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Posted at 6:01 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

More on Randy Edsall, his staff, the future of Maryland recruiting

By Steve Yanda

Happy Signing Day, everyone! Recruits can't actually sign their letters of intent until 7 a.m., so it will be roughly another hour before all the fun begins. Maryland's Class of 2011 -- ranked No. 9 in the ACC by the folks at Rivals.com -- is expected to total 20 prospects, including three-star Bowie cornerback A.J. Hendy, who re-affirmed his commitment to the Terrapins last night.

In a story in today's Post, we tried to take a closer look at Maryland Coach Randy Edsall's recruiting philosophy. Much like the approach he takes to the other aspects of his job, Edsall is organized, meticulous and prepared when it comes to recruiting. And he won't simply fill the role of a closer. Many coaches who've worked with and for him in the past say he'll be involved every step of the way with the prospects Maryland pursues.

Those same coaches described Edsall as straightforward with recruits regarding the condition of the program and where they fit in with the team’s system. But Edsall’s biggest strength, according to Liberty coach Danny Rocco, was his ability to provide recruits “ammunition to say yes.”

“Every [recruit] has someone in their family, in his camp, be it his [high school] coach or whoever, has an objection, has a red flag, if you will,” said Rocco, who worked with Edsall at Boston College in the early 1990s. “And Randy would be very in-tune to what that red flag might be, and then he'd go head-to-head and address it, and he would resolve it. He would allow the [recruit] and his family to see beyond that.”

The staff Edsall designed at Maryland consists of three former head coaches, three holdovers from the Friedgen era and three assistants with experience as recruiting coordinators.

What it does not possess, at least on the surface, is a lead recruiter.

“I didn't see a name that jumped out at me, saying, okay, there's your hot shot recruiter that's going to lead the way,” said Mike Farrell, the lead football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. “I think somebody's going to have to step up and do that. But that's how it was at UConn. There wasn't really a guy who stepped up as the lead recruiter, in my opinion. It was a staff effort. Everybody got involved. I think Maryland's a higher profile program where you're going to need somebody to do that.”

In recent years, that role was filled by then-offensive coordinator James Franklin, who became the head coach at Vanderbilt in December. Farrell said it will be imperative for Edsall and his staff to focus on signing top-flight in-state recruits, a subject of considerable contention in recent years as other national programs have swooped in to sign Maryland-native recruits.

Edsall said in an email Monday that tight ends coach John Dunn will serve as Maryland's recruiting coordinator. Dunn is in the first full-time assistant coaching position of his career after working the past three seasons as a graduate offensive assistant at Louisiana State.

Farrell said a good indication of which assistant(s) Edsall will rely heavily on for the important task of locking down in-state prospects is who Edsall assigns to recruit DeMatha and Good Counsel, annually two of the state’s top football programs.

DeMatha coach Bill McGregor and Good Counsel coach Bob Milloy said in separate phone interviews that Maryland wide receivers coach Lee Hull, a holdover from Friedgen’s staff, had informed them he would be recruiting their respective schools.

Hull "is real laid back, a nice looking young guy," Milloy said. "He's real smooth, very low key. You sort of instantly like the guy when you meet him. He's got an air of confidence about him. I've never worked with him before as a recruiter, but I think he's going to do a real good job."

Edsall confirmed that Hull will be the Terrapins' primary recruiter in Prince George's County, though he noted "all of my coaches will have a piece of Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia."

While Farrell noted that Edsall's staff is not full of "a lot of guys with tremendous reputations who are going to go in and steal all the kids from a certain state," he did describe the group as "guys who will put in a lot of time and effort on the recruiting trail." He especially liked the recruiting potential of running backs coach David Walker, who has coached at Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

"I think they've been getting at it pretty good, because when I've talked to a lot of kids in the mid-Atlantic area, Maryland's been talked about a lot," Farrell said. "I think Ran

dy and his staff have been very aggressive in going after kids. I think they've done a good job in this transition, and I expect them to be very aggressive in (the class of) 2012. But when I looked at the list (of assistant coaches), I didn't see anyone who I thought, 'Okay, that's going to be their top recruiter.'"

Moving forward, Farrell said it's important for Edsall and his staff to develop solid ties to the programs at DeMatha, Good Counsel and Gillman, among other prominent ones in the state. Making a "big splash" by garnering a commitment from -- or at least being in serious contention for -- a high-profile in-state recruit wouldn't hurt, either, Farrell said.

"Send a message to everybody else that this new staff can recruit with the best of them and we're going to end up getting top kids from the state of Maryland," Farrell said.

The "statement kid" in the state of Maryland for the Class of 2012 is Good Counsel wide receiver Stefon Diggs, according to Farrell.

"Between DeMatha and Good Counsel, there are probably 15 kids in Class of 2012 that are high quality DI players," Farrell said. "There is more potential four-star kids next year than there are currently this year. But Diggs is that guy this year. He's this year's Cyrus Kouandjio, but at a skill position. And they've got to be involved with (Diggs).

