A quick football note in a weekend that's expected to be dominated by basketball: another piece of Randy Edsall's staff at Maryland is falling into place, as David Walker, Pitt's running backs coach, looks to be headed to College Park. He's following Greg Gattuso, Pitt's DL coach, who is also going to be an Edsall assistant.
Edsall originally planned to bring in three former UConn assistants: Joe Moorhead (OC/QB), Lyndon Johnson (ST/LB), and Terry Richardson (RB). Richardson, however, headed to Miami, while Moorhead has been telling recruits that he'll be staying if he'll be had. Johnson is the only one that did actually accept an offer from Edsall and is currently planning to be in College Park next season.
As you probably know at this point, WR coach Lee Hull and DC Don Brown are both on their ways back. That's very good news: if there were only two assistants I could've retained, they'd be Hull and Brown (with Brattan and Seamonson a close third and fourth).
Right now, the staff looks like this:
DC: Don Brown. Everybody knows Brown by now; he has great connections in the state of Florida and is a great playcalling / developing defensive coordinator.
OC: Unfilled. Moorhead may take the spot, but I'd prefer a bigger name. Mark Whipple, who's good friends with Don Brown, comes to mind. Someone like Illinois' Paul Petrino or SDSU's Al Borges would be a homerun hire, but are ultimately unlikely. Two former Terrapin QBs, Scott Milanovich and Frank Reich, may both be candidates. Milanovich is the current OC for the Montreal Alouttes of the CFL, while Reich is the QB coach for the Indianapolis Colts. And, of course, there's the ultiamte hire: Mike Locksely. Most likely, it'll be Moorhead or someone we've never heard of.
QB: Unfilled. There are three options here: Edsall, a former QB at Syracuse, could handle them; the as-of-yet unnamed OC could handle them; or it could be a separate hire. No idea as of yet, but with so much QB talent on the team and in the area, this is an important hire.
RB: David Walker (Pitt). Played at Syracuse with Edsall. Pitt's done very well with their running backs over the past few years, with guys like LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis essentially coming out of nowhere to dominate. I have no idea how much Walker had to do with that, but neither That spells good things for D.J. Adams in the future. Walker mostly recruits northern PA, NY, New Jersey, and Ohio. He had a quiet 2011 recruiting season, but raided Ohio in 2010. He's not an amazing recruiter, but is good enough.
WR: Lee Hull. Hull's done a great job in developing WRs (Torrey Smith especially, who entered the program as a QB) and has been a solid recruiter over the past few years; he hasn't landed a ton of guys (he did get Marcus Leak and Tyler Smith, among others), but he got Maryland into the final few for a lot of big-time prospects. Maryland just had trouble finishing, which is often up to the HC.
OL: Unfilled. Tom Brattan may be brought back, but no decision has been reached there as of yet. You have to wonder if maybe Mike Tice or John Tice would be candidates; both are Maryland grads and OL coaches in the pros, Mike with the Bears and John with the NY Sentinels of the UFL. I would prefer Brattan, but I wouldn't be upset with either of the Tices.
DL: Greg Gattuso (Pitt). A former Penn State Nittany Lion, Gattuso the head coach for Duquesne for 11 years, compiling a record of 97-32. He took a job at crosstown Pitt back in 2005, and was there until Dave Wannstedt lost his job. Since 2008, he was the assistant head coach, in addition to the DL coach. Pitt's DL has been loaded in the past few years, including having the Big East Co-Defensive Players of the Year on the same line. As far as recruiting, he's been Pitt's primary recruiter for Western Pa. over the past few years and he's done an admirable, if not amazing, job at it. I expect he has stronger connections than Hull, so Hull will likely become the primary recruiter in DC or NC.
LB: Lyndon Johnson (UConn). UConn hasn't really had any stars at LB over the past few years, so it's tough to quantify the job he's done. As far as recruiting goes, he was UConn's primary recruiter for Georgia and Florida. He's landed a couple of kids out of Norcross, a traditional powerhouse in the Atlanta area, which is good news; Maryland has landed two Norcross kids over the past three years.
DB: Unfilled. Edsall coached safeties when he was at UConn, and is a former DB coach himself, so he might want the job. Another option could be Curome Cox, a former Maryland star who is currently a graduate assistant at UMD. He went to Gonzaga and is young, so I'd be interested to see how he does in local recruiting. And if he's not yet great as a DB coach, well, that's Edsall's natural position, so there's some leeway. Or, of course, Maryland could just leave the position unfilled.
ST: Lyndon Johnson (UConn). We already talked about Johnson's recruiting, so let's keep this short: UConn had solid, not necessarily spectacular, special teams. He was solid, and unless you're getting a star ST coach like Ray Rychleski, that's as much as you can ask.
Edsall's hires have certainly made the move look a little better than it did initially. Don Brown staying on was huge, and the first two poaches from Pitt look sensible. Now, if they just figure out a way to keep Brattan aboard, I'll be completely content.