One of the main selling points for D.J Durkin becoming Maryland's next head football coach was his recruiting acumen. He's a onetime Rivals recruiter of the year, and his fingerprints can be seen everywhere across his many stops in and around college football, particularly at Florida and even at Michigan in his brief stint as Jim Harbaugh's defensive coordinator.
If there are concerns that he's only able to recruit highly rated defensive players, then worry no longer. When he was at Florida from 2010 to earlier this year, he was able to recruit many highly rated recruits to join him such as offensive tackle D.J Humphries, rated as a 5 star recruit by 247 and the third overall rated player in the class of 2012. He now plays for the Arizona Cardinals. He was also able to recruit highly rated defensive end Jonathan Bullard, a 5 star defensive end, and a slightly successful quarterback named Will Grier.
He wasn't just able to recruit players well in the state of Florida, he was able to get players from North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia to commit to the Gators. According to 247, all of the players he personally recruited were ranked no lower than 39 and their position, and was able to snag six top 10 recruits for their positions. And do you remember Jalen Tabor, the five-star D.C. cornerback Florida snagged away from Maryland two seasons ago? That was Durkin and Travaris Robinson, a defensive assistant who is a real Maryland candidate now.
Recently, Durkin's going after some of the highest rated recruits in the country for Michigan, primarily on defense including multiple players ranked in the top 10 at their positions. He's been recently linked with Texas outside linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch, the fifth best OLB in the country, and ILB Donatvious Jackson, who recently visited Michigan (and has been offered a scholarship by Maryland). He's personally had four commits for the upcoming Michigan class of 2016, all three star corners and athletes from the state of Florida.
He's already caused waves in the DMV, based on this tweet from top-100 defensive end Terrell Hall:
Great hire for Maryland!
— Terrell Hall (@_TrillTrell_) December 2, 2015
There's a lot of time between now and National Signing Day. But early signs on Durkin as a recruiter, coupled with his past history, are only good.