"Whether they get him or not, they've got to be mentioned in his top five every time that kid speaks. And I'm not sure how they do that. But that's their job."

By Steve Yanda  | February 2, 2011; 6:01 AM ET
Categories:  Football, Randy Edsall  
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Next: Morning links: Busy Wednesday with Maryland-Duke, Signing Day

Comments

9th in the ACC... How much did that change with new head coach??? What were looking at with Fridge/Franklin?? If it was about the same, then Terps weren't doing their jobs in moving the program forward, and the change was good.... Time will tell...
By the way, IF, by chance we beat Duke tonite, will the students please act like we've been there before, and don't charge the court.. Good teams are supposed to beat good teams.. You don't see Duke students take the court after every win, do you !!!

Posted by: frostanna | February 2, 2011 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Frost,

He had a month to recruit and save face. Let's assess the 2012 class and understand that he kept most of the kept recruits for this class.

Name me one coach that went to a program that was already ranked towards the bottom in recruiting for the conference and instantly shot up the board after being on the job for a month to get into the top 25 nationally or the top of the conference. Recruiting is about relationships and if you expect new coaches to build those relationships in less than a month when other programs had been working on those kids for years, you have unrealistic expectations.

I do agree with the storming of the court.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | February 2, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

you should storm the court. its what we do every time we beat MD at Cameron. c'mon, you guys beat us last year at home. you HAVE been there. So act like it if you actually do win tonight. given our performance on Sunday and GW, yes we are worried about this game.

Posted by: Duke-Rulz-1995 | February 2, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see some coverage on national signing day. The Maryland class was sitting in the top 50 on rivals under Fridge and looks to stay in the top 50 with the new coach, so not much has changed. We'll have to wait until next year or the year after to see if anything improves. Look at the brightside, the class could have suffered after Fridge was fired, but Edsall was able to hold it together. That's good for this year, but I'm hoping he can make a substantial improvement over the next couple of years.

Posted by: SirPelleas | February 2, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Edsall was not the guy I wanted to hire but you can't judge him on this recruiting class. If next season and beyond is like this then fire at will.

Posted by: rickroll | February 2, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

By the way, IF, by chance we beat Duke tonite, will the students please act like we've been there before, and don't charge the court.. Good teams are supposed to beat good teams.. You don't see Duke students take the court after every win, do you !!!

Posted by: frostanna | February 2, 2011 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Dude, give me a break. No one is rushing the court tonight. Short of some kind of miraculous comeback, there is no chance of that happening. Last year's court rushing was perfectly acceptable. Senior night, biggest rival, knocking off top 5 team, wrapping up ACC title, ACC player of the year, ACC coach of the year. You act like last year there was no reason for the students to get so excited. The final reg season game was at UVA so we couldn't rush then. What, you think you should only be able to rush the court if you win the national championship? Well, you can't rush the court there... they put too many security in place surrounding the court.

There is nothing worse than people criticizing the way other people celebrate.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 2, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I think this year's less than stellar recruiting class was the result of two things: firing Fridge so late in the process and the previous 2-10 season. I think if we had kept Fridge, we would have got Jennings and Hughes, but that's water under the bridge. I hope, HOPE, that RE is a better recruiter than what these articles are saying. Right now we are getting slammed by UVa.

Posted by: aviscardo | February 2, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I enjoy reading your comments/thoughts Barno1, but with respect to rushing the court I think frostanna is on track here. There is NO reason to rush the court if they win tonight. In fact its a perfect example of demonstrating that the team and the fans have been there, done that. And dont get me started on the rioting - I'm an extremely proud UMD alum and I cringe every time there is rioting on Rt 1. I know many of those involved are non-students, but if the students didnt participate, there probably wouldnt be a story to report on the next day. Grow up, is what I say to those that would take to the streets in a descructive way.

Posted by: TerpInTime | February 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

TerpinTime,

Thanks, but if you re-read my comments above you'll see I agree there is no reason to rush the court tonight, and there is also no chance it will happen... unless there's some kind of historic comeback in the game.

"and dont get me started on the rioting"

There hasn't been a riot at MD in almost a decade. Don't fall for the WaPost's trap of believing their sensational and false storyline about MD's out of control students. Last year after the Duke game, there was no riot, there was no fires, no bottles thrown, no significant property damage. There were however dozens of PG County police in full riot gear acting like a gang of thugs. 4 officers were suspended for their actions, several lawsuits were filed against the department, and an official investigation joined by the FBI was conducted into the PG county police after that night.

Don't be disgusted by MD fans just by what you read in the Post. The events of that night have been completely distorted in a lame attempt to keep the "riot" storyline alive.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 2, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

This recruiting class is not Edsall's...it still is Fridge's. Nearly all the kids committed when Fridge was coach.

Next year will be the first test for Randy on how well he recruits.

Actually, it all starts with the 2011 season....win big and some of these top DC area kids will sign with the Terps. Terps have the talent to win 9 games in the regular season in 2011, maybe a ACC title, and a bowl win to get 10+ wins for the season.

Win and the kids will come.

Posted by: johnbecka | February 2, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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