“With the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver, Maryland,” National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell announced.
It was a great day for Maryland, and the crowd assembled to watch the Terps take on each other for the Red-White Spring Football game in College Park at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium. But the overlying question that was on everyone’s minds as the public address system blared out the information that Heyward-Bey had been drafted was, "Who would take over his spot in the wide receiver corps?" Heyward-Bey was that kind of playmaker who could break a game wide open or come through in the clutch.
But now is the time for change. Quinton McCree posted great numbers with 163 receiving yards and three touchdowns, but two other receivers stood out as possibilities too. Torrey Smith, who stands at 6’ 1” and weighs in at 200 pounds, is a sophomore who many believe is ready to handle the role of starting wide receiver.
However, Smith still has a few questions about his own play. “This spring I feel like I had a very average spring. I got better as a receiver,” he said. “I’m still raw and need to work on route running, blocking, and everything you have to do to be a great receiver.”
Smith commented on Heyward-Bey’s departure. “As far as Darrius being gone, there’s a bunch of guys who can step up,” he added. “I really don’t feel like there’s going to be a clear number one receiver.”
Adrian Cannon is 6’ 2” and 204 pounds. He is a junior and a fourth-year player. He looked impressive in the spring game and could make a case to be the number one receiver.
“We’ve all been working hard, the whole team,” Cannon said. “[At first], this receiving corps didn’t play like we wanted to but gradually got better and better every day, every week.”
“Today we had a good day,” he added. “To finish off I think we had five or six touchdowns as a whole. [We only had] one or two dropped balls.”
Regardless of who gets the nod at starting wide receiver, the group is very excited about the upcoming season, despite the fact that Smith and Cannon have not taken complete looks at the schedule.
Smith and Cannon combined for about 70 yards, but they are still prime targets for Ralph Friedgen’s offense in 2009. Whomever coach Friedgen may pick, there is a lot of hope among the corps to succeed. Said Cannon, “I want a ring at the end of the season.”