More on Randy Edsall, his staff, the future of Maryland recruiting
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."
| February 2, 2011; 6:01 AM ET
Categories: Football, Randy Edsall
Save & Share: Previous: Bowie CB A.J. Hendy elects to stick with Maryland
Next: Morning links: Busy Wednesday with Maryland-Duke, Signing Day
Posted by: frostanna | February 2, 2011 6:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DiehardTerp | February 2, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Duke-Rulz-1995 | February 2, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: SirPelleas | February 2, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rickroll | February 2, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Barno1 | February 2, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: aviscardo | February 2, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: TerpInTime | February 2, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Barno1 | February 2, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: johnbecka | February 2, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse