Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 7, 2014

Maryland?s debut season could be surprisingly successful, as veteran talent runs deep for Randy Edsall as he enters his fourth season in College Park. In fact, this could be the third-best team in the East. Edsall guided Maryland to its first bowl since 2010 last season. Another bowl figures to be in the offing for a program that has 18 starters back from a 7-6 team.

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Here are some questions I will bring to practice on Thursday.

1. How do wideouts Stefon Diggs and Deon Long look? Each was lost for the season vs. Wake Forest. What were the odds? They may form the top wideout duo in the Big Ten. Are they still explosive?

2. Is the o-line coming together? Maryland must find two new starters. Center Sal Conaboy is a good anchor for a unit that has struggled for consistency in Edsall?s era. I wanna see true freshman tackle Damian Prince, a five-star recruit. The line could be an issue if injuries set in.

3. Can this defense dominate? Coordinator Brian Stewart does a terrific job orchestrating an aggressive and attacking defense that produced 37 sacks and 101 tackles for loss last season. Nine starters are back. The line could be good with the likes of nose tackle Darius Kilgo and ends Quinton Jefferson and Andre Monroe, a 5-11 dynamo who is difficult to block. This group must excel.

4. Is QB C.J. Brown still passing well? He made big strides last year, hitting 59 percent of his attempts after hitting just 49 in 2011. If he can find his plethora of good wideouts, that would open room for a promising corps of running backs.
5. Are the backs legit? The Terps have some nice options in Brandon Ross, Jacquille Veil, Albert Reid and Wes Brown, who was suspended last season. This could be one of the top quartets in the Big Ten. How are they running?

6. It isn?t a sexy position, but the punting needs to be watched. The Terrapins struggled to punt last year and found no real answers in the spring. Nathan Renfro needs to pick up his game.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.