Franklin: Very soon 'we will get every player in the state that we want'
Okay, I’m going to drop all the notes, quotes and quick hitters from Coach Ralph Friedgen and offensive coordinator James Franklin into on blog post. At the start of next season, there will be a lot of focus on the future of Friedgen, who will likely need a winning regular season to stick around. The future of Franklin, who is under contract to be Friedgen’s successor, will also be an issue.
But Franklin on Wednesday exuded confidence about the future of the program from a recruiting standpoint. He said very soon “we will get every player in the state that we want to get.” When a reporter asked Franklin if he was being sarcastic, Franklin said he was as serious as ever.
Overall, I think it was rather impressive that Maryland kept a top-40 recruiting class together after a 10-loss season. “It shows people do have confidence in us,” Friedgen said. Franklin said recruiting “is not about records, it is about building relationships” and that the key is to have an organized plan and passion. Franklin also said having a coach in waiting helped, particularly during the few days – or a week – that Friedgen’s future was very much uncertain or even in doubt.
“If we didn’t have that plan in place, people would have been killing us,” Franklin said.
Franklin said “whenever you can rank where we rank, a lot of people with better records have not recruited as well as we had” according to the rankings. “I’ll sleep very well tonight knowing we solved some problems.”
Offensive line will continue to be a significant issue for the team next season. They look strong at linebacker.
Friedgen said the toughest get was offensive lineman Max Garcia. He said the one that got away was wide receiver Brandon Coleman, who chose to play at Rutgers.
Overall, Friedgen said his team made upgrades in its speed, athleticism and pass rush. He said the two quarterbacks – Tyler Smith and Devin Burns – are high quality individuals in terms of skill and character. He said the six quarterbacks Maryland will have on its roster next season represents “as good a group of quarterbacks” that the program has had at one time since the 1980s. Franklin said “we have an unbelievable quarterback tradition and we are getting back to that.” If the season started tomorrow, Jamarr Robinson would be the starter.
Some notes on each player from Friedgen:
Devin Burns, QB
Comes from a military background … committed to Maryland before the season … Georgia made a hard push as well … athletic with a good arm.
Lorne Goree, LB
Fork Union helped him mature as a player and peron
Javarie Johnson, LB
“He was a kid I fell in love with last year, was very disappointed when he went to Miami. He lights up a room.”
David Mackall, LB
Hoping he can come in and help us next year.
A lacrosse player who played tight end at Notre Dame. Will be on the football team in the fall.
Tyrek Cheeseboro, WR
Extremely fast, very elusive
Nate Clarke, OL
Grew up so close he could probably walk to campus. Has played only three years of football.
Sal Conaboy, OL
Comes from a wonderful, very giving family
Ian Evans, DL
Good student, runs extremely well, won state title … “a really good get, a non-brainer.”
Max Garcia, OL
Won a hard-fought battle to get him … wants to be journalist … sets goals for future beyond football.
Jeremiah Johnson, LB
Had a very good season … on the track team, runs well… reminds Ralph of Foxworth
Desmond Kearse, DB
Cousin of Jevon Kearse … had 29 sacks as a junior … Maryland got in late with him … a hybrid safety/outside linebacker, very quick off the ball.
Darius Kilgo, DL
Lost a lot of weight under new coach … can play both sides of ball, should start career on defensive side.
Andre Monroe, DL
Has explosiveness and speed
Rahsaan Moore, DL
Maryland got in late, Moore matured late … played several positions in high school … a dominant blocker.
Clarence Murphy, DL
An edge rusher who will grow into a pass rushing threat
Matt Robinson, DB
Extremely athletic, great ball skills, will only get better.
Mario Rowson, DB
Long, athletic, impressive man-to-man skills.
Tyler Smith, QB
One of top quarterbacks in country, mobile quarterback with strong arm … leader.
Titus Till, DB
Committed to Maryland early.
Jake Wheeler, OL
Played TE, OT, could grow into LT position.
Jeremiah Wilson, DB
Good student, grew up a Maryland fan.
February 3, 2010; 6:32 PM ET
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