Coaches believe you play as well as you practice. No matter the weather in Ann Arbor, Columbus or State College, practice goes on as usual. Not so in College Park. For safety reasons, the Terrapins can’t work outdoors in extreme weather conditions. Although coaches would rather not cut short practice time and alter well-planned schedules, they have no choice when the weather could jeopardize the health of players.
Recruiting players is easier for Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. Beyond the intangible benefits of having rich traditions to sell, coaches of longtime top-25 programs have more practical advantages in the use of private planes, allowing them to make more recruiting stops (per NCAA rules, of course) free from the shackles of commercial flight schedules.
Edsall is faring well in recruiting despite having to do it the old-fashioned way. But consider this: Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer doesn’t have to worry about getting stuck in the ‘C’ boarding group on Southwest.
The good news for Maryland is that Edsall is doing all he can to overcome the university’s brick-and-mortar issues.
Talk to high school coaches, and they’ll tell you Edsall has done a great job in persuading some of the top players in Maryland and the District to sign with the Terrapins. Edsall and Athletic Director Kevin Anderson actually care about educating players. They want to build an honorable program that’s also successful.
If Maryland had stayed in the ACC, and Edsall’s long-term plan worked, you could envision a time in the not-too-distant future in which the football team would win a conference title, which hasn’t happened since the ACC went to division play in 2005. But as long as Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State are blocking Maryland’s path in the Big Ten, it’s hard to imagine Maryland climbing high.
The Terrapins must make the most of their final season in the ACC and enter the Big Ten with some momentum. After this season, they may not generate much for a long, long time.
For more by Jason Reid, go to washingtonpost.com/reid.