Maryland native and Terps redshirt sophomore tight end Corey Dyches believes the Maryland football program took a big step forward with a bowl appearance and victory last season but that the expectation within the program is to build on that success.
The Terrapins went 7-6 last year and defeated Virginia Tech, 54-10, in the Pinstripe Bowl, marking their first bowl game appearance since 2016 and their first bowl game win since 2010. With that obstacle hurdled, Dyches and the rest of the Terps think that this year is the year when Maryland football can return to relevance in the Big Ten and nationally.
“The goal is always for us to win the Big Ten,” Dyches said on Glenn Clark Radio April 28. “Yes, I do see a big step, [because] last year really set the example for guys to follow the lead. I really think that this is going to be the year that we do make a big step. We were just 6-6 [in the regular season]. I can see a much better record than that. That’s not even the goal anymore. We already took a step, now it’s just keep going.”
A critical part of building off that success long term is to lock down the DMV in recruiting, something Dyches was part of recently. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound tight end is a native of Oxon Hill, Md., and attended Potomac High School. He says local players should want to come to College Park to play football, especially if the team can build off of the success it had during the 2021 season.
“That starts with us, having a great season and showing that this is a great program,” Dyches said. “Over the past years, we weren’t the best teams, so I could see why the stay-at-home movement wasn’t the best idea, but if we set a great example, we’ve got a great facility, there’s no reason anybody should pick another school over this school, especially if it’s home, unless you just want to get out. I just love being around. It’s great to be home. It’s a great facility, great team. I don’t regret it at all.”
Dyches is a redshirt sophomore, so last season was the first time he hit the field. He played behind Chig Okonkwo, a fourth-round pick by the Tennessee Titans in the 2022 NFL Draft, last year. Dyches played in all 13 games and made two starts at tight end. He had 19 receptions for 208 yards and four touchdowns.
Playing behind Okonkwo was an inspiration and gave Dyches hope that he can follow Okonkwo to the NFL.
“Playing with him the whole year, watching him develop, seeing that it’s possible to go to the league — honestly it’s inspirational really, because watching him the whole year … I know there’s opportunity for me as well,” Dyches said. “For him as a leader, he led us all year as a tight end, pushed us. He’s just a great team player. It does inspire me.”
Maryland had its spring game at Maryland Stadium on Saturday, April 30, and the red team won, 14-3, behind star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. Overall, this spring felt a little bit different to Dyches.
“It’s been a great opportunity to get better and just really learn the offense [for young players],” Dyches said. “We have a lot of the vets helping us learn how to handle situations such as two-minute or just getting used to being on the field because you never know who is going to be needed during the season, so it’s just a good opportunity for everybody to learn the offense and get used to being on the field.”
For more from Dyches, listen to the full interview here:
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