A lot of news has been pumped out in the past few hours regarding Maryland's hiring of Randy Edsall, unsurprisingly. While the press conference just went down about three hours ago - and you might want to check out Dave's recap of said press conference - there's been news and reactions left and right. Not everything got caught in the MM last night, and this is big enough to be MM-free, so let's just get the links.
We'll start off from where most of the questions - at least that I've seen - surrounding Edsall are coming: recruiting. To start with, Edsall had two recruits that he may want to offer now that he's at Maryland. The first is Adrian Amos; he's a CB from Baltimore. He's a two-star on Rivals, but ESPN had him as a three-star and he had a strong senior year. Amos has re-opened his commitment.
The other is Michael Nebrich, a QB from Lake Braddock, Va., who was relatively highly-regarded. Maryland's not exactly hurting at the QB position, so I wouldn't imagine he'd jump at the opportunity nor that Maryland would want to use a scholarship on him, but it's worth considering. He put up huge numbers and was the Post's All-Met Player of the Year. Not shabby. Rivals says he was "stunned", but that's all we get in the preview.
Meanwhile, two analyst types give sort-of-contrasting opinions of Edsall from a recruiting standpoint. One is Bob Lichtenfels of Scout, who talked to Matt Bracken. His was of the more positive variety. He emphasized Edsall's ability to locate under-the-radar recruits and his staff's notorious hard work.
"Randy will find a kid - say an, Aaron Hernandez - and then three months later, Urban Meyer's recruiting him," Lichtenfels said. "So now that he's at Maryland, it's a high-profile job. It's going to be a change for him. He's going to be in there with the big dogs in recruiting, with all the other big BCS schools. It's going to be interesting. He's a real straight edge and a lot of those assistants are grinders. Like [Huskies offensive coordinator] Joe Moorhead, he's one of the hardest-working guys in the industry. At Akron, he used to take kids from Pittsburgh, Penn State and West Virginia. He's a guy who goes out there and gets it."
So no, according to this, Edsall's not a schmoozer, but he is a grinder. Ralph wasn't either, for the record. Franklin, of course, was both. I do like the sound of Moorhead, though. On the other end of the spectrum is Mike Farrell, who talked to the Washington Post. He shares some similar thoughts, but he isn't quite as positive.
"I do know one thing: If I'm a Maryland fan, I'm happy with the hire because I know he's going to win football games because he's a tremendous football coach," Farrell said in a telephone interview late Sunday night. "If I'm a recruiting fan, I don't think it's going to be as exciting as it was under (Friedgen) with (James) Franklin and (Dave) Sollazzo and those guys."
He went to say similar things as Lichtenfels, but wasn't quite as positive. He mentioned that winning brings in recruits, and he believes that Edsall will win eventually. Still, I'm not getting the feeling that Edsall, winning or not, will be brining in the type of recruits that will get fans excited on a regular basis. But he also implied Sollazzo was a good recruiter, so take it with a grain of salt. For the record, most seem to regard him as a hard worker on the trail, which Leach also was not.
In other news, Edsall wanted to bring three coaches with him to UConn. At least one of those coaches - RB coach Terry Richardson - has been hired by Miami. I would hope that Maryland would take long, hard looks at both Mike Locksley (as recruiting coordinator/RBs coach/ass't HC) and Andre Powell, who was recently released by Clemson.
In the reaction world, at least one moderately-respected outlet is approving of the hire. Both Pete Fiutak and Richard Cirminiello of CFN are approving of the hire, if not ecstatic about it. Fiutak was particularly critical of Leach, as many national types are.
But the fact of the matter is that Leach, for all the pyrotechnics and all the bluster, didn't really take Texas Tech to an elite level. It managed to win a piece of the 2008 Big 12 South championship, and then it pulled a 2010 Michigan State, lost in the bowl, and ended all the sympathy pains felt for a team that didn't catch a break. Other than that, he didn't take the Red Raiders to a Big 12 title game, much less a BCS game. But he would've sold tickets and Maryland football would've been a thing. Edsall at least has a BCS appearance on the résumé.
I don't think anyone can get away from the implication: Edsall might mean a better fit, a higher floor, and maybe even just as much success on the field, but Leach did and always will signify more sold tickets. It's just the way it is. Is that short-sighted? A little. But I think you'd be hard-pressed to criticize Anderson if that turned out to be the base of his decision, just as it's tough to criticize him if he truly believes that Edsall is a better coach for Maryland.
Both Patrick Stevens and Jeff Barker kick in with some quickie-analysis. For Stevens, we have winners and losers from the hire, and they're worth reading to get a grip on what's happening. Barker has five questions on where Maryland goes from here, though none are recruiting-centric and I find that weird.
One final note, from Barker: Leach doesn't seem particularly happy about being left out in the cold.
"When you get into a deal like this you don't know all the characters invoved and what their motivations are and what they're looking for. It's kind of like there's a certain amount of mind-reading if you're guessing what exactly they're looking for," he said. "I've got 10 years that speak for itself. We won 85 games and lost about 40. Won more bowl games than in the rest of their history combined."
Sounds like he thought the job was his.