Who Does the Recruiting, and Where?
This article is the first in what will become a multi-part series called “Where Maryland Recruits Come From”. The series will attempt to lay out how the University of Maryland football program does its recruiting. Each article will break down a different aspect of football recruiting. By the end of this series, my goal is to give all of you a very detailed explanation of how Randy Edsall and his staff recruits.
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We will kick off this series by looking at each member of Maryland’s coaching staff. We will break down what regions they are assigned to recruit, their biggest recruiting accomplishments in the past, and who they are currently targeting for the classes of 2016 and beyond.
Title: Head Coach
Recruiting Regions: None
While Randy Edsall is not the best recruiter on Maryland’s coaching staff, he is a solid contributor to each class that the Terrapins have put together. Some head coaches are elite recruiters in their own right, and others hire strong recruiters to their staff. Randy Edsall falls into the latter category. But while he may not be an elite recruiter, his impact on the recruiting trail is still very strong. When you talk to recruits who have committed to the University of Maryland, they all speak about how impressed they were with what Randy Edsall had to say. His commitment to education and building young men resonates not only with potential recruits, but with their families. His strong connection to New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is also an asset that Edsall uses. He also uses his connections in the New England area from his time with the Connecticut Huskies to his advantage. Randy Edsall’s recruiting role is usually to serve as the host when recruits visit College Park and to follow up regularly with potential recruits after initial contact has been made by one of his assistants.
Title: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Recruiting Regions: Maryland, Washington, D.C., Central Florida
Mike Locksley is widely considered to be one of the best recruiters in the DMV area. His prowess on the recruiting trail has led to a large number of high-profile recruits from the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia staying home to play for their hometown school. Locksley was the primary recruiter for players such as Stefon Diggs, Damian Prince, Derwin Gray, Jesse Aniebonam, Wes Brown, Deon Long, Quarvez Boulware, and Yannick Ngakoue. There aren’t many of Maryland’s top recruits that Locksley hasn’t recruited. In all, he has recruited 10 blue-chip recruits to College Park. Unsurprisingly, his recruiting assignments center in the DMV area, but he is also one of the three coaches who recruit the state of Florida. Orlando, Lakeland, and Tampa are a few of the Floridian areas which Locksley spends time recruiting. Within the state of Maryland, he is assigned to recruit Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s counties.
Locksley already has one commitment for Maryland’s class of 2016 in 3-star wide receiver Darryl Turner from DeMatha Catholic High School. Many of his top remaining targets include other players from DeMatha, such as 4-star defensive end Shane Simmons, 4-star offensive guard Terrance Davis, and 4-star wide receiver Tino Ellis. For the “DMV-to-UMD” movement to have any success, Mike Locksley has to play a major role.
Title: Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach
Recruiting Regions: Maryland, New York, Northern New Jersey, New England
Maryland’s new defensive coordinator has a new addition to his title, but is not new to the recruiting philosophy of Randy Edsall. Keith Dudzinski has been on Maryland’s staff ever since Randy Edsall was hired as the head coach. While he doesn’t recruit a large number of players, the ones that he does get are usually very solid. His biggest recruit in the past four years is 4-star wide receiver Juwann Winfree, who he recruited along with Lee Hull and Keenan McCardell. The New Jersey area tends to be very good for recruiting skill players, and Winfree looks like he will be a very good receiver at Maryland for the next few years. Dudzinski also recruited Andrew Isaacs and DeAndre Lane, so he is more than capable of recruiting offensive weapons as a defensive coach. In fact, most of his recruits have been offensive players. This is likely not due to some sort of defect, but more due to the fact that the regions in which he has the strongest ties have more offensive weapons than defensive ones. However, he was able to grab 3-star defensive end Oseh Saine in the class of 2015, who looks to be a very underrated defensive lineman.
Dudzinski is currently listed as the primary recruiter for just two of Maryland’s targets in the class of 2016, but they are important ones. 4-star safety Eric Burrell from McDonogh High School would be a huge get for the Terrapins, and Dudzinski has been recruiting 3-star offensive tackle Liam Smith from Red Bank, New Jersey with Greg Studrawa. Locally, Dudzinski is assigned to Baltimore and Howard counties.
Title: Assistant Head Coach/Outside Linebackers Coach
Recruiting Regions: Maryland, Delaware, Michigan, Northwest Ohio, Georgia, Canada
Lyndon Johnson has been a member of Randy Edsall’s staff for 17 years, all the way back to when Edsall was first starting to rebuild the Connecticut Huskies. He is Edsall’s right-hand man, and has coached tight ends, outside linebackers, and special teams for him. He was also the recruiting coordinator for the Huskies for four years. He is a very strong recruiter, and while he doesn’t always score the high-profile recruits, he is one of the best at finding diamonds in the rough. He is credited as the primary recruiter for Albert Reid, Chandler Burkett, and Kingsley Opara. At Connecticut, he recruited wide receiver Geremy Davis, who was unranked by many recruiting services and turned out to be the Huskies’ best outside weapon for a number of years. His recruiting regions are diverse, speaking to his recruiting talents. He will be a very important part of Randy Edsall’s attempt to strengthen the team’s recruiting presence in Ohio. Locally, Johnson is assigned to recruit Cecil and Harford counties.
The class of 2016 sees Johnson targeting two recruits: 3-star wide receiver Eric Kumah from Woodbridge, Virginia, and unranked inside linebacker Jeffrey Allison from Fairburn, Georgia.
