Kevin Dorsey, then a junior on the verge of becoming the team’s leading receiver, marched up the wide-eyed freshmen and issued a bold challenge.
“I said: ‘Your job is to take my job and be better than me. I need you to do anything and everything better than I could ever do in my career,’ ” Dorsey recalled.
Not exactly the most conventional of welcoming tactics.
“They looked at me like I was crazy,” Dorsey said. “Here’s a guy who has the potential to be this and be that and, as a starter at the time, is telling us to come take his job.”
Now a captain, Dorsey knew that Leak and King would also become veteran leaders in the future. But his words have already proved prophetic and inspired. Now a sophomore, Leak leads the Terps in receptions and receiving yards. Stefon Diggs has been a spark plug as a true freshman, tops on the team in all-purpose yardage. In what Dorsey calls the “brotherhood” of receivers, no man is too big for the group. Seeing brethren succeed is far more important than looking out for oneself.
“It’s huge,” Dorsey said. “It’s like a father seeing their children go off for the first time. You told them how to read certain plays, read certain coverages, handle situations, and to see them go out and do it, it makes you proud.
“The biggest thing is, we want to win. As a player, who want to do everything and anything that makes your team prepared. At the end of the day, if Maryland goes undefeated, it’ll be good to be a captain of that team more than anything else.”
With just one catch in each of Maryland’s first two games, Dorsey has been relegated towards the bottom of box scores, but his impact still reverberates at the most crucial of times. Against Temple on Saturday, the Terps were clinging to a 29-27 lead, near midfield on third and three, when Dorsey hooked up with Perry Hills for an eight-yard crossing route for the first down.
In the opener, Justus Pickett would never have plunged in for the game-winning six-yard touchdown with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter had Dorsey not hauled in a 22-yard reception that brought Maryland into the William & Mary red zone.
“Kevin only has two catches this year, but probably two of the biggest catches in the first two games that he made,” Coach Randy Edsall said. “And all he’s doing, his time’s going to come. There’s going to be games where he will have a lot of catches. Everyone’s doing their role, doing their job. As long as we keep that mentality, keep that frame of mind, as long as I do my job, it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”