At one point, Maryland was gaining a reputation as "The Oregon of the East" after signing a massive deal with alum and founder of Under Armour Kevin Plank back in 2014. Just as Phil Knight and Nike did in Eugene to help bring the Ducks to the top of the college football world, Plank prioritized unique and eye-catching uniforms as an enticing recruiting tool.
A year after signing the extension with Under Armour, the Terrapins went a disappointing 3-9 which draws more contrasts than comparisons to an Oregon team coming off a national championship appearance. Now under new head coach DJ Durkin, Maryland has reloaded to the extent nobody saw coming.
These are the finished recruiting rankings for Maryland, 2011-16: 55, 36, 48, 61, 47, 53.
Based on Scout metrics, Maryland already holds the 16th best recruiting class for 2017. If this ranking holds, it will not only be the first time the program finished with a top-25 recruiting class since 2004, it will tie the highest the Terps have ever been ranked since prospects started getting rated (2001).
At this point, it's safe to say that Durkin (a former pupil of both Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer, who was named the 2012 Rivals Recruiter of the Year) is a better recruiter than former head coach Randy Edsall. The former Connecticut head coach was fired after a tumultuous 2-4 start to the 2015-16 season, and Durkin was hired to pick up the pieces of a program in need of guidance.
Since his arrival, Durkin is bringing a new level of recruiting pedigree that should change the football culture in College Park, MD .
Here's a look at the 10 commits for 2017:
It's still early in the recruiting process, and college recruiting in the modern era is a bloodbath. Terps fans know all too well that nothing is set in stone until the National Letter of Intent is signed, with prized 2016 quarterback Dwayne Haskins de-committing and heading to conference rival Ohio State. But as it stands, Maryland has the possibility of having its best recruiting class in school history.
It's not just personnel that's changing the culture either. Take a look at the progress to Maryland's new indoor practice facility...
...and what it'll eventually look like.
The Terps might not see immediate success on the field in 2016-17, but they're slowing building the tools to do so.