Maryland football recruiting will shift westward

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

Edsall, players discuss Terps' move to Big Ten

Maryland nose tackle Darius Kilgo returns to his home state on Saturday when the Terrapins wrap up the season at North Carolina. Kilgo is one of seven Terps, including five starters, from the Tar Heel State.

Maryland has been able to recruit in North Carolina and other states to the south because of its association with the ACC. With Monday's move to the Big Ten, Maryland coach Randy Edsall said the Terps will attempt to stake out recruiting turf in the Midwest.

Kilgo doesn't necessarily believe Terps coaches will suddenly be persona non grata in North Carolina however. He said they now can offer a better opportunity, a chance to play traditional powers Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.

Up next
Maryland at North Carolina
When » Saturday, 3 p.m.
Where » Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
TV » RSN

"I would probably have been more excited coming here being able to play against those big schools," Kilgo said. "It gives you lots of exposure."

Maryland's sensational freshman Stefon Diggs, who played at nearby Good Counsel, said he's not sure he would have come to College Park if the school had committed to the Big Ten a year ago.

"At the time, maybe it would have affected my decision," Diggs said. "There's nothing I can do about it now. Stick with it, grind it out."

Maryland senior wideout Kevin Dorsey doesn't believe a move to the Big Ten will negatively impact the Terps' foothold in the Washington area, where Edsall and his top local recruiter, Mike Locksley, have made big strides. He said they now can sell the opportunity to play in some of the most hallowed stadiums in the sport.

"Michigan's an historic program. You go to a stadium of 100,000. It's a sea of blue and yellow. Those are things recruits want to go see," Dorsey said. "It kind of reminds you of a West Virginia game."

In trying to make connections in the Midwest, Maryland coaches will be starting from scratch. There isn't a player on the roster from any of the following states: Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota or Iowa.

"We'll get into Ohio more, get into Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City," Edsall said. "I think because of the Big Ten Network the exposure you're going to get might even help us in other areas, and we can go and look at some kids and say, 'This is what we have to offer.'?"

Edsall said he looks forward to the chance to sell Maryland's criminal justice curriculum, one of the most popular among his players. Another carrot he can dangle is the possibility of an internship at one of Washington's prestigious firms, often leading to a postgraduate opportunity.

When word broke of Maryland's move, some players who had verbally committed registered their disapproval via Twitter and recruiting websites. But Edsall said he called all of his recruits Monday night to allay their concerns.

"There's no issues," Edsall said. "Here are kids who are in high school and they have a lot of emotions and yesterday when the news broke people get on the phone and say, 'Hey what do you think about this?' They don't know anything. They're probably hearing it for the first time."

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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Kevin Dunleavy

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner