A month after Penn State Coach James Franklin told a crowd at a Washington hotel that he was going to continue to approach the recruitment of the area’s athletes as “in-state,” Maryland Coach Randy Edsall responded with strong words during a charity golf tournament in Pennsylvania Monday.
Franklin, a former Maryland assistant under Ron Vanderlinden and Ralph Friedgen, first stirred the pot in May when he reportedly told a crowd in Baltimore, “I know there are other schools around here, but you might as well shut them down,” regarding the Nittany Lions’ recruitment of Washington area athletes.
Franklin would later say that the comment was taken out of context, but there is no doubt that he has begun to make inroads in recruiting the area. Penn State has picked up five area class of 2015 commitments this spring, including Briar Woods receiver Brandon Polk, St. John’s safety Ayron Monroe, Gaithersburg linebacker Kamonte Carter, Bullis defensive end Jonathan Holland and Quince Orchard defensive tackle Adam McLean, who is considered one of the top players in Maryland entering his senior season.
Edsall and Maryland have shown their recruiting reach in recent days, picking up commitments from 2015 prospects in New Jersey, West Virginia, Texas and Ohio, and have also picked up pledges from two Maryland recruits in the past 10 days in running back Ty Johnson (Cumberland) and defensive lineman Keiron Howard, who plays locally at Oxon Hill in Potomac. Edsall also has three incoming freshman from Pennsylvania, including linebacker Tyler Burke and defensive tackle David Shaw.
Maryland, which formally joins the Big Ten on July 1, will visit Penn State on Nov. 1. On the impending rivalry with the Nittany Lions, Edsall told the York Dispatch:
“Maryland has not had a lot of success against Penn State. We’re 35-1-1 against them but there’s been some great games in that series,” Edsall said. “I think it’s something that can be a good rivalry. We have to do something about that on our end. I think it’s just a natural fit. It’ll be fun to play. To be able to play against them is fun. They’re a good program and good school. Being a border rival is something, to me, that will be exciting for both schools.”