Sorry to say this, but recruiting some 3-star in Ohio doesn't change what Edsall is as a recruiter. It's the weakest part of his game, and it always has been. That was plain to see the day that they hired him. His strengths were supposed to be leadership, integrity, in-game coaching, player development, program management, things along those lines. Time will tell whether he lives up to expectations in those areas, I suppose, but he's never been a good recruiter. His inability to recruit competitive talent this year (when he had the UA swag and Miami win and the newness of the coaching staff to use as natural selling points) should tell everyone all you need to know. Edsall is not going to recruit us out of this mess. He's going to have to coach us out of it and that's why I keep saying we're going to turn into UConn after he gets finished filling the roster with the "his guys" you all keep talking about. "His guys" are unheralded, un-physically-gifted, off-the-radar guys who are considered by all the rating services to be borderline major-college talent. They want to play D-1 ball and they're willing to play for some morals-based disciplinarian to achieve that dream. Do some of them work out? Sure. But when we line up against FSU and Clemson 3 years from now, FSU and Clemson are going to have 90% of the best raw talent on the field. When that day comes and Edsall has a roster full of less-talented players who are "his guys" and buy into what he is selling, I'm sure we won't go 4-8 like we're headed toward this year, but I'm just as sure we won't ever be a major player on the national scene either. We'll be 6-6 and 7-5, maybe a breakthrough 8-4 season -- just like UConn, although I'm not sure they ever lost as few as 4. People will talk about how much heart Maryland has because we'll be the little guys nobody thought was going to be good, but instead we're good enough to go 7-5 and upset someone every now and then. We'll be the scrappy team that brings our lunch pail every week. UConn, Wake Forest, USF -- that's the mold you're following by not caring about recruiting major talent, but instead caring about guys who conform to your alternative system that isn't based on talent but instead based on running some gimmicky schemes and having kids that are happy to be there. If you're good at it, you're UConn, if you aren't, you're Indiana.
Someone tried to draw a parallel with Boise State. That's absurd. Boise has 9 soft games a year against Wyoming State and they have the entire offseason and then all season long to prepare for the 1 real game on their schedule and their bowl game against some BCS conference team that wishes it was playing somewhere else. You can do that with no-stars, 2-stars and a few 3-stars if you have good coaches and a good culture, but you can't run the gauntlet of a major-conference schedule. Anybody honestly think Boise could finish in the top-4 in the SEC? If they played FSU, GT, VT and Clemson over the course of 7 weeks, how they gonna hold up?
It's been the recruiting that's bothered me all along with Edsall. That's why I jumped ship so early even though I was an early supporter of the Edsall hire. When Edsall got destroyed out of the starting gate coaching-wise by West Virginia, Temple and Towson, it was enough for me. This year was his chance to show that he could both coach and recruit. I thought he could coach going in, but wasn't sure if he'd raise his recruiting game at Maryland or not. Now our class is like 2/3 full or more and it's very, very weak. So his recruiting is what it is and what it always has been. He hasn't coached well, he hasn't been a good leader or salesman for the program, he hasn't hired well, he hasn't made good personnel decisions and he hasn't used the very few recruiting opportunities we have had this year (the Miami win, playing well offensively at home against Clemson) to land key recruits.
Not only are we getting killed nationally in recruiting and getting killed in the ACC in recruiting, but we're also getting killed ***IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND*** in recruiting. Of Rivals' top-25 Maryland recruits, we've only got three -- #s 8, 14 and 22. That's inexcusable. It's disgusting. I didn't like Franklin as a local recruiter either but he was way better than that in our own backyard. Are we putting up a fence? No. We're not even recruiting some of the best guys if they don't fit into the Edsall mold, whatever that is. We're on the outside of a fence that's around Baltimore.
So as an in-game football coach, as a leader, as a decision-maker, as a program manager, I do agree that it's too early to write Edsall off -- although he's certainly off to a poor start on all fronts. I'm sure he'll get better here with time. But as a recruiter, the die is cast. 1. He didn't come in here as a good recruiter. 2. He's not recruiting well this season. 3. The season we're having is not going to help him recruit in the near-term future, and so ... 4. There's no reason to believe he's going to change his recruiting philosophy or results down the road. Recruiting is the great crystal ball of college football. You really can see what you're going to be in the future. Clemson started recruiting and landing really talented players 3 years ago when Dabo came in and look at them now. With Edsall, we're recruiting the least talented recruiting classes in the program's modern history.
For those of you preaching patience, patience is not what is needed right now with Maryland football. When UVA brought in Mike London, the team was bad but he was recruiting really solid 3- and 4-star players and landing them. THAT was a recipe that requires patience. With Edsall, the team is bad and the recruiting is just as bad. That is a recipe that requires change. He's not going to get fired, whether I like it or not, but he can get better assistants who both recruit and coach better, he can change his recruiting philosophy next year and not sign non-demand recruits so early in the recruiting cycle. He can let go of this morals BS and focus on what he needs talent-wise. We can't be both a bad playing team and a bad recruiting team. It will land us in the basement of the ACC talent-wise and when that happens, there's only so good you can be.
1,100 words. Wow. I guess I'm frustrated.