The Maryland Terrapin’s football program did not contribute many new players to the upcoming NFL season. However, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some signs for a positive future for Maryland football. The shortfalls of the football program over the past two seasons have been well documented. But there were still positives that emerged from last season, and we can even pull some positives from this years NFL Draft.
Roger Goodell, commissoner of the NFL, might not have said, “… from the University of Maryland” often this past weekend, but one school, which was mentioned 3 times in the third round, was the University of Connecicut, former home of Maryland coach Randy Edsall. The third round saw two CBs and an OLB from UConn get drafted, and two more players were drafted in the fourth and sixth round.
The signifcance is that these five players were all former recruits of Coach Edsall, and that they started their football careers under Coach Edsall. While Randy Edsall was not there for the end of the careers, he still saw the talent and believed in these five players to recruit them, and they all trusted him to get them to this level.
Most recruits, in fact, probably all recruits, didn’t think of Coach Randy Edsall and the Maryland Terrapins when they heard UConn players being drafted. For us, as fans of Maryland football, in dire need of some positive news? Maybe some of us did think of Randy Edsall when those player’s names were called this past weekend. Maybe we recognized that he actually might be a pretty good judge of talent after all.
Last season, Maryland featured 14 true freshman on the two deep depth chart heading into week 1 vs William & Mary; that many true freshman was the third most in Division 1-A. Maryland football’s recruiting class ranked 33rd overall for the Class of 2013 and 38th overall for the Class of 2012, according to 247 Sports. Given the youth of Maryland football, and the talent that is coming to College Park, soon enough Roger Goodell will be annoucning, “… from the University of Maryland” more than once to the Radio City Music Hall crowd.
The freshman and sophomores are getting valueable experience now, and when they are seniors they will be putting their talents up against the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State (among others). They will be doing so in not just bigger stadiums, but in front of a larger television audience. With a strong staff, and ample playing time, Maryland football players will have the tools necessary to get themselves from Saturday kickoffs to Sunday afternoons.
Admittedly, I am reaching with this post. UConn players being drafted does very little (if anything) to help Maryland. But with the upcoming move to the Big Ten, and the recent annoucement of the Big Ten Divisions, many in College Park are nervous about the future of Maryland football. But this recent draft showed us that Coach Edsall was able to recognize NFL potential in previous recruits, and with the playing time that freshman and sophomores are getting at Maryland, hopefully they can reach the big stage soon. Do I think that we are suddenly going to find ourselves playing in the Rose Bowl every year? Absolutely not. I do, however see Maryland being more competitive sooner rather than later.
As was the case at Connecticut, Randy Edsall knows how to build things up. And as evidenced at the NFL draft with the amount of “his players” taken, he’s a pretty good judge of talent.