Once Kaden Prather transferred to Maryland, he knew he had to change numbers. He’d worn No. 3 for years at Northwest High School and West Virginia. But the Terps had filled that number with star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa.

“You know they weren’t giving that up,” Prather said.

Prather’s next option was No. 1. That figure has held an outsize importance in Maryland lore, particularly for wide receivers. D.J. Moore and Stefon Diggs starred in it. So did Rakim Jarrett, who was initially advised by coach Michael Locksley not to wear the number because of the pressure it would bring. Jarrett only assumed the mantle as a junior.

“You don’t make that number. That number makes you, so it was definitely a little bit of pressure,” he said — adding that Locksley or wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer didn’t have any conversation with him about wearing No. 1. “... They know I’m a dawg, and I don’t think they’d just give that number to anybody.”

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Prather has had a solid debut season with Maryland. He’s second on the team in catches and yards and tied for the lead with five touchdowns. But he admitted before the Terps’ regular-season finale against Rutgers that he’s yet to hit some of his statistical goals.

“Whatever made me happy,” he said when asked what the benchmarks were. “I really didn’t have a number I was set on, but where I’m at right now, I’m not really pleased with that number. Some of that definitely came from me not coming up with a lot of catches, but whenever I get there, I know that’s the number.”

Some of that comes from the democratic nature of Maryland’s offense. No Terps receiver ranks among the Power Five’s top 40 players in targets, per Pro Football Focus, but three are in its top 100.

For comparison, Washington, another pass-heavy team like the Terps, concentrates its offense around top two receivers Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk. Both are in the Power Five’s top 30 in targets — no other Husky is in the top 100.

Prather said offensive diversity doesn’t bother him, noting it prevents defenses from focusing on him.

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Even though his numbers haven’t been gaudy, some of his plays have stood out. Prather’s made highlight-reel grabs in back-to-back games.

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“We don’t work on the easy catches,” he said. “We work on the things that’s way ahead of us or way behind us.”

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Prather has not announced whether he’ll return to Maryland next year. If he does, No. 3 will likely be available with Tagovailoa graduated. The receiver’s presence could ease potential transfer quarterbacks’ concerns about coming to College Park.

Brown hitting his stride

It took Donnell Brown time to get going with Maryland. The transfer from St. Francis had to make multiple adjustments, from the FCS to the FBS level and from defensive end to linebacker. An offseason fender bender limited his training time.

Brown tallied just four pressures through his first four games, per Pro Football Focus, but he felt his comfort growing with each one. Then came the Terps’ fifth game against Indiana. Brown capped his growth process with a team-high four pressures.

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A week later, he got his first FBS sack by taking down Kyle McCord in the first quarter against Ohio State. He got his second and third in the next two weeks. Brown leads Maryland and ranks eighth in the Big Ten among players with at least 100 pass rush snaps in Pro Football Focus’ pass-rush productivity metric — which combines sacks, hits and hurries, and weighs them relative to the number of pass-rush snaps players get.

“Donnell has been a great addition,” Locksley said. “He’s one of those guys that ... [has] chips on their shoulders, that want to prove and show that they can play at the highest level of football. ... Donnell has been great for our program ... Hopefully we’ll have him for another year.”

Brown said he has yet to even think about that decision.

“I’m not really tripping about trying to make a jump or trying to come back. ... Wherever people need me to be, I’ll be there,” he said.

Nickels and Dimes from Locksley’s presser

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