Edsall talks incoming recruiting class

Freshman expected to make impact on special teams, compete for playing time on offense and defense

Randy Edsall answered questions from Maryland football fans Wednesday afternoon during a Google+ Hangout.

Next year's projected starting quarterback, C.J. Brown moderated the video chat relaying questions from the fans to his head coach.

Fans could send in their questions via Facebook, Twitter, or even Google+ prior to and during the event.

Edsall started off by stating that even though Maryland will change conferences in just two years, it will still recruit the way it always did.

“[We'll] follow the philosophy that we have at Maryland. One of things we have to do is make sure we develop depth in the offensive and defensive line,” Edsall said.

He did admit that recruiting bigger, stronger defensive linemen will be paramount once Maryland starts Big Ten play in the fall of 2014 due to the conference's smash mouth style of play.

In terms of attracting players, Edsall said he used Maryland's upcoming move to the Big Ten to his advantage.

“That was something we sold to this year's recruiting class,” Edsall said. “There are not too many people in college football that will have opportunity to play in two conferences. This year they will have opportunity to play in the ACC and then next year they will have the opportunity to play in the Big Ten.”

Edsall also said that if a freshman makes a good impression during the spring and summer he will get a chance to face ACC competition next fall.

“There are a lot of guys in this group that can really make a tremendous difference for us in terms of special teams, in the coverage team, and I think we added a bunch of depth in the return team,” Edsall said.

Edsall emphasized that for the incoming recruits to see significant playing time on the offensive or defensive side of the ball this fall they'll need to put in work over the upcoming months learning the playbook and new terminology that comes with college football.

Looking ahead to spring practice, Edsall pinpointed the offensive line as an area where they'll be position battles. Derwin Gray, a four-star prospect, is one of the many incoming recruits who will be vying for playing time.

“We are going to have to find the best five offensive lineman,” Edsall said.

That wasn't the only offensive area where Edsall anticipated a lot of competition though.

“I think receiver is where you are going to see a lot of competition there this spring,” Edsall said.

Edsall even mentioned potentially using 4 or 5 wide receiver formations next fall due to the wealth of talent the Terps now possess in that position. The Terps got commitments from two three-star wide outs, Deon Long and Tavion Jacobs, this year.

The offensive line and receiving corps aren't the only places where Edsall anticipates competition for playing time though.

“There's going to be plenty of battle going this spring, so that will be interesting to see,” Edsall said. “And then there will be positions where we would like more options.”

Edsall also noted that with linebacker Darin Drakeford graduating this spring, there'll be opportunities for incoming players like Yannick Ngakoue to get immediate playing time. Edsall mentioned he'd be in competition with rising senior Marcus Whitfield.

Edsall also mentioned that three-star cornerback Will Likely would probably be competing for the nickel back or dime back spot next fall.

All in all, Edsall and Brown are just ready to get back out on the field.

“We are excited to get ready for team practice,” Brown said.


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