

"With that injury, it's one of those things where you can't do much to make it feel better," said Diggs, who was pushing to return to the field a week or two after sustaining the lacerated kidney. "You've just got to wait, so it's frustrating, but I just tried to be patient and to do everything I can to help my team while I was off the field as far as just coaching them up and helping them prepare for the game since I couldn't play.

"Frustrating, but I worked through it and got through it, and I'm happy to be back out there."

Diggs has caught several touchdowns during practice, and he was among the loudest players on the sideline encouraging the second-team offense during a team drill Saturday. He appears to be engaged and enthusiastic after missing the last three games of Maryland's regular season.

"He's hungry," Terps coach Randy Edsall said. "He wants to go out and play. He wants to play well. He needs to play well, and he's looking forward to the opportunity. So yeah, I've been pleased with how he's come back from the injury and has practiced very physical."

Getting Diggs back is a welcome lift for Maryland ahead of the matchup with Stanford, which is ranked fourth nationally in total defense and held No. 8 UCLA to 262 yards of total offense during a 31-10 win in the Cardinal's regular-season finale Nov. 29.

Diggs is tied for second in the Big Ten in catches per game (5.8), is fourth in receiving yards per game (72.7) and is the Terps' top offensive playmaker.

"I can tell the difference in him," Terps sophomore linebacker Yannick Ngakoue said of Diggs. "He seems even more hungry than he was before."

Asked Sunday about his future at Maryland and whether he plans to enter the upcoming NFL draft, Diggs reiterated what coach Randy Edsall said Saturday: That decision will be made at some point after the bowl game.

"I haven't decided on anything, so I'm just preparing for this game like I prepare for all of them, just be ready when it's time to go," Diggs said. "I missed being out there with my team, so I'm going to enjoy the moment."

Diggs was asked later whether he has a gut feeling regarding his plans.

"My gut feeling right now," Diggs said, "is I hope we can beat Stanford."

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