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A trio of Maryland wideouts looks to make a sophomore leap in 2019

Wide Receivers Week moves to the trio of Dontay Demus, Brian Cobbs and Darryl Jones.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

This summer at Testudo Times, we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time. We started with quarterbacks and spent last week on running backs, and now we’re focusing on wide receivers.

After an overview of the group on Monday, Lila wrote about Jeshaun Jones yesterday. While he’s established himself as the Terps’ likely ace receiver in 2019, all of his fellow rising sophomore wideouts look primed for big roles themselves.

Dontay Demus, No. 7

Height: 6’4
Weight: 202
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
High school: Friendship Collegiate

Brian Cobbs, No. 15

Height: 6’1
Weight: 203
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Alexandria, Va.
High school: Hayfield

Darryl Jones, No. 21

Height: 6’3
Weight: 181
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.
High school: Princess Anne

The background

All three of these Class of 2018 wideouts committed to the Terps in summer 2017. Demus became the first receiver in the recruiting class when he announced his commitment June 2. Cobbs joined the ranks on June 20, and Jones — the lone four-star prospect in the group — pledged Aug. 2.

All three players signed on the first-ever December signing day, but none enrolled early at Maryland; the only receiver to do so was Jeshaun Jones, who wasn’t even committed until that signing day. Demus, Cobbs and Darryl Jones all joined the team last June, and it didn’t take long for them to make an impact on the field.

All three players showed promise late in 2018.

Demus led the group with 13 catches and 278 receiving yards — numbers that look better considering Maryland only completed 125 passes as a team all season. He entered the Illinois game with two catches for 14 yards, then had two for 69 against the Illini. Two weeks later against Indiana, Demus caught four passes for 98 yards, then reeled in a 56-yarder late in the crazy Ohio State game. He made his first start at Penn State, recording 35 yards on three catches.

Cobbs had a 13-yard reception and a three-yard rush in the season opener against Texas, then didn’t get another touch until Week 8 at Iowa. He had two catches apiece against Illinois and Penn State, including a 48-yard catch-and-run in State College (he also made his first career start in that game). In all, Cobbs’ five receptions went for 108 yards.

Jones’ season followed a similar script. He recorded receptions against Texas, Temple and Illinois, then had six catches in the final four games. His 60-yarder against Ohio State set up the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and he then had a 27-yarder against Penn State. Jones had nine catches for 147 yards when all was said and done.

Combine these numbers with those of Jeshaun Jones, and true freshmen combined for 39 percent of Maryland’s receptions and 48 percent of the yards last season.

The Terps will rely heavily on this group going forward.

Maryland didn’t have rigid first and second teams in spring camp, but all four sophomores were mainstays on the first or second teams. Demus started alongside Jeshaun Jones in the spring game, while Cobbs and Darryl Jones suited up in white with the second unit. Cobbs put up the biggest numbers that afternoon — five catches for 102 yards, plus a six-yard pass — while Demus tallied 41 yards on three receptions for the winning side.

While this group of 2018 receiver recruits overtook the 2017 crop last season, it’ll still face competition from throughout that group in camp. But Demus, Cobbs and Jones all have what it takes to lock down roles this fall, and Terps fans will be seeing plenty of them in the future.