Next years Maryland football team will see several changes that we have not seen in several years. This year they will have Randy Edsall as head coach instead of Ralph Friedgen. While the success Friedgen had can be argued, the impact that he made on Maryland football cannot. He changed Maryland from being a no name football school to one with a name in his first season. And while they did not win the Orange Bowl in his first year as coach, him getting there put Maryland on the map as a football power for the first time in years.
A difference can also be seen in the way Edsall and Friedgen coached. While we have yet to see Randy Edsall coach a game, we can already notice that he has wanted to enforce discipline and a more controlled style of football on Maryland. When Edsall changed the name on the back of the jerseys, there may have been conflicted views on the subject. On the one hand, some might have seen it as a way of quickly putting his stamp on the program, or wanting to make the players earn the names on their jerseys. However, others might have seen it simply as Edsall trying to put a larger focus on Maryland as a team rather than individuals. Whatever view, it definitely was a change that will be noticed.
Friedgen was much more of a players coach. He did not invoke strict, harsh discipline, and we have also heard that he let some of his players slip on their grades. This is something that will almost surely never happen with Edsall.
This will also be the first year in a while that Maryland enters a season without a star receiving threat. In past years, they have had Torrey Smith, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Vernon Davis. These receivers made life much easier on the mediocre quarterbacks Maryland has had, such as Sam Hollanbach, Jordan Steffy, and Chris Turner. However, now that Maryland has a quarterback who looks like he could be a star, Danny O'Brien, they do not have a good passing target as they have in years past.
These changes in Maryland football are substantial. They mark a new era and new direction the program is headed. Many will have different views on this change and will have different opinions. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that that how Maryland responds to these changes will be what determines their success in the future.