I love Terrapins Rising, for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that it's damn good TV. But it does seem to have an impact on recruiting. Or, at least the Diamondback thinks so.
One player that is very familiar with the different aspects of recruiting is freshman wide receiver Kenny Tate. Tate, a four-star recruit from DeMatha High School, said he used to watch the show while in high school. Tate said even though he didn't have a lot of time to watch television, he came away with a positive impression of the Terps through the show.
"It gives an insight on what the team is doing, and it informs you of some things that you didn't know where going on," Tate said.
Tate is not the only player Terrapins Rising has affected. Terrapin Times.com's Keith Cavanaugh recalled a story in which a player was so "pumped up hearing [head] coach [Ralph] Friedgen speak" on Terrapins Rising he committed right after watching it.
If it really did help with Kenny Tate, I'm good with it.
Honestly, TTK (that's Keith)'s story sounds slightly fishy. But hey, that's okay - the show definitely can't have a negative impact. What player doesn't want to be featured on local TV (and in some cases, "national")? It also gives a player a heads up to what practice is going to be like, how the coaches act.
One of the biggest things about the show is that it's not just propaganda. Jess Atkinson, the show's producer, puts some negative stories in there - for instance, when Jeremey Ricker transferred last year. It adds credibility. If there was no negative, recruits could dismiss it as a glorified recruiting package. Because it highlights the bad along with the good, a recruit sees the contrast, and knows there's no lies. Granted, there may be omissions, but the beauty of it is the balance. Mostly good - almost all good - displays of UMD, with a bad one every once and awhile.
Another important aspect - players and coaches are not supposed to make contact during the summer. It's a "dead zone". Players are allowed to think, to stew, if you will, about their upcoming decisions without coaches pressuring them. (Players may contact coaches, though, I believe.) So, in this "dead period", who's team is making contact with DC and Baltimore kids?
I do not think this is a determining factor in a recruitment. In fact, in most, it barely deserves mention. But it can't hurt. And in some recruits, it will help.