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Senior wideout Ronnie Tyler has fallen on the depth chart due to a lack of production, head coach Randy Edsall said. Tyler, who missed Maryland's second and third games due to a violation of team rules, has been held to five catches for 55 yards in the team's last three games.
"Everything here is pretty much based on production," Edsall said during his Tuesday press conference. "Whoever is the best guy will play, and that's the case in this situation."
When asked if he believes the veteran will be able to bounce back from his demotion, Brown, confident his teammates, replied, "absolutely."
"That one play isn't going to hold him down. He made a heck of a grab at the end of the game, so his confidence is fine," Brown said. "Knowing Ronnie, that's not going to stop him from what he's done, day in and day out. He'll be ready for this week."
Leak, a true freshman, will make his first collegiate start in Tyler's place. He has eight receptions this season, including two for 10 yards last week.
Like his fellow frosh on defense, however, Leak is being tossed into fire due to the rash of injuries throughout the team. Edsall announced true freshman Tyrek Cheesboro is out for the remainder of the season and all indications point towards surgery, and that Kevin Dorsey's status is a question mark.
"In football, you have injuries. [Leak has] done a good job, but his elevation is more this week due to an injury factor than anything else. We feel very, very comfortable because when had been playing him," Edsall said. "He was No. 2 on the depth chart, now his opportunity is presented there so he needs to go in and play as well or better than Kevin did."
Dorsey, Maryland's leading receiver this season, provides a veteran presence for the offense, Brown said, and his that his loss is detrimental to the offense both on and off the field.
But since the spring, Brown has taken most of his reps with the second team, particularly with Leak. He's confidence that Leak can step up in Dorsey's place.
"He's been out there every day getting better and better at learning the offense, running routes and making nice catches," Brown said. "He's going to be a big-time player for us."