With all the turmoil surrounding Maryland football for the past six months, new head coach Mike Locksley knew this year’s early signing period would be a relatively quiet one for the Terps.
Though Maryland signed a Big Ten-low six players, Locksley was optimistic about the start to the 2019 class.
“The guys we signed today were guys that I had some personal relationships with, that I did know a lot about and had done research on,” Locksley told reporters on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. “I think all six of these guys will make us better.”
Three of the players who signed Wednesday committed to Maryland in the two weeks since Locksley’s hire, with three more honoring their verbal commitments to the previous staff. Five of the six signees are from the DMV, which Locksley called “the foundation for (his) program.”
“We’re really going to a good job with every school [in the region],” he said. “Especially in the state or District of Columbia to make sure who the players are and get on them as early as possible.”
While other new hires may be working hard to nail down as much of their class as possible during the early signing period, Locksley has taken a different approach. He said he was more focused on stabilizing the current roster since he was hired, and that he’s met with approximately 85-90 percent of returning players before returning to Tuscaloosa to help Alabama prepare for it’s Orange Bowl matchup against Oklahoma. Once he’s done with practice for the day at Alabama, he spends time on the phone recruiting and talking to his current staff.
Once the Tide’s season ends, whether it be in Miami or at the CFP National Title game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Jan. 7, Locksley plans to do in-home visits with as many recruits as possible. That won’t just be for high school seniors, but for junior college and graduate transfers as well. Despite Maryland’s slow start to this year’s recruiting class, Locksley is still optimistic the Terps will use all their remaining scholarships.
“I think our plan is we have 21 scholarships to use, maybe 22, but as we know that number fluctuates,” he said. “I anticipate being able to sign a full class, which would put us at 25. That’s our plan moving forward.”