Tarheeb Still goes where he’s needed.

Maryland has moved him around a lot over the past four seasons. He started as a true freshman in 2020, splitting time between the slot and outside cornerback positions. Still slid inside for most of the last two years but played exclusively outside through the first two weeks of the 2023 season.

Week 3 necessitated another move. Still played six snaps as the nickel back. One came early in the fourth quarter with the Terps holding a seven-point lead and Virginia threatening with a third-and-10 from the Maryland 12-yard line.

Still matched up with Cavaliers receiver Malik Washington, who finished with nine catches for 141 yards. Washington had the added advantage of being in the slot, giving the wideout two directions to run and robbing the corner of the sideline’s comfort.

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That didn’t matter — Still knew where Washington would go and was all too happy to follow.

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The Terps lined up in a single-high safety look. Dante Trader Jr. shaded to the other side of the field, leaving Still and Washington one-on-one. The corner’s preparation told him to expect a corner route, and, when Washington broke to the outside, so did Still, stepping in front of the receiver for an interception.

Still showed a cornerback’s short memory. Earlier, he directly helped Virginia convert two third downs with a personal foul and a completion allowed. The Cavaliers tried picking on the veteran, targeting him 12 times, but he allowed just five catches for 48 yards and allowed a 13.9 passer rating on those plays, per Pro Football Focus.

“It was actually really good, though, because in the first two games I didn’t see much action,” Still, who was targeted just twice in the first two weeks, said. “And then the action picked up this week. So it really just made me tighten down on my coverage. ... I really needed the ball to come that way, so I can just get better. But I really enjoyed it. I had fun out there.”

Maryland was shorthanded without stud safety Beau Brade. His loss appeared massive early when Virginia scored touchdowns on its first two drives. But the Terps didn’t let the Cavaliers score again.

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Still, who entered the game with just one interception in his career, notched his second pick a drive later — part of a four-series sequence in which Maryland forced turnovers.

Defensive end Donnell Brown tipped a pass and juggled it to himself for his second pick in as many weeks. Defensive tackle Tre Colbert then completed a pass rusher’s trifecta: sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Few were happier to see that spree than Terps quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who said Maryland’s defense had picked off his passes during Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices.

“So I told them, y’all picking me off, you gotta get picks,” Tagovailoa said.

Maryland’s defense needed to replace two NFL-caliber cornerbacks in Deonte Banks and Jakorian Bennett. One answer came from transfer corner Ja’Quan Sheppard. The Terps turned to Still to plug the other hole, and he’s responded with what so far has been the best season of his career.

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He’s matching or exceeding career marks in a variety of categories, including the percentage of targets caught and yards per reception allowed.

“It’s actually really fun being out there at [outside] corner,” Still said. “Takes me back to my freshman year. I enjoy it. It’s different than playing nickel. It’s a different challenge. A lot of teams put their best guys outside.”

The Terps have allowed -0.35 expected points added per pass play this year, better than the -0.16 mark they posted a year ago. Those numbers along with Still’s come with the obvious caveat that Maryland has played a weak slate of opponents to start the year.

The best receivers Still discussed — including presumptive top-five pick Marvin Harrison Jr. — will show up with more potent passing games later to test this secondary.

Still’s versatility gives Maryland one potential answer in those exams.

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