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Posted at 4:55 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

National Signing Day: Edsall feels 'very, very good' about first recruiting class at Maryland

By Eric Prisbell

Maryland football Coach Randy Edsall said Wednesday that he feels “very, very good” about a 20-player recruiting class that he feels gives the Terrapins “all the capabilities” to win the ACC in the future. He also had a message for those who place a high emphasis on recruiting rankings (Maryland’s class was ranked 46th nationally by Rivals.com).

“What people need to understand is this: People get caught up too much in these rankings and I can just tell you, I have been in this over 30 years at all different levels,” Edsall said during a news conference to announce the recruiting class. “The only ranking that really matters is what me and my staff thinks. I think it has been proven at places – and I have been at places – where we might not have had a recruiting class that ranked that high, but we went out and won games.

“The bottom line is winning games. Recruiting is important. You can take a look, some schools – I am not going to name them because I would get in trouble but I have got a bunch on the tip of my tongue – that you can say had all these great recruiting classes but never won championships. You don’t win the championship in February. Some people think that you do. You don’t. There’s a lot of people who win in February but they can’t win from September through December. You’ve got to win September through December. That’s when it counts.”

During the news conference, Edsall announced that running backs coach David Walker is leaving to take a position with the Indianapolis Colts; Edsall expects to hire a replacement by the weekend.

Hired one month ago, Edsall assembled a recruiting class that may be headlined by defensive back A.J. Hendy, who re-committed to Edsall this weekend. The class includes three players – wide receiver Tyrek Cheeseboro, offensive lineman Nathaniel Clarke and wide receiver Nigel King --- who enrolled in classes in January and will be eligible for spring practice, which begins March 29.

The class sought to address specific needs at wide receiver (three prospects) and offensive line (five). Maryland also signed a punter, Nathan Renfro of Brentwood, Tenn., who also considered Northwestern, Central Michigan and Harvard. A sleeper on the offensive front could be running back Brandon Ross of Newark, Del.

Defensively, Edsall feels Maryland has signed players whose skill sets fit in with the unit’s aggressive style of play. Defensive recruits, he said, are athletic and physical. Don Brown, Maryland’s defensive coordinator, said there was just one defection on the defensive side despite the tumult of the past six weeks.

When asked what he looks for in a prospect, Edsall said the ability to help Maryland win the ACC championship, as well we a desire to get a degree, a strong work ethic, good character and a strong support system.

Edsall said the core of Maryland’s recruiting turf is Maryland, Washington, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, adding that “our home is within a five- or six-hour radius of our campus.”

After the coaching change was made at Maryland – Ralph Friedgen was fired after 10 seasons – Edsall said some prospects decided to move on and that Edsall and his staff had decided to move on with some, as well. He did not specify which prospects.

Edsall also said during the news conference that one coach at a BCS school mentioned publicly that he was “going after all the [orally committed recruits] at Maryland” following the coaching change. “I didn’t go after any of the kids at Connecticut,” said Edsall, who did not name the coach.

For a full list of Maryland's signees, click here.

By Eric Prisbell  | February 2, 2011; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  Football, Ralph Friedgen, recruiting  
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Comments

I tuned in to watch and listen to Maryland games over the last 10 years. When Edsall proves what he is saying I will turn in again, until then I will find new outlets to pursue with my time and energies.

Posted by: moralcompass1 | February 2, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

moralcompass1 - I guess you had a lot of fun tuning in when the Terps went 2-10 during the 2009 season.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | February 2, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with Coach Edsal. When FSU signs 19 ranked athletes and Maryland signs 1 (one) you will see the difference for years to come. Clemson, VA, VT all out recruited Maryland. Go luck beating any of them. Nice job putting those butts in the seats. Kevin you are still a rookie.

Posted by: SYD1 | February 2, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"Keith Bowers
Defensive Lineman
Fr.-HS, 6-2, 260
West Palm Beach, Fla. (T. Dwyer High School)

At William T. Dwyer High School: Helped lead team to 2010 Florida 4A State Championship game ... finished senior season with 74 tackles, including 15 sacks ... member of the 2009 4A State Championship team...three-year starter on offensive and defensive lines ... ranked as 22nd-best player in Palm Beach County by Palm Beach Post ... also considered offers from Illinois, Kansas, and Northern Illinois, among others ... coached by Jack Daniels.

Personal: Parents have run a homeless shelter in West Palm Beach, Fla., for the last 22 years."

Many Maryland students have been coached by Jack Daniels.

Posted by: Scruffy3 | February 2, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

That Jack Daniels guy is the best coach.

Lord knows how many times he's coached me up.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 2, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"I disagree with Coach Edsal."

College football is ALL about recruiting.

This is Fridges last recruits, Edsall gets the blame after next season. He's gonna find out the hard way me thinks.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 2, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Well here we go with the SPIN MASTER..edsall who do you think you sre speaking to!!!Recruiting is everything...that is why you see the same teams yr in and yr out in the top 10...edsall pls do not start off like this..man-up call a spade a spade...recruiting leads to championships..

man-up dream job dreamer...

Posted by: carolina1 | February 2, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

So many smart people on this board.

Rankings mean nothing. ND is always ranked, Clemson is ranked every year, but when was the last time they went to a BCS bowl? Recruiting is about getting the best players in the positions where there is the most need. Rankings do not take that into consideration.

Even Urban Meyer said recently that 5 star kids are harder to coach and can be detrimental to the team.

Posted by: garrett4 | February 2, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that he does not consider NJ/NY/Conn area to be Terps recruiting country. Well within his 5-6 hour range. I would think he might be able to use his prior connections in that area.

Posted by: srcog | February 2, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Hate to break it to Edsall, but he should not be counting on Georgia as being part of his recruiting turf. That was Friedgen territory from his time at Georgia Tech and having his off season home there.

Posted by: soriphius | February 3, 2011 12:17 AM | Report abuse

wanted to avoid posting to prove a point to Mr. AD. Terps are now irrelevant. I don't care, and have nothing to look forward to next year. Way to go on that great hire to get seats sold next year. No chance. First game Edsall loses you will feel the wrath of Terp fans. You are a disgrace to this School and those that hired you.

Posted by: tony28 | February 3, 2011 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Maryland coaches have heavily recruited the Atlanta metropolitan area for the past 2-3 years...& will continue to do so.

D.J. Adams and Max Garcia, are from Norcross GA, Tyler Cierski is from Hoschton, Ga. Tom Brattan is the main recruiter in the South and has been retained by Randy Edsall. Edsall did mention, NJ/, PA, Delaware, etc. in his Presser announcing this years class.

Going forward Penn, VA, NC,SC,GA,FL DC & most importantly will be the main areas to target for this staff. I love the Fridge, but Edsall should be much more visible and hands-on day-to-day in Maryland's football recruiting than Fridge ever was.

Posted by: cdoug2662 | February 3, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Maryland coaches have heavily recruited the Atlanta metropolitan area for the past 2-3 years...& will continue to do so.

D.J. Adams and Max Garcia, are from Norcross GA, Tyler Cierski is from Hoschton, Ga. Tom Brattan is the main recruiter in the South and has been retained by Randy Edsall. Edsall did mention, NJ/, PA, Delaware, etc. in his Presser announcing this years class.

Going forward Penn, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL DC & most importantly MD will be the main areas to target for this staff. I love the Fridge, but Edsall should be much more visible and hands-on day-to-day in Maryland's football recruiting than Fridge ever was.

Posted by: cdoug2662 | February 3, 2011 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Edsall came in late.. Really had no time to recruit his players, basically had to try and keep the ones from Fridge and Franklin, and hopefully find one or two others.. That being said, how does Maryland, coming off a 9-4 season, fall below DUKE, that's 3-9 DUKE for gosh sakes, in the recruiting rankings in the ACC... NO EXCUSE!!!! Go ahead, someone put a 'cute' spin on this one ....

Posted by: frostanna | February 3, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

You guys are either all crazy or all bored to tears because the two week superbowl lull. We got exactly what one would have expected after a coaching change at an already mediocre school- a less than average recruiting class. No mystery there. The only way this recruiting class would have been any better given Maryland's stature and the turmoil of the coaching change would have been if Edsell's name was Urban Meyer (which it's not) or if Edsall had gone after his top recruits at UConn (which he wouldn't do, and I'm glad he showed some integrity and didn't). As for what Edsall said, what the h$ll else did you expect him to say? "Our recruiting class stinks and we're gonna stink next year, now please buy some season tickets?" He said exactly what he had to say under the circumstances. The jury is still way out, but so far he's handled a tough situation with class and optimism. Get over yourselves with your complaining and unrealistic expectations.

Posted by: jmadams | February 3, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Yep recruiting doesn't matter. As long as we get some players to fill our positions, we're well on our way to a BCS appearance. I'm sure Urban Meyer would agree.

Posted by: SirPelleas | February 3, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice the less than rousing response when Edsall was shown on the Big Screen at the game last night?

Posted by: fushezzi | February 3, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Recruiting matters quite a bit, but rankings do not. ESPN revisited top 150 recruits from a couple years back and the Terps had quite a few (and a top 25 class). Some of them never made it on to the field. Just like the NFL draft, the results on the field will speak for itself.

Edsall is in a tough spot. Some fans need to remember that he is not the one that fired Fridge and that it is somewhat hard to recruit in the aftermath of a firing so late in the season. Wait until next February to type your expert opinions on recruiting.

Posted by: garrett4 | February 3, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with Coach Edsal. When FSU signs 19 ranked athletes and Maryland signs 1 (one) you will see the difference for years to come. Clemson, VA, VT all out recruited Maryland. Go luck beating any of them. Nice job putting those butts in the seats. Kevin you are still a rookie.

Posted by: SYD1 | February 2, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Actually, VaTech had a lower-ranked class than Maryland this year. UVA got just about every in-state kid that VaTech wanted. Beamer's going to have to start earning his paycheck if the Hokies are going to continue their strong run since joining the ACC.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 3, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The problem I had with Edsall's statements was when he mentioned that he did not go after former UConn recruits. He established relationships with kids that could have filled some spots in this class, yet he let them go. I thought this guy was about tough-nosed competition. Well UConn is now your competition coach, and regardless of how you left your former program, you owe it to your new employer to use whatever tools at your disposal to improve this team. One of the UConn recruits was a local kid, who reversed his UConn committment only to sign with Penn State.

Edsall gets a mulligan with this class, but he better not give a "class rankings don't matter" speech next year, because that was one of the knocks on Fridge's tenure, and one of the reasons he was fired (lead recruiter, Franklin, jumping ship to lead Vandy). Mr. Anderson wil have some serious explaining to do if Edsall cannot bring in a top 30 class (the level that Fridge was brining in just about every year) in 2012 or an ACC Title in 2011.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 3, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Actually, VaTech had a lower-ranked class than Maryland this year. UVA got just about every in-state kid that VaTech wanted. Beamer's going to have to start earning his paycheck if the Hokies are going to continue their strong run since joining the ACC.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 3, 2011 11:28 AM |

Russ - Not true. Maryland's class finished well below VT on Rivals and Scout.

Posted by: SirPelleas | February 3, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Russ - Not true. Maryland's class finished well below VT on Rivals and Scout.

Posted by: SirPelleas | February 3, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/news/story?id=6083013

ESPN has Maryland at 9th in the conference, with VaTech at 10th without a single marquee recruit from in-state.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 3, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Always a different way to slice the pie.

Posted by: SirPelleas | February 3, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Rivals has a story called "Recruiting vs. results: Does one bring the other?" They look at whether you need to win before you get the big recruits, or get the big recruits then win. They also rank schools' recruiting classes since 2002. UMD has had a top 50 class in every season, which only 28 other schools accomplished. Additionally, we're (Fridge) rated 7th for converting classes into wins (VT is #1). We're ahead of Texas, USC, Alabama and other football schools on that metric. I guess that means all those guys who left MD made a mistake if they wanted to get better.

part 1: http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1179868
part 2: http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1183796

Posted by: akin365 | February 3, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Money quote from part 2:

Surprisingly, coaching changes nearly had no impact on long term success on the field or off...The overall impact shows that stability in a program is dramatically more important than coaching changes.

Hm.

Posted by: akin365 | February 3, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I also found it interesting that he did not mention the NJ/NY area for recuirting.

And I agree with the coach to a certain degree. He did not say recruiting does not matter. What he said is that recruiting ranking do not matter. A lot of the time a player ranking is solely based on which school he choose. IE every player that ND recruit is either a 4 or 5 star players based solely on selecting ND as their school.

I would rather have a coach recruit based on a lot of different things that where Rivals has a kid ranked. But sooner or later you going to have to have talent in order to win.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | February 3, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

fall below DUKE, that's 3-9 DUKE for gosh sakes, in the recruiting rankings in the ACC... NO EXCUSE!!!! Go ahead, someone put a 'cute' spin on this one ....

Posted by: frostanna | February 3, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Duke beat Ralph Fridgen and MD last year, in football???

Posted by: Stu27 | February 3, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I live in Richmond. Local sports radio interviewed Curtis Grant and Beamer. Tech got 3 of the top 11 players in state. UVA, the Swayin sissies, got 2 of the top 3.

Mike London will put a lockdown on the "757", and Beamer will be put out to pasture in a few years. But....do not cry for the Jokies from Tech as they win another frikkin ACC title next year. I love the Terps, and Tech's dominance is tough to take down here in ole Virginny.

I will believe it when I see somebody other than the Chokies or $eminoles win the ACC in next few years in football. Wakes run a few years ago still astounds me. That was truly David vs. Goliath like

Posted by: reindeerterp | February 3, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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