Recruiting is not a two month process, said Edsall. This is more than a year process that we were involved with these players and I feel very, very good about the group that we have coming in.
As mentioned above, the Terps were able to add 24 new recruits for the 2012 season, an even split of 12 on both sides of the ball.
Perhaps the most pleasing part of this, Edsall's first true recruiting class, is the local flavor. Eleven of the 24 commits are from the Maryland/Washington D.C./Virginia area, more than double last year's total.
One of the main things that we talked about is the fact that we really wanted to try and make inroads in Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia; the areas we felt we needed to be strong in, in order to be who we want to be, said Edsall.
To make the inroads into some of the places that are perennial powers and produce players year in and year out, in terms of Good Counsel, Friendship Collegiate all those things are encompassed in this class, he said.
No three commits of the local eleven were bigger for Maryland then a trio of running backs in Wes Brown (Good Counsel, Olney, Md.), Kenneth Goins (Gilman School, Baltimore, Md.) and Albert Reid (Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington, D.C.). According to Scout.com, the group of running backs brought in for 2012 was the second-best class in the nation.
History tells us that they have good players each and every year and they have players that go on to BCS schools, so that was something we wanted to make sure we'd be a part of, said Edsall.
Arguably the biggest get in the recruiting class was Brown, one of two Under Armour All-Americans in the group, the other being his Good Counsel teammate, offensive lineman Mike Madaras. Standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 210 pounds, the four-star running back was the 11th-ranked running back by Scout.com, rushing for 1,382 yards and 22 touchdowns on 158 carries this past season.
He's a big back and he's powerful, said Edsall of Brown. He can run by people. He can run over people. He possesses a lot of qualities that you really like in a running back.
Brown ultimately made his commitment to the Terps on national television at the Under Armour game, just days after his close friend Zach Dancel, a transfer from New Mexico, had signed on with the Terrapins.
That's great publicity, said Edsall of Brown's commitment. That's national publicity and then other recruits and future recruits can see, hey Maryland's a player. To have Mike and Wes in that game, the first time any Maryland commits have played in that game, you know it's impressive you have to pay big money to get that kind of air time on a national stage like that.
Reid, another four-star recruit, was ranked as the second-best player in Washington D.C. by ESPN.com and was named the 2011 D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year. The 5-foot-10, 177-pound back rushed for 1,705 yards on 225 carries as a senior.
Albert's a little more shifty, said Edsall. He gives you a little more outside, he can make people miss and again he can catch the ball out of the backfield.
Perhaps of equal importance to the class as Brown, was Goins, whose commitment opens up a long-standing impasse between the Terps and Gilman, a perennial Baltimore powerhouse.
Along with their outstanding backfield additions, the Terps were also able to haul in a quarterback class ranking 10th in the nation, according to Scout.com, in Caleb Rowe (Blue Ridge, Landrum, S.C.) and Perry Hills (Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
He's one of those guys that doesn't throw the ball much, said Edsall of Hills. But I think people saw what Perry could do when he was here at the Chesapeake Bowl. Not only throwing the ball, but also his speed Caleb came here from about five other camps and I think his arm was hanging but he did a great job. He's a great leader and he can throw the ball.
In the end, according to Edsall, the only evaluations that mattered were those of his staff, and these two quarterbacks serve as the perfect example.
All these other evaluations on the outside really don't mean anything to me or to our staff, he said. You just take a look at that position. Here's two players that maybe weren't highly rated. But when they were given their opportunities to go to the all-star games, they both shined.
One of the bigger factors in the 2012 recruiting class, and classes to come, was the addition of new offensive coordinator, Mike Locksley. Locksley, who came to Maryland from the head coaching position at New Mexico, has a number of local ties that look to serve the Terps for years to come, and his potential proves to be quite exciting for the entire program.
Mike came in and had relationships and has ties and aided us in terms of where we were in the recruiting process, said Edsall. We were pretty far along with a lot of these kids and then again his influence with a couple helped.
Maybe even more important than anyone, in terms of this year's class, was first-year recruiting coordinator John Dunn, whom Edsall credited with holding the class together.
John did a tremendous job, said Edsall. He's already got some things thinking ahead in terms of what we can do better, because we're not satisfied with where we're at the coaches followed his lead and that's why we were able to do the work we were able to do under John's guidance and leadership.
As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Maryland's class was ranked 44th in the nation and 7th in the ACC. Yet, according to Edsall, you don't have to go far to see how strong the class truly is.
Just talk to the players, said Edsall. Talk to the recruits. See what they're saying. They all believe in what we're doing. I think that says it all. You don't worry about what happened last year. You just focus and say here's the plan, here's the vision, here's what we're gonna accomplish as we go forward.
o Edsall mentioned that realistically the Terps may look to add around three more players to the class by the spring
o 21 of the 24 commits for 2012 were team captains in high school