Edsall Talks Process, Whirlwind June

Terps head man Randy Edsall can't talk specifically about "the month that was," a June that saw 13 pledges come on board to swell Maryland's 2015 recruit class to 15 verbal commitments, his most prolific ever as a coach. But he can talk about the process a bit, which Terrapin Times caught up with him about last night.

Demand. Like a good stock, the Terps have seen theirs -- be it for football season tickets or football scholarships -- spike this month on the eve of their July 1 Big Ten entry.

Terps head man Randy Edsall can't talk specifically about "the month that was," a June that saw 13 pledges come on board to swell Maryland's 2015 recruit class to 15 verbal commitments, his most prolific ever as a coach. But he can talk about the process a bit, which Terrapin Times caught up with him about last night.

Edsall, coming off the Terps first bowl appearance in four years, the addition of three new staff members who have made a recruiting impact, and the much-anticipated arrival in the Big Ten in less than a week, said he's never had a flurry of pledges like this.

"I don't ever recall this many," he said. "But the recruiting isn't the way that it is now and everything else ... but I just think it is the nature of when we have had our camps and how early we identified guys in the recruiting process."

Edsall attributes the staff's earlier evaluation process this spring (they moved up spring football in March to accommodate it), as Maryland was first to offer several key targets, both regionally and nationally, several of whom committed as part of the first 15.

The class, with one four-star led by first commit, offensive lineman E.J. Donahue of Linganore High School (Frederick, Md.), has national three-star pickups from both Texas and Florida to lead their new Big Ten recruiting footprint.

The Big Ten arrival is one of the most compelling factors, with nine states represented in the first 15 pledges including the Midwest and Texas. For the second consecutive year the Terps tapped Ohio for a prospect, while they are busy even in places like Canada, not to mention they recruited Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin in the spring, among other Big Ten locales.

"The one thing that I stated is that going into the Big Ten was going to open up some other areas for us, and that we were going to look to go into some of the areas where we were going to be playing. And that's what we have done. We have tried to take advantage of the resources and opportunities that are available to us. And knowing that the DMV is a very important part of our process as well but there are other areas because of the Big Ten Network and the Big Ten that affords the opportunity to recruit in those areas," Edsall said.

Edsall said the Big Ten would give the Terps an advantage in exposure, especially the Big Ten Network, and noted some of the coverage Maryland has already gotten before they have officially entered the league, like with preview and welcome shows and the like.

"And that's now going to be on Comcast and Cable Vision and Time Warner here in DC and Maryland and New York and New Jersey. And that says a lot, and it shows the importance of Maryland being in the Big Ten. And you know, playing bowl games in California, Texas, Florida...it just opens you up to so many more opportunities, and all we are trying to do is capitalize on them," Edsall said.

Maryland has multiple commits from both Texas and Florida, as well as ones from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia. Edsall said the class is full of prospects "who meet our recruiting profile."

"We have a profile that we look for in prospective student athletes. And what we are going to do is stick to that profile, and we are going to stick to the numbers that we are looking for. But again we have a profile that we have identified that we can be successful with, and will be successful with, here at Maryland. And we have developed it and we are sticking to it and we are following through with it," Edsall said.

As for Texas, Edsall said both Brian Stewart and new assistant coach Keenan McCardell are well-versed in the state and it has showed.

"Both Keenan and Brian are guys who have recruited in that area and know coaches. And I think that is always a plus when you have that familiarity. And the same thing down in Florida. And both of those states have an abundance of players who fit the profile of what we are looking for," Edsall said.

Edsall mentioned that the Terps "profile" encompasses "athletic ability, academics, hard work, character and leadership."

As for that demand, well the Terps have had to turn away prospects as slots filled up last week. Meanwhile, others have felt the squeeze this month and pulled the trigger before spots were gone. There's no doubt that pressure to get on board has fueled this month's run, in part.

"Well, I think the biggest thing is my whole philosophy and what I am all about and what I want our program to be all about. We want to be proactive and not reactive. So we want to always want to put ourselves in those positions where we can be out in front of everything instead of trying to come from behind. And we will do that as we see fit," Edsall said of some of the hard choices that have been made.

The class has new states, at least in the last decade, like West Virginia represented. New assistant coach Chad Wilt's frequent forays into Canada have illustrated how far the Terps have expanded their recruiting borders.

"The thing about it is we are going to try and find the best players who fit the profile. So if that means there is one in Alaska that has an interest, we'll go to Alaska. So we'll go to wherever there is a player that fits the profile and has an interest in what we are doing. And can enhance our program and we can help to enhance him as well," Edsall said.

Edsall cited all the ground work the Terps laid last winter and spring to get to this point.

"It's been a hectic month, a very hectic month," Edsall said. "The assistant coaches have been working their tails off since we hit the road recruiting for our evaluation period all the way through May. They have been grinding hard.

"And the good thing is we had a lot of evaluation done before we went out in April. So we were able to do more due diligence on the background check, so to speak, and talking to the coaches and people in the schools and gathering all the information that we needed to. So that period leading up to the spring evaluation period was vital and critical to the success that we have had so far. So now....and it's been very hectic because we had our camps [this month] and we have been game-planning all the new opponents that we have to."

The Terps also added a new "Big Show" recruit day/event for June 28 at Byrd, which is attracting some top national talent from as far away as Florida. Edsall would not comment on the specifics, but addressed the event topically.

"We just wanted to try to cover all of our bases and do the things that we needed to do to enhance our program. And do the things necessary to try to get the best evaluations that we can of prospective student-athletes as they come to campus," Edsall said.

The Terps may sign some 23-24 prospects in the 2015 class but Edsall simply said in terms of numbers: "We'll just see where it goes. You are allowed to have 85 total and no more than 25 in a year."

Meanwhile, he said the new Terps' freshmen, many of whom arrived last weekend, are getting acclimated both academically and in strength and conditioning.

"I like them. I like the class," Edsall said. "And they are just going to continue to learn how we do things here in the next six weeks. And they are all eager to learn, they are energetic, they want to do it the right way.

"But they are all, so far, what we thought they were going to be. And we just look forward to getting them more familiar with how our family operates."

Next up, after the June 28 "Big Show" event, Edsall said the coaches "will recharge their batteries" in July with vacation "so we're ready for the season."

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