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Maryland football’s redshirt receivers look to find a role in the offense

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Wide Receivers Week continues with DeJuan Ellis and Dino Tomlin.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Michigan at Maryland Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Our summer profile series is back and we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time. We’re starting with potentially the most impactful position on this year’s team, the Terps wide receiver group.

Most recently in the series, Henry profiled Maryland’s 2019 receivers that are looking to re-climb the depth chart this season. Now it’s time to take a look at transfer receiver DeJuan Ellis and redshirt receiver Dino Tomlin.

DeJuan Ellis, WR, No. 88

Height: 5’11
Weight: 171
Year: Redshirt Sophomore
Hometown: Accokeek, Md.
High school: McDonogh School

Dino Tomlin, WR, No. 16

Height: 5’11
Weight: 176
Year: Redshirt Freshman
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High school: Shady Side

The background

DeJuan Ellis, a former four-star recruit, redshirted the 2018 season at Virginia Tech, which was his only season as a Hokie. The Maryland native elected to transfer to the Terps, but had to sit out the 2019 season due to NCAA transfer regulations. And because he took a redshirt season in 2018, he lost one year of eligibility.

Dino Tomlin, the son of Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, was a three-star recruit out of Shady Side Academy, where he caught 30 passes for 967 yards and scored 19 total touchdowns as a senior.

Both Ellis and Tomlin are known for their speed as they have experience running track in high school. When Ellis was at Bishop O’Connell, he won all-conference accolades in track and field, breaking the 100-meter dash and long jump records for the league. Tomlin was a Pennsylvania Class 2A state champion in the 300-meter hurdles.

Both are looking to gain some sort of role in the offense

Ellis played quarterback in high school at both Bishop O’Connell and McDonogh. He didn’t gain much experience at Virginia Tech as a wide receiver, redshirting his only season in Blacksburg. But while sitting out last season, he likely gained a lot of knowledge from his fellow receivers in College Park.

Tomlin only appeared in two games last season as a true freshman — in the season opener against Howard and the lone Big Ten win over Rutgers. The Pittsburgh native caught one pass for seven yards against the Scarlet Knights, which was his only catch on the season.

The duo will look to play some kind of role in the offense in 2020, but the receiving group is the deepest on the team.

The duo has a lot of talent ahead of them on the depth chart

Maryland’s wide receiving corps for 2020 is arguably the deepest it has been in years. With the Terps losing running backs Anthony McFarland Jr. and Javon Leake to the NFL, the wide receiver position becomes that much more important this season.

Maryland’s lead receiver from 2019, Dontay Demus Jr., is returning and Jeshaun Jones is coming back from injury. DJ Turner is coming back for a fifth season and Rakim Jarrett, a five-star recruit, is entering his freshman season. Brian Cobbs, Darryl Jones and Carlos Carriere also return.

With all of these guys ahead of Ellis and Tomlin on the depth chart, it is likely that they will serve in backup roles this season. The best way to earn playing time on offense is likely the special teams path, where the duo can use their speed on both sides of the ball.

However, with the Big Ten moving to a conference only slate, the season is set to start later than its original date, which could give some time for Ellis and Tomlin to make a case to get on the field.