Assistant Football Coach Interview Session

Coach Edsall had his coaching staff available to media today to answer questions for the first time since Coach Edsall took over.

Coach Randy Edsall normally represents his coaching staff, but Friday he allowed his assistant coaches to answer questions for the first time.

“Today was more for you guys to talk to the assistants,” Edsall said, “because I'm not sure when you'll get to talk to them again.”

Edsall's staff of nine assistant coaches returns only two coaches that were with the Terps last year, so all the coaches are working together to get the program where they want it.

One of the main priorities is recruiting, which all coaches contribute to.

Tight Ends and Recruiting Coordinator John Dunn left LSU to begin his first full-time assistant-coaching job here at Maryland, and is excited about the recruiting opportunities.

“We're in a hotbed of talent,” said Dunn. “The area and the school sell itself.”

Dunn understood not every Maryland player will stay in-state, but he plans on building relationships with the high school coaches and plan events to have young talent visit when it is allowed.

Defensive Line Coach Greg Gattuso joins Maryland from Pittsburgh, where the Panthers led the nation in sacks in 2009, and he produced two top-20 sacks leaders last year. He knows there is talent to be recruited in the state.

“There was a time when this was an untapped resource,” said Gattuso. “But I think everyone's figured it out.”

Inside Linebackers Coach Keith Dudzinski starts his first year at Maryland after leaving University of Massachusetts, and he understands the importance of keeping athletes in state.

“We want to take care of the home state,” said Dudzinksi. “That's the most important thing we do.”

Defensive Coordinator Todd Bradford said of the local recruiting, “We're going to try to make the local area our state.”

Both the defense and offense are getting accustomed to the new philosophies that Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Gary Crowton and Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach Todd Bradfort are implementing under Edsall's guidance.

“I'm looking for the offense to be very exciting and aggressive,” said Crowton. “Right now I think we have the ability to be very wide open with Danny (O'Brien) as quarterback.”

O'Brien returns after earning ACC honors in his freshman year.

“Danny obviously is exciting to be around and coach. He just loves the game with such a passion,” said Crowton. “I just want to build on him. I want him to continue to grow and continue to be confident. I feel like he's a young player that excelled at such a young age, and I think he's just going to get better and better.”

The wide receiver core will look different next season as the top three receivers graduated; Adrian Cannon, Torrey Smith and Emani Lee-Odai. The three graduates accounted for 136-of-the-219 receptions last year.

Receivers returning include juniors Tony Logan, Quintin McCree, Ronnie Tyler and Webb Dulin; sophomores Kerry Boykins, Eric Powell and Kevin Dorsey; and freshmen Adrian Coxson, Alex Fletcher and Parker Vail.

“All of those guys have played in games and were with me all last year,” said Wide Receivers coach Lee Hull in his fourth season with the Terps. “I don't think the transition is going to be that hard.”

Crowton said as much as O'Brien enjoyed and respected playing with the seniors, he is still excited about the new wave of receivers to step up into the large vacant shoes.

“We've got a lot of guys that can be that guy, it's just I can't tell you who that's going to be,” said Hull. “We'll find out after spring ball and whoever takes the lead.”

Defensively, Bradford is implanting a different philosophy that will see more of a 4-man front.

“We have a plan,” said Bradford. “We have the install ready to go.”

The 4-man front is expected to open up the rest of the defense by putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

“We need a defensive line that's going to generate plays and rush the passer so we don't always have to blitz,” said Gattuso.

The outside linebacker position is going to be unique as well.

Special Teams/Outside Linebackers Coach Lyndon Johnson followed Edsall from Connecticut to Maryland and is familiar with the head coach's philosophy. He defines the outside linebacker position as a hybrid between linebacker and safety.

“It takes a different kind of player to play outside linebacker, because of our job description,” said Johnson. “I need guys that are very versatile and can play the mental game.”

One this is common among all coaches, which Edsall seems to stress upon them; the Terps want to be fundamentally sound.

“We're going to be multiple on offense and defense. We're going t put our guys in position where we can get guys to make plays,” said Edsall. “To me, that's what coaching is all about.”

Another thing Edsall stressed was the importance of academics.

“I didn't inherit a very good situation here in terms of academics,” said Edsall. “I was a little bit shocked about what I saw here from the academic standpoint when I got here.”

Unnamed players on the team are working on their academics to stay on the team.

“I told them, I don't hold anybody out, I don't dismiss anybody from the team,” said Edsall. “People dismiss themselves, or people hold themselves out of practices, not me. I set the standards and they have to live up to the standards.”


Freshman Jeremiah Wilson switched positions from defensive back to running back.

Freshman Devin Burns switched positions from quarterback to wide receiver.

Walk-on John Dillon left the team to focus on academics.

There are three walk-ons working for spots on the roster during the winter program.

Terps head into spring practice March 29.

Terps spring game is scheduled for April 30.

New uniforms are to be released around the time of the spring game.

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