What was looking like a deep wide receiver group two months ago has turned into a murky situation now for Maryland. With both Juwann Winfree and Marcus Leak gone, what was looking like deep and experienced receiving unit now will be relying on the contributions of some unproven underclassmen.
Winfree was suspended indefinitely last week for a violation of the university's student code of conduct, while the team announced at the end of May that Leak had left the team for personal reasons. It looks unlikely that either player will return, although the length of Winfree's suspension is unclear.
When Leak's departure was announced, everything still looked fine at the position. Our editor Pete Volk wrote an article titled, "Marcus Leak is gone. Luckily, Maryland has Juwann Winfree." About a week later, his suspension was announced, leaving only two wide receivers on the team who made a catch in 2015 (Amba Etta-Tawo and Malcolm Culmer).
Without Leak and Winfree, the lion's share of touches at wideout will fall to Levern and Taivon Jacobs.
Levern Jacobs is now the only senior in the group, and is coming off of a season-long suspension for the 2014 season. In 2013, he filled in for the injured Stefon Diggs and ended up leading the team in receiving yards, and now he will have to be a starter and a reliable option every game.
Taivon Jacobs suffered a season-ending injury in last year's opener against James Madison, but had received rave reviews from coaches in preseason. Jacobs is a bit of an enigma because we haven't seen him play in an actual game, but the former Ohio State commitment has a ton of talent and should have one of the other starting jobs locked down.
Maryland has started three wide receivers under Randy Edsall and Mike Locksley, and that third spot remains a question. Etta-Tawo, speedy Will Ulmer and true freshman D.J. Moore should be names to keep an eye on during fall camp.
Etta-Tawo especially should receive some opportunities, as he had 10 catches last year, including a 71-yard touchdown, and as a junior is now one of the veterans of the squad.
Ulmer is a redshirt freshman who came to Maryland as a quarterback, but converted to wideout when he got to College Park. Ulmer received compliments from Edsall after the spring game, and if he keeps improving, he should get some opportunities as the fourth wide receiver. If another receiver gets injured, Ulmer will have to become a key contributor at the position.
Moore is a former high three-star recruit who was one of the higher-rated prospects in the Terps' 2015 class. Now he will likely be called upon in sets with multiple wide receivers, and should rack up a few catches in 2015.