Maryland had a rash of transfers after coach Randy Edsall's first season. That, combined with a strong recruiting class, creates opportunities for young players to contribute early. Here's a look at positions where youth might be served in 2012:
Slot WR: Senior Kerry Boykins is listed as the starter entering preseason practice. True freshman Stefon Diggs is fourth on the depth chart, but don't put much stock in that position. “All of the freshmen are at the bottom of the depth chart,” Edsall told the media at the team's first practice. “The depth chart was based on how the players did in the spring time. When we add the freshmen to the list we just plug them in at the bottom … We'll see who the best guys are.” Diggs would have to pass freshman Levern Jacobs and junior James Bowman before getting a shot at dethroning Boykins.
- Mike LB: Maryland is implementing a 3-4 defense, which opens up a second LB position in the middle. Edsall said the outside spots are set with Kenny Tateand Darin Drakeford. One middle spot -- the MO -- will be filled by Demetrius Hartsfield. Sophomores Cole Farrand and L.A. Goree are the favorites to play the other MLB. Farrand saw time on special teams last year, but he added 15 pounds over the summer. Goree started seven games last season and is the favorite entering preseason practice.
Starting and backup RB: Freshmen Wes Brown and Albert Reid weren't as high-profile as Diggs, but both are exciting players expected to see the field early. “At tailback we have (sophomore) Justus Pickett as a guy who has played, but who will be his backup?” Edsall said. “Will it be (redshirt freshman) Brandon Ross, Wes Brown, (freshman) Joe Riddle or Albert Reid? Those guys have to step up and beat Justus out or be a guy we can go to.”
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.