March 9, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - When Stefon Diggs committed to Maryland, Terp fans breathed a sigh of relief and stopped worrying about the receiving corps. Diggs and Marcus Leak caught most of the passes from a revolving door of quarterbacks.
And then Leak broke his toe seven games into the season. The battle to be the No. 2 receiver opened up, and Nigel King eventually came out on top.
King redshirted his freshman year, and saw time off the bench in 2012 after Leak established himself in the lineup. With Leak's injury, King became a starter for the last three games of the season, and quickly proved to be reliable option.
In his first start against Boston College, King recorded his first career touchdown. He finished the season with four receptions against North Carolina, including a long of 43.
"That North Carolina game gave him a lot of confidence last year," said head coach Randy Edsall. "You see him out there and how he's carrying himself and handling himself on the field, it's a big difference from a year ago."
With Leak still recovering from his injury, King is trying to make a move into the starting lineup permanent. The sophomore's athleticism has been on display during the spring as he regularly beats his defender to get open for junior quarterback Ricardo Young.
"It's been kind of an easy transition coming right out of the season into spring practice," King said. "I just needed to work on little things. Coach told me to work on them in the offseason and bring it to the field this year."
Although Young and King already have established some chemistry this spring, King and the other receivers also work with senior quarterback CJ Brown at each practice. After seeing four quarterbacks last season, the constant shuffling doesn't affect King.
"A quarterback's a quarterback," said King. "We've got to do our job; they've got to do theirs. It doesn't matter who's the quarterback."
Consistency has been Maryland's focus through spring practice, and King has made it his priority to stay steady.
"I just have to know what I have to do and be confident," said King. "Catch every ball that comes my way and know what I'm doing."