Maryland's DJ Durkin talks 2016 season at Big Ten Media Days

Takeaways from DJ Durkin's first appearance at Big Ten Media Days as a head coach.

New Head coach D.J. Durkin has been on a recruiting frenzy for the 2017-18 season, but he's still a year removed before the cavalry arrives. 

During Big Ten Media Days, Durkin discussed a variety of topics involving the Terps upcoming 2016 season. 

Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer: Once mentors, now foes. 

This might be his first go-around as a head coach, but he has as good a learning pedigree as anyone. Durkin's coaching career began at Bowling Green in 2001 as a graduate assistant under Urban Meyer. They eventually reunited at Florida, where Durkin would replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator in 2010. In 2007, Durkin joined Jim Harbaugh at Stanford and reconnected with him last year at Michigan, where he coached one of college's stingiest defenses. 

Now, Durkin will face Michigan and Ohio State yearly in the Big Ten East, one of college football's toughest divisions. But the former pupil is welcoming the challenge. 

"Those guys bring the competitive level up as well...You want to be a part of the highest level."

The impact of the Under Armour connection.

Before Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank was creating apparel for the athlete life, he was living it. Plank started the groundwork for a breathable athletic material as a special teams player at Maryland, and has since turned the company into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. 

As an alumnus, a Maryland-UA partnernship has been always been a priority for Plank. The two reached a 10-year $34 million contract extension in 2014 to mirror the success of Nike's partnership with Oregon

"The values of our program are in line with the ones at Under Armour," Durkin said.

The versatility of William Likely. 

"[William] will be a guy that has involvement in all three phases of our game," Durkin said. 

Likely was a bright spot on an otherwise disappointing season. He led the team with 11 passes defended, along with 44 tackles and three forced fumbles. His 1,197 return yards ranked third in nation, helping him become the first defensive player for Maryland to accrue 3,000 all-purpose yards. Likely even received looks in the backfield, going for 95 rushing yards on 11 carries. 

The senior cornerback was on the verge of declaring for the NFL draft after a successful junior campaign, but ultimately elected to return to Maryland's depleted secondary.

"I know from coaching the other sideline against him, one of my biggest concerns and worries was when he had the ball in his hands." 

Maryland's incoming class. 

When Durkin came in to replace former Head coach Randy Edsall last spring, coveted local recruits Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Keandre Jones flipped their commitments to Ohio State. Durkin did the best he could retaining prospects amidst a coaching change, and remains optimistic about the No. 53 ranked class for 2016.

"We're not deciding things based on who's a freshman, who's a senior, this or that...It's a deep class with talent."

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