Maryland’s Average Recruiting Rating Over The Past 5 Years


A lot was made about Maryland’s move to the Big Ten from a football standpoint. Some have said the move is going to crush the program competitively in football because the Big Ten is better than the ACC. Others have said that Maryland just doesn’t fit in and will be perpetual underdogs due to a lack of talent. While there may be some truth to both of those suggestions, they’re also hyperbolic in nature.

Maryland may never be Ohio State or Michigan (historically) in the B1G, but they weren’t Clemson or Florida State in the ACC, either. They’ve always held their own regardless, staying in the upper tier of the muddled middle (for the most part). But from a talent standpoint, has anyone ever questioned whether the Big Ten was that much more impressive than the ACC?

Deadspin did! They compile the last five recruiting classes, weighed them pretty fairly, and calculated the avearge classes for each conference according to Rivals’ rating system. The results are not staggering:

BIG 123.048
BIG 103.008

As you can see from the table, the Big Ten is only marginally better at recruiting than the ACC. It’s definitely worse than the Big 12, the Pac-12, and leagues away from the SEC. The notion that the Big Ten is overrated (at least from a talent perspective) straight up holds weight. It also lends credence to the notion that, since Maryland wasn’t blowing the doors off the hinges in a bad conference, so why would they in an ever-so-slightly-less-bad conference?

And yet individually, Maryland’s recruiting in either conference put them smack dab in the middle of things talent-wise. Five teams recruited better in the ACC over a five-year span, while six teams recruited better in the Big Ten during that same stretch:

BIG 1020092010201120122013Avg
Michigan State3.303.
Ohio State3.763.323.433.723.833.61
Penn State2.963.553.122.793.003.08

Now the ACC:

Boston College2.472.862.742.752.532.67
Florida State3.623.503.553.793.573.61
Georgia Tech2.903.172.913.002.712.94
North Carolina3.343.
NC State2.783.052.752.772.832.84
Va Tech3.
Wake Forest2.482.742.792.842.702.71

One thing that does stand out is that Maryland has yet to return to the recruiting levels they sustained during the Friedgen era. Credit Coach Edsall for slowly but steadily improving year-after-year (and landing some truly elite talent), but as far as pure rankings go, he hasn’t been as solid.

When you consider that the higher average rating of stars your conference has, the more likely you are to have a team ranked in the AP top 25, it’s pretty clear what Maryand’s focus should be. There’s a direct relation between the two, and it means Maryland has still got to continue to try and reign in top tier talent if they want to take the step to that so-called “next level” of football performance. Right now, that hasn’t necessarily happened, but it does seem like the coaching staff is really starting to emulate some of the more successful programs in their attempt to lure in talent.

Having big recruiting events is something Maryland didn’t do in the past, and getting tons of five-star talent on campus is occurring more and more under Coach Edsall and his staff. It’s only a matter of time until the Terps start to see some results from all that hard work.

Even so, they’re not far off from a school like Wisconsin right now, and the Badgers consistently seem to be doing just fine with their middling talent. Maryland arguably has better recruits coming in, so things could be looking up for the Terps!