Terry Richardson A Great Hire For Maryland


Dec 1, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running backs coach Terry Richardson against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

When special teams coordinator and running backs coach Andre Powell left to take the same position at Pittsburgh, Maryland lost a great deal of experience and expertise.

On Tuesday evening, coach Randy Edsall and the Terrapins reeled in another big fish to replace Powell. Former Jacksonville Jaguars running backs coach Terry Richardson was hired to the same position, and was officially announced on Thursday.

Richardson has a history with Edsall as he served as the running backs coach from 1999 until Edsall’s departure for Maryland in 2011. Over that period of time, Richardson proved his worth both on the sidelines and on the recruiting trail.

Let’s take a look at the statistics of the running backs Richardson has produced:

2012: Duke Johnson – 139 attempts for 947 yards (6.8 yards-per-carry) and 10 touchdowns

2011: Lamar Miller – 227 attempts for 1,272 yards (5.6 yards-per-carry) and 9 touchdowns

2010: Jordan Todman – 334 attempts for 1,695 yards (5.0 yards-per-carry) and 14 touchdowns

2009: Jordan Todman – 235 attempts for 1,188 yards (5.0 yards-per-carry) and 14 touchdowns

2009: Andre Dixon – 239 attempts for 1,093 yards (4.6 yards-per-carry) and 14 touchdowns

2008: Donald Brown – 367 attempts for 2,083 yards (5.7 yards-per-carry) and 18 touchdowns

2007: Andre Dixon – 167 attempts for 828 yards (5.0 yards-per-carry) and 3 touchdowns

2007: Donald Brown – 170 attempts for 821 yards (4.8 yards-per-carry) and 8 touchdowns

2006: Donald Brown – 161 attempts for 896 yards (5.6 yards-per-carry) and 7 touchdowns

Aside from the 12 years he spent at Connecticut, Richardson also was the running backs coach at Miami from 2011 to 2012 before taking a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars to perform the same duties.

First off, the Huskies aren’t exactly what you would call a football powerhouse. Obviously, if you’re a four-star basketball player, it’s a top destination, but definitely not if you like the pigskin. It really speaks volumes to what Edsall and his staff were able to build during their decade-plus at the school.

For a majority of Richardson’s time at Connecticut, he produced some very strong talent. Running back Donald Brown was an absolute star during his three years in Storrs. The New Jersey native rushed for 3,800 yards (5.4 yards-per-carry) and 33 touchdowns in 37 games. Brown wasn’t a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school as he was only a three-star tailback. The Red Bank Catholic product proved to be a very shifty, but patient back during his time at Connecticut. Brown ended up being the only first round pick in Huskies history as he was selected with the 27th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Brown now plays for the San Diego Chargers, but is still a spark plug that any team would be lucky to have.

Brown definitely wasn’t the only Connecticut tailback to have success during his time under Richardson.

Jordan Todman also was very productive under the tutelage of Richardson. Todman was an extremely versatile type of player. In his three years at Connecticut, Todman rushed for 3,179 yards (5.2 yards-per-carry) and 31 touchdowns in 37 career games. When it was all said and done, the Massachusetts native finished third all-time in school history in rushing yards. Todman was only a two-star recruit with offers from Boston College, Northeastern, and Purdue in addition to Connecticut.

It just shows the type of expertise that Richardson has with running backs. The former Jaguars coach played the position for four years at Syracuse, including a spectacular 1993 season in which he led the Orange with 526 yards on the ground. Richardson spent time in the NFL for four years, including time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

And it wasn’t just at the University of Connecticut where Richardson had tremendous success.

In just two seasons at Miami, Richardson helped mold the likes of Lamar Miller and Duke Johnson. Miller, who went on to be drafted and have success with the Miami Dolphins, nearly doubled his production in his first season under Richardson. The Miami native went from rushing for 646 yards (6.0 yards-per-carry) on 108 attempts and six touchdowns to rushing for 1,272 yards (5.6 yards-per-carry) on 227 attempts and nine touchdowns for the Hurricanes. Miller had his way running all over the field during the 2011 season, including rushing for 119 yards and a touchdown against Maryland in the season opener.

Johnson ties the two areas of football where Richardson excels in molding running backs and having success on the recruiting trail. The Hurricanes star was a Miami native, but the state of Florida can be such a competitive recruiting territory. Richardson was able to secure the services of the Norland High School standout and was able to work with him for a season in 2012. Johnson came in as an incredibly electrifying player and his freshman efforts didn’t do much to change that opinion. The local product averaged nearly seven yards per rush and was named the ACC Rookie of the Year, just beating out Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs for the honor.

In terms of recruiting, Richardson reeled some very strong talent over the course of his college coaching career. In addition to Johnson, he was able to secure pledges from wideout Stacy Coley (was named to 2014 Maxwell Award watch list) and cornerback Ray Lewis III (has since transferred to Coastal Carolina) while at Miami. He is responsible for actively landing 13 recruits during his collegiate career.

Maryland’s rushing attack left a lot to be desired during the 2014 season. The Terps averaged just 121.8 yards-per-game on the ground, which was 12th in the Big Ten. Maryland also only averaged 3.7 yards-per-carry, with quarterback C.J. Brown being the leading rusher with just 539 yards on the ground.

With Ross and Wes Brown returning and new talent on the horizon, Richardson could serve an extremely significant role in developing these tailbacks. The Terps were a one-dimensional team at times due to being so predictable. If Richardson is able to convince Edsall to stay more consistent on the ground, Maryland’s offense could do some damage in 2015 and beyond.

Simply put, this is a slam dunk hire. Richardson has a ton of successful history with Edsall and more beyond that. It definitely could prove to be one of the most important moves of the offseason.