Stefon Diggs’ mark on Maryland goes beyond stats


The impression former Terrapin wide receiver Stefon Diggs left on the University of Maryland football program is apparent just from looking at the body of work he produced statistically on the field.

Diggs is one of the most prolific receivers ever to run through the Gossett Field House tunnel, despite struggling with injuries and cumulatively missing nearly an entire season’s worth of games during his three years as a Terp. When healthy he dazzled fans with his elusiveness and breakaway speed both as a receiver and a return man on special teams.

If you look at the numbers, Diggs’ stats are even more noteworthy considering the inconsistent quarterback play during his time in College Park, including having a freshman linebacker attempting to lead the offense for nearly half of the 2012 season. Though his stats as a Terp have been discussed over the past several weeks at nauseam before and after the 2015 NFL Draft, here’s a brief rundown: in 28 total games at Maryland, Diggs had 150 catches for 2,227 yards (14.8 yards/catch) and 14 receiving touchdowns. Diggs was also a huge factor as a kick returner, as he averaged over 25 yards per return to consistently put the Terrapin offense in good field position.

Had Diggs been able to stay healthy and had a more traditional-style quarterback behind center, he could have put up similar numbers to former Maryland star receivers like Torrey Smith and Darius Heyward-Bey. Hopefully Diggs’ NFL career path follows more closely to that of the former than the latter.

While Diggs’ mark on the Maryland football program is obvious through his play on the field, his lasting impression goes far beyond that. This was evident last Friday, as one high-profile, nationally-sought after recruit announced he will be taking his talents to College Park.

Stefon Diggs is widely credited with starting the “Stay Home” movement, which is a trend that promotes the idea of talented players in the area committing to the University of Maryland instead of opting to play for other, more historically prolific, football programs from which they have also received offers.

Coming out of high school, Diggs had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Ohio State, and USC. Diggs, out of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Montgomery County (Md.), passed on these traditional powerhouse programs to help Maryland try to build one of their own. Bullis School product and four-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins continued this tradition by committing to Maryland on Friday. And not only did he commit, he announced that he and another highly-touted Terrapin recruit were a “package deal.” That recruit just happens to be Stefon’s younger brother, Trevon.

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Other Maryland greats have previously passed up other opportunities in recent years and decided to “stay home” to play for the Terps, including Vernon Davis, Shawne Merriman, and Smith. However, Diggs is largely viewed as the catalyst in truly getting the locally-driven trend initiated. The dramatic rise of social media, mainly Twitter, has helped in pioneering and giving wheels to the “Stay Home” movement as well (or should I say #TheMovement). Haskins had offers from over 40 schools, including Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Virginia Tech.

And Haskins’ work does not appear finished either, as the high school junior quarterback is actively on social media recruiting other players from the area to commit to the Terps. While Trevon Diggs hasn’t officially announced his decision, Haskins named about 20 players in the region he plans to recruit on his own to come to Maryland, including four-star wide receiver Trevon Diggs. Also named were four-star athletes Naseir Upshur (tight end), Terrance Davis (offensive lineman), and Tino Ellis (wide receiver), as well as five-star athletes Kareem Walker (running back) and Rashan Gary (defensive tackle). While the two five-star athletes are long shots to come to Maryland (Walker already verbally committed to Ohio State), many of the other 18 names are real possibilities. In fact, defensive tackle Jeffery Pooler, also named by Haskins in his announcement on Friday, committed to Maryland the following day.

Stefon Diggs’ decision to play at Maryland set the “Stay Home” movement in motion back in February of 2012, and Haskins’ commitment on Friday was the next nationally-touted recruit Maryland needed to keep the trend alive and progressing. Diggs’ talent as a Terp was unquestionably impressive the past three years, and his impact on the future of the program is just as influential.