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Maryland hires Alabama's Aazaar Abdul-Rahim as defensive backs coach

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Abdul-Rahim has a strong recruiting background and local ties.

Sung-Min Kim

Maryland football has hired Alabama assistant director of player personnel Aazaar Abdul-Rahim as a defensive backs coach. Inside Maryland Sports's Jeff Ermann was first to report the news on Monday.

Abdul-Rahim, a Washington native, is DJ Durkin's first known assistant coach hire. He could replace defensive backs coach Darrell Perkins, whom Randy Edsall hired for the Terrapins before last season. Abdul-Rahim will take charge of a secondary that underachieved badly in the 2015 season and returns at most one starter, cornerback Will Likely.

But Abdul-Rahim is an interesting hire, more than anything, for what he might bring on the recruiting trail. Maryland defensive tackle recruit Adam McLean and a couple of other local prospects were campaigning publicly for Maryland to hire Abdul-Rahim before the ink was even dry on Durkin's deal to become the program's head coach.

McLean, who unenrolled from the university in September due to eligibility issues but is expected to return, led the movement (at least on Twitter) to bring Abdul-Rahim to College Park.

At Alabama, Abdul-Rahim wasn't a coach, but a player personnel man. That means he was focused on recruiting, which is a bit easier in Tuscaloosa than it is in College Park.

Still, he was born in Washington and has cultivated quite a name for himself on the local football scene. He was the first head coach for Friendship Collegiate Academy when its varsity program debuted in 2004, and he rapidly built the school into a local football power.

While running Friendship Collegiate's program, Abdul-Rahim produced blue-chip prospects left and right, including former Terp Yannick Ngakoue and current Maryland offensive tackle Derwin Gray, as well as Chicago Bears DT Eddie Goldman and Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor.