The Promise Of Maryland Football

Published: Feb 06, 2014 23:02pm EST
By JLangley4, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 06, 2014 @ 11:13pm EST

 

On Wednesday, the Maryland Terrapins landed their most sought-after recruit since Stefon Diggs when 5-star offensive tackle Damian Prince committed to Maryland.

With all of the disappointments Maryland fans have endured in recent years things are beginning to look up, and this is without a doubt. It is often cited that the move to the Big Ten complicates progress, something that may not necessarily be true. When Randy Edsall was hired as the head coach at Maryland he was given the task of revamping the recruiting effort in the local region, most notably called the DMV, as well as taking a team that lost talent. Many have cited Edsall as the sole reason for the ineptitude of the Maryland football program, but those people have not looked at it from a broad scope.

Let's get this straight. While Ralph Friedgen was a solid coach, he had his flaws. Over his last few seasons as the Terps head coach he lost a lot of recruiting battles in the region, which led to losing a lot of talent. Friedgen failed to haul in recruits of even the 4-star rating, let alone 5-star recruits. Since Edsall has taken over, the classes have contained a plethora of 4-star recruits, with each of the last three classes containing a 5-star recruit (Stefon Diggs, Deon Long and Damian Prince).

The biggest weakness on the Terrapins roster last season was the offensive line. What did Edsall do? He went out and hauled in three top-tier lineman in Larry Mazyck, Derwin Gray, and Damian Prince. After losing Marcus Whitfield to graduation, Edsall brought in local talent Jesse Aniebonam. This class was very solid, and filled the few holes this talented roster it had.

Looking into next season, this is by far the deepest and most talented Maryland team in recent memory. On offense, the Terps have CJ Brown, Brandon Ross, Stefon Diggs, Deon Long, Levern Jacobs, the lineman listed above with running back Wes Brown and wide receiver Marcus Leak returning to the program, both of whom had solid seasons in 2012.

On defense, the team returns a lot of talent as well. Yannick Kudjo-Virgil was beginning to break-out before injury, Darius Kilgo has been emerging on the inside and Matt Robinson is beginning to get more comfortable at outside linebacker. The inside linebackers of LA Goree and Cole Farrand were having solid seasons, and a beat-up secondary performed admirably. Will Likely will continue to improve at corner with Jeremiah Johnson returning for his senior season which helps solidify the cornerback position. Sean Davis continued to improve at safety throughout the season, and Anthony Nixon has play-making ability opposite Davis.

So, for the next season and beyond, there is a lot to like about this Terps team. Deep and talented for the first time in years, this team has the capability to surprise some teams next season.

Looking into the future, for those who like speculating, it seems as though it is a matter of when, and not if, star quarterback recruit Kai Locksley commits to Maryland, a perfect fit for his father's scheme. It should also be noted that Stefon Diggs' brother is a 2016 recruit that Maryland is in on. While Stefon has said he will not pressure his brother into coming to Maryland, there is a very good chance he will end up there.

To put it bluntly, this team has promise. This is a team that has been decimated by injuries the past two seasons, some of which no coach could win with (four quarterbacks in one season?). The future is bright for Maryland though and if they continue to recruit the area well, this is a dangerous team moving forward. For a school that is known as a basketball school, the football program seems to be showing more promise at this point, something no one thought would ever be said.


 

Comments (5)



  • JLangley4   Feb 7, 2014 @ 11:28AM
    This team is a lot more stacked then people really know. If this team stays healthy, they can beat Iowa, compete with Michigan St, although they won't win that game, and compete with most Big Ten teams. This isn't a bias, these are facts. If Maryland wasn't any good, trust me, I'm the one who would say it. -

  • Lance Rinker   Feb 7, 2014 @ 11:24AM
    I understand the hesitation to really jump on board with a lot of the positive energy surrounding this team, but this team has the most talent on offense and defense than they have had in close to a decade.

    On top of that, as long as CJ Brown and our receiving core stays healthy - we'll have one of the better offenses in the Big Ten. Throw in the fact that we'll have a revamped O-Line, which will be superior to the one we trotted out in every game this past season, and there is certainly plenty of reason to be optimistic. -

  • Anonymous   Feb 7, 2014 @ 08:19AM
    Lance, as a Terps season ticket holder, I'd love for all that positive energy to come true... Yes, please let Maryland shine... I Love the Underdogs, the Longshots... How else could I be a Maryland Football Fan! In my opinion, Coach Ralph Friedgen was Awesome, a good man, a terp, who turned Maryland football into something worth watching... and had fan loyalty!!! Now, I'm sure after a few seasons, young recruits will see Maryland as an opportunity to get into the national spotlight playing against better and more well known teams like Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Etc... that in itself will bring up the caliber of the players Maryland will have to choose from. As for this upcoming season, it won't surprise me to see the Legendary Power Houses Football Teams of the BIG10 crush us Terps... Anything over 6-6 this season will be a bonus. Like I said, I like longshots so... GO TERPS, surprise me! -

  • Michael Owen   Feb 7, 2014 @ 04:20AM
    you know, I look at their schedule next year and Lance, you're right, they could start off the season 5-0...but then I see them losing 6 straight before they beat Rutgers in their last game. I don't mean to be "that guy" and burst your bubble, but I don't see a scenario where the Terps get better this year having to play Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa, but then also go on the road to The Big House, Camp Randall and Beaver Stadium.

    I mean lets face it, coming off 2-10, 4-8 and last year's smoke and mirrored 7-6 with 1 win vs a team in their 1st year out of Div II football, another one that still is one and a 1 pt win against a VERY bad Virginia team (didn't know they still played football there-j/k) not to mention bad losses to Syracuse and Wake Forest.

    Put the rose colored glasses down boys and step away. If the ball bounces right, there might be another Bowl eligible team that ends up 7-6. But if it doesn't, you're looking at the likelihood of 3-9. -

  • Lance Rinker   Feb 7, 2014 @ 12:33AM
    I'm looking at the Terps winning 8 to 10 wins next season in the Big Ten. Very stacked and deep team. Deepest team for as long as I can remember. -

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