He has received favorable marks from high school coaches for his successful efforts in Maryland and the District, recruiting regions essential to Edsall’s plan to rebuild the program. Eventually, Edsall’s progress on the recruiting trail will have to result in victories on the field in the fall. And it will take a few years to determine whether today’s hot recruits will develop into tomorrow’s top players for the Terrapins. But Edsall and his staff have executed their recruiting plan well, which is something worth talking about.
“When you are in the Maryland and the D.C. area, there are quite a few athletes who can make an impact,” Edsall said. “With kids being from here, you can create that sense of pride. We can all be here at home and make something special happen.”
Pick any top-25 Football Bowl Subdivision program, and I’ll show you one that excels at recruiting in-state players. Alabama, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Southern California and others have benefited historically from persuading many of the best players in their talent-rich states to stay near home for college. In recruiting talk, it’s called “locking down the borders.” Edsall seems determined to build a wall.
From a recruiting perspective, the District essentially is in-state for the Terrapins. The last two athletes chosen as Gatorade’s District player of the year have signed with Maryland. Three of the top four players from the District, according to recruiting Web sites, also are on board. Talk to high school coaches, and they’ll tell you Maryland, in the past two classes, has attracted better players than it had during several recruiting cycles before Edsall arrived.
After leaving Connecticut for Maryland, Edsall quickly reached out to local high school coaches, many of whom he had known for years while recruiting the area as he climbed the coaching ranks. His message? The Terrapins are all-in to get the best guys out there.
Gilman School Coach Biff Poggi likes Edsall’s approach. “Randy and his staff . . . they get after it,” Poggi said. “For kids at my place, Maryland is a serious competitor now. They really weren’t before.”
History proves it. Last year, the Terrapins signed their first player from Gilman, perennially among Maryland’s best high school programs since the 1980s. And another Gilman player is in this year’s class. Edsall re-opened that door,