As Maryland makes its transition to the Big Ten, head coach Randy Edsall is counting on senior wide receiver Deon Long to make a significant impact, but so far in preseason camp, Edsall has not been pleased with Long’s performance.
“Deon’s got to get a lot better,” Edsall said, per the Baltimore Sun. “I’m not happy with the way Deon is practicing right now. He’s got to do a better job of finishing on every play, and he’s got to be more exact with everything he’s doing, so let’s not heap a lot of praise right now. Let’s get him back to the things he’s supposed to be doing and playing to the level of his talent ability. And I think if he does that, then we can talk a little bit more about him.”
After transferring to Maryland from a junior college following a stint at New Mexico, Long caught 32 passes for 489 yards and one touchdown before going down with a serious leg injury that kept him out of the majority of spring practice.
His transition back from the injury has been lackluster by Edsall’s standards. Long’s too.
“We don’t even really have to have the conversation because I know what I’m doing wrong,” Long said. “I know the type of player (Edsall) knows I am, and I know what he wants out of me.”
Drops and offsides penalties are just a few of the issues Long has been having in practice. After having a better session Wednesday, Long says his leg feels fine and he understands his coach’s high expectations.
“He’s the type of coach who sees your potential and knows how to tap into you and get the best out of you,” Long said. “He just wanted to see me flying around more and just being more sharp, which I did today, so he’ll be satisfied.”
Long and Stefon Diggs, another Terps starter at wide receiver who caught 34 passes for 587 yards and three touchdowns, both suffered leg injuries in the Wake Forest game. Both will make their return to the field on August 30 when Maryland’s season opens against James Madison at home.
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