Stefon Diggs

Maryland wide receiver Juwann Winfree ditches Terps

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Remember a few years ago when jokes were made about how many players were choosing to leave the Maryland football program under head coach Randy Edsall? Those times have passed, but we have a theme running today on College Football Talk about players leaving their respective programs for one reason or another. Now we found a way to get Maryland in the mix.

Wide receiver Juwann Winfree has left the Maryland program, the school announced Wednesday. This news comes less than two weeks after Edsall suspended Winfree for a violation of Maryland’s student-athlete code of conduct.

Winfree caught 11 passes for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Maryland in 2014. His role in the Terps figured to be more significant in 2015 after some roster turnover from last fall. As noted previously, Maryland was already in a position to replace the top four receivers from a year ago. Stefon Diggs left early for the NFL, Jacquille Veii transferred and Marcus Leak withdrew from the university last month. Now Winfree will be looking to take his game elsewhere.

Maryland again suspends WR Juwann Winfree

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Back in November, Maryland’s Juwann Winfree was suspended for a pair of games for violating the university’s student-athlete code of conduct.  Seven months later, it’s lather, rinse and repeat for the wide receiver.

Maryland confirmed Monday afternoon that Winfree has been suspended indefinitely from Randy Edsall‘s football program.  And, once again, the suspension is connected to a violation of the student-athlete code of conduct.

Last season, Winfree caught 11 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns.  Because of attrition, Winfree would be in line for a bigger role in the Terps’ passing offense.

Thanks to Marcus Leak withdrawing from school late last month, the Terps won’t return their top four in receiving yards from the 2014 season: Stefon Diggs (792, early entry into NFL draft), Deon Long (575, expired eligibility) Leak (297) and Jacquille Veii (230, transfer).

Those four departures mean that the leading returning receiver in terms of yards is Amba Etta-Tawo (222). The leading returning receiver in receptions is running back Wes Brown (21). The good news for the Terps is that Levern Jacobs, the team’s leading receiver in 2013, is returning from an injury that cost him most of the 2014 season.

Terps’ pass-catching corps springs another Leak

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Last month it was reported that running back Jacquille Veii, a pass-catching threat out of the backfield, had decided to leave the Terrapins.  A month later, the Terps’ passing game has taken another hit.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun is reporting that Marcus Leak has withdrawn from school due to personal reasons.  In May of 2013, Leak left under similar circumstances, although he ultimately returned.

It’s unclear if a return is in the cards this time around as well.

Last season, Leak was third on the team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (297), while he was second in receiving touchdowns (three).  With Leak’s departure, the Terps won’t return their top four in receiving yards from the 2014 season: Stefon Diggs (792, early entry into NFL draft), Deon Long (575, expired eligibility) and Veii (230).

Those four departures mean that the leading returning receiver in terms of yards is Amba Etta-Tawo (222). The leading returning receiver in receptions is running back Wes Brown (21). The good news for the Terps is that Levern Jacobs, the team’s leading receiver in 2013, is returning from an injury that cost him most of the 2014 season.

Leak’s departure comes one day after Maryland announced the addition of quarterback Daxx Garman as a graduate transfer.

Maryland WR Stefon Diggs is NFL bound

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Add Maryland to the list of programs looking to replace top playmakers in 2015 as Terps dynamo Stefon Diggs announced Saturday he will forgo his senior season and head to the NFL Draft.

“After talking with my family during the past few days, I have decided to enter the NFL draft,” Diggs told the Baltimore Sun. “We really thought about everything and weighed the pros and cons of staying at Maryland versus entering the draft, and we decided that this is the best decision for me.

“This was an extremely difficult decision. I signed with Maryland three years ago hoping to both put myself in the best position to be successful and also to help take my hometown school to a higher level. Coach [Randy] Edsall and my other coaches have been great to learn from, and coach Edsall has been great and helpful throughout this process of deciding whether to turn pro.”

A five-star prospect out of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., Diggs stands as the most significant recruit in Randy Edsall‘s now four-year tenure at Maryland. Diggs spurned reported offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida State, Miami and USC (among many, many others) to stay home and play for a program fresh off a 2-10 season.

“I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done for our program and what he got started for us here,” Edsall said. “A major player like him to stay home was very important for our program, and we can’t thank him enough for everything that he’s done for this program, and we wish him the very best and look forward to watching him on Sundays.”

A Second Team All-Big Ten selection this season, Diggs finishes his career with 150 receptions for 2,227 yards with 14 touchdowns and two kickoff return touchdowns.

Stanford blows away Maryland in Foster Farms Bowl, Pac-12 is 4-0 in bowls

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Stanford (8-5) did its part to keep the Pac-12’s perfect bowl record in play this bowl season. The Cardinal were dominant in a 45-21 victory over Maryland (7-6), improving the Pac-12 bowl record to a clean 4-0 this season.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was locked in from the start, ending his night with a pair of touchdown passes and plenty of short, accurate passes for 189 yards and 50 rushing yards. Cardinal running back Remound Wright rushed for three touchdowns to help push Stanford to a big lead in the first half. Wright was unstoppable down close to the end zone, scoring all three of his first-half touchdowns from inside the four-yard line. Having that offensive line providing a nice push against the Maryland defense certainly had an impact as well.

There were very few offensive highlights for Maryland in their first bowl game representing the Big Ten. Will Likely returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, although it came in the fourth quarter with Stanford still leading 42-14 following the score. Stefon Diggs returned to the field after missing the last few games of the season due to an injury, and he led the Terps with 106 receiving yards on nine catches. Quarterback C.J. Brown struggled to find consistency during the game, and he was picked off once and under pressure and sacked multiple times. He did run for a touchdown on his final play on the field of his career, so that was nice.

Stanford was a mess inside the red zone for a while this season, but you would not have been able to guess that if the Foster Farms Bowl was your first time watching the Cardinal this season. Stanford scored five red zone touchdowns. If the Cardinal can take that and the success seen in the regular season finale against UCLA into the spring, the Cardinal should once again be considered a team to pay attention to in the Pac-12 in 2015. There are going to be plenty of holes to fill though, on both sides of the football. The defense should be hit especially hard, but David Shaw‘s program has found a way to continue to play well on defense and that is not expected to change anytime soon.

Shaw now has two bowl victories to his name. That is as many bowl victories as Stanford had from 1993 through the end of the Jim Harbaugh era in 2010.

The Pac-12 remains the only conference without a loss this bowl season. At 4-0, the Pac-12 now owns the best bowl record of any conference this season, with Conference USA and the SEC each trailing with 4-1 records. The Big Ten is now a game under .500 at 2-3. The ACC (3-5) and Big 12 (0-3) are also struggling so far this bowl season.