Year of the Terrapin?

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Since 2010, the football program at the University of Maryland has regressed from “top-25” to a laughingstock in the Big Ten Conference. 

Ever since former University of Mayland coach Ralph Friedgen was dismissed by Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, Maryland football has been in steady decline.  The record is clear when it comes to quality local talent to good recruits. 

The new head coach for the football Terrapins, Mike Locksley, grew up as a fan of the Maryland program.  He coached the running backs from 1997 to 2002; from 2012 to 2015 he was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  Locksley became the interim head coach after Randy Edsall was let go. 

After the 2015 season, most Terrapin fans were hoping the University would hire Locksley as permanent head coach, but they refused.  That move, in the long run, cost the program some quality local recruits, such as present Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins. 

Haskins backed down from his previous commitment to Maryland; he went on to attend Ohio State University, also a Big Ten school. 

Mike Locksley returned to Maryland as head coach, his dream job, in 2019. 

Coach Locksley has shown great promise; however, playing in the Big Ten Conference against teams such as Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, and Wisconsin, is no easy task.  These teams are almost always rated among the top 25, and some are National Championship contenders as well. 

Locksley has proven to be an effective coach and recruiter, particularly after targeting local football talent.  One example of fine recruiting includes wide receiver Rakim Jarrett, of the St. John College High School class of 2020.  Jarrett was rated 27th overall player nationally, and 4th over all as wide receiver.

In addition to securing solid local talent, Coach Locksley has also succeeded in recruiting high-profile transfers, such as quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, a transfer from the University of Alabama.  Taulia is the brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. 

Also joining the Terrapins will be DeJuan Ellis, a transfer from Virginia Tech.  From the University of Michigan will come running back Jordan Castleberry. 

While Maryland football can beat the easier teams in their schedule, they seem to fall apart when conference play starts.  With Coach Lacksley, the program should turn around and compete with the more highly touted schools like Ohio State and Michigan in a few years.  Perhaps a few upsets are in the making in the near future. 

While Maryland fans don’t expect a National Championship in the near future, they should expect a Bowl bid and a win in future years.  Whether the SoFi Hawaii Bowl or the Rose Bowl, Maryland fans are eager for postseason play and a WIN.  

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