It was a dead football recruiting period last week, but Maryland head coach Randy Edsall and Co. were hardly resting on their laurels. The Terps announced two key additions to the program July 13, a staff promotion and a pair of changes to the current roster.
First, and perhaps most significantly, Edsall brought on local coach/trainer Cory Robinson as Director of Player Personnel. Robinson, 28, is an East Baltimore native with deep ties throughout the DMV. After his college career at Central Connecticut State, he began as a defensive backs coach at Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.), helping build the Cardinal back into a legitimate conference title contender by actively recruiting city talents to the Towson school (see: Rahshaun Smith, Adrian Amos, Lawrence Cager, Delando Johnson, Daquan Davis, etc.). Robinson then moved over to St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.), aiding that budding Baltimore program as well. During his two-year stint with the Panthers, he helped attract numerous Division I talents the last couple years (see: Rahshaun Smith, Kevin Felder, Sunny Odogwu, Channing Hames, Justice Pettus-Dixon, Devin Phelps etc.).
Along the way, Robinson founded the Next Level Nation training group, allowing him to work with talented high school players throughout Maryland and D.C. NLN has attracted some of the region's most renowned prospects, further expanding Robinson's reach.
Then, several months back, Robinson went to Bradenton, Fla., to assist defensive backs at the powerhouse IMG Academy. While there, he established even more relationships with local coaches and prospects alike. In fact, he has direct connections to two prominent Terps targets now at IMG: the aforementioned five-star outside linebacker Rahshaun Smith and the class of 2017 defensive end Cam Spence (a Baltimore native who attended Gilman last year).
Now, Robinson is moving to the college ranks, becoming yet another key addition for the Maryland staff. He will assist Terps' recruiting coordinator John Dunn, and will begin his duties effective immediately. Robinson is a highly-engaging personality with plenty of want-to, so we expect him to be quite active on the trail, to say the least.
Edsall isn't finished aiding the recruiting effort, either. Evidently he plans to add at least two more staff members, bringing the total to five. Obviously, this will help level the playing field with the rest of the Big Ten, potentially lifting UMD's ability to draw in elite prospects.
Robinson wasn't the only notable new Terp July 13. Edsall also nabbed some help for his current roster as well, netting North Carolina tight end transfer Avery Edwards, who UMD recruited back in high school although did not offer a scholarship to.
Edwards was set to enroll at North Carolina as a freshman, but an off-the-field incident precluded him from signing with the Heels. He ended up spending the last few months working out at IMG Academy, taking care of any issues he may have had. He's currently in College Park, Md., fully enrolled and ready to help UMD's offense.
"I want to thank the University of Maryland and Coach Edsall for allowing me to be a part of this program and great university,” Edwards said. "I have grown immensely over the past year and I am eager to join my new teammates on the field and represent Maryland this fall."
A former class of 2014 three-star from Ravenscroft School (Raleigh, N.C.), Edwards is a versatile athlete who fills a position of need. At 6-5, 230 pounds, he's a big target, while he possesses the speed and athleticism to make plays down the seam.
Thirdly, Edsall announced that Bryce Bevill, the former Maryland Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Campus Director, was being promoted to Director of Player Development. A Prince George's County native, Bevill will be in charge of helping freshmen acclimate themselves; assisting departing players as they prepare for life after college; and more.
Bevill, a Syracuse graduate who played his high school ball at DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), coached at Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) for a number of years and, like Robinson, has plenty of local ties. He won't deal specifically with recruiting, but his established relationships with high school coaches certainly can't hurt.
The latter two changes were to the current squad: Junior Cavon Walker is moving from linebacker to defensive end, and junior Shane Cockerille is shifting from quarterback to fullback.
Walker is apparently up to 260 pounds and is the strongest player, pound for pound, on the team. With his girth and pure strength, Edsall felt he'd be a better fit as a down lineman rather than an outside linebacker.
As for Cockerille, he approached the coaches about a position change earlier this offseason. The former Gilman star felt he'd have a better chance to contribute as a fullback rather than under center, where he was third on the depth chart. Cockerille is considered a tough, rugged individual, so his move could very well aid the Terps' rushing attack.
Analyzing The Robinson Hire, Edwards Addition
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