Maryland's receivers poised for success


Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen might have lost last year's Emerald Bowl game to Oregon State, but he gained a receivers coach in the process. A mutual friend of both Friedgen and former Oregon State assistant Lee Hull suggested Hull introduce himself to Friedgen at the bowl game and their two-minute conversation at the kickoff luncheon eventually turned into a job interview in late February.

Friedgen had originally hired Casey Dunn for the position, but Dunn left after about a month on the job to take a position with the Seattle Seahawks. Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin called Hull on a Thursday, and by Monday Hull was offered the job.

"It was one of those things where it just kind of happened that way," Hull said. "I would have never had that opportunity if we didn't play them in the bowl game."

Now, the combination of Hull, Franklin and a deep, talented group of receivers are one of the reasons to consider the Terps a dark horse in the Atlantic Division this season. The question is if they'll reach their potential this season.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Isaiah Williams and Danny Oquendo have all played in big games, but have yet to have that "breakout" season. Play-calling, coaching, and their own shortcomings all contributed to that, but it seems as if everything is in place for them to succeed this season.

"I think Darrius can be as good as any receiver Maryland has ever had here," Hull said. "He's a dedicated kid and a great kid and is working hard to get better as a receiver -- running routes, getting in and out of his break, his hand placement catching the ball -- he's still a young receiver in terms of years playing the position."

This year, though, they all need to play like veterans.