Title: Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Recruiting Regions: Maryland, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Southwest Florida, Southern New Jersey, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina
John Dunn has been Maryland’s recruiting coordinator ever since Randy Edsall was hired as the team’s head coach, and for good reason. He is the program’s second-best recruiter behind Mike Locksley, and has overseen the recruitment of some very good players who have committed to the University of Maryland. He is credited as the primary recruiter for Derrick Hayward, Moise Larose, Isaiah Davis, David Shaw, and Elvis Dennah. His recruiting regions are very wide, but most of his attention focuses on Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Locally, he is assigned to recruit Anne Arundel, Frederick, and Carroll counties, as well as the Eastern Shore.
He is currently targeting two very high-profile recruits from Pennsylvania for the class of 2016: 4-star offensive tackle Michael Menet from Reading, and 4-star defensive tackle Karamo Dioubate from Philadelphia.
Title: Wide Receivers Coach
Recruiting Regions: Northern Virginia, Northern Florida, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi
While he is one of the newer members of Randy Edsall’s coaching staff, Keenan McCardell has proven already to be a major asset on the recruiting trail. His NFL playing and coaching experience coupled with his strong contacts in the state of Texas have really helped the Terrapins expand their recruiting efforts to new areas around the country. He was partially responsible for bringing 4-star wide receiver Juwann Winfree to College Park last season, and was the primary recruiter for 3-star linebacker Mbi Tanyi from Richmond, Texas this season. Texas is the primary region of focus for McCardell, who will also foray into the deep south as well as Northern Virginia.
All of his targets for the class of 2016 come from the state of Texas, the two biggest ones being 4-star linebacker Dontavious Jackson from Houston, and 4-star wide receiver Jeremy Smith from Missouri City. Texas is a good region to recruit athletes, and the Terrapins are attempting to recruit similar players to the ones they are targeting in Florida.
Title: Defensive Backs Coach
Recruiting Regions: N/A
Darrell Perkins is one of the new coaches that Randy Edsall hired this past off-season, but he and the head coach have some history. Perkins was the defensive backs coach for the Connecticut Huskies under Edsall in 2010, before Edsall left to take the head coaching job in College Park. He spent last season as the defensive backs coach with Old Dominion. Perkins seems to be more of a coach, not a recruiter. But that isn’t to say that he won’t have an impact at Maryland. His recruiting regions have yet to be announced, but he will likely assist some of the other coaches with recruiting the Southern Virginia area. He also has a history on the west coast, being a Wyoming graduate and spending a year coaching at Northern Colorado. In addition, he spent two years at Purdue as a graduate assistant, so he will likely be a part of Randy Edsall’s attempt to more heavily recruit the Ohio area.
Title: Running Backs Coach
Recruiting Regions: N/A
One of the other brand new members of Randy Edsall’s coaching staff, Terry Richardson brings NFL playing and coaching experience to College Park. He has a long history with Randy Edsall, serving as his running backs coach at Connecticut for 11 years. He spent the last two seasons as the running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL. His last college coaching job was in 2013 with the University of Miami, so he hasn’t recruited anyone for a few years. However, he was the primary recruiter for elite 5-star running back Duke Johnson when the Hurricanes brought him to Miami in 2012. He also recruited 4-star wide receiver Stacy Coley to Miami in 2013. While his recruiting regions have yet to be announced, he will likely focus most of his attention on the state of Florida. His experience recruiting in the southern region of the state will be vital for the Terrapins’ success at tapping those resources.
Title: Offensive Line Coach
Recruiting Regions: Maryland, Northeastern and Southwestern Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
Greg Studrawa has a full season under his belt as Maryland’s offensive line coach, and has done a solid job recruiting linemen to College Park so far. Having a recruiter like Mike Locksley bring in Derwin Gray and Damian Prince is obviously a bonus, but Studrawa has really tapped his resources in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He is primarily responsible for recruiting 3-star linemen Mason Zimmerman and Will McClain, and played a role in the recruitment of 5-star lineman Damian Prince and 3-star lineman Ellis McKennie. He was also the primary recruiter for 3-star linebacker Brett Zanotto, and played a role in recruiting 3-star linemen Sean Christie and Brendan Moore, who have both proven to be very underrated players so far for the Terrapins. Considering that he only arrived in College Park about one year ago, that’s a very good haul.
Studrawa is tasked with recruiting the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, crucial areas for recruiting talented offensive linemen. Locally, he recruits Carroll and Frederick counties. In the class of 2016, he is targeting 3-star offensive tackle Josh Ball from Fredericksburg, Virginia, and 3-star offensive tackle Liam Smith from Red Bank, New Jersey.
Title: Defensive Line Coach
Recruiting Regions: Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, Minnesota, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Also in his second season on Randy Edsall’s coaching staff, Chad Wilt has already made a big impact on the recruiting trail. Before arriving to College Park, he was the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator for Ball State University, and being able to use his recruiting contacts in the Ohio-Illinois-Indiana region is huge for a team who just joined the Big Ten Conference. His top recruit so far has been 4-star defensive end Jesse Aniebonam, and he was also the primary recruiter for 3-star defensive tackle Keiron Howard. He played a role in recruiting a number of other players, including Oseh Saine, Mbi Tanyi, and David Shaw.
Wilt is one of the most important members of the coaching staff for the Terrapins in 2016, as he is the primary recruiter for 4-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Haskins would be the best quarterback to commit to Maryland in some time, and if he does, it will be due to Wilt’s recruiting prowess. He is also targeting 4-star defensive tackle Ellison Jordan from The Gilman School and 4-star offensive tackle Sean Foster from Mundelein, Illinois. Locally, Wilt is tasked with recruiting Allegheny, Garrett, Montgomery, and Washington counties.