Maryland Football: Early Summer Headlines
2011 was a season of lows for the University of Maryland football team. Losses, small crowds and conflict were commonplace for the Terrapins in 2011. Come 2012, things may have changed in College Park. New coaches and recruits, as well as the return of a key player may spark Maryland this fall.
Consider the following storylines as the Terps head toward the 2012 season...
Mike Locksley: Recruiting the Class of 2013
In January, former New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley joined the Maryland coaching staff as an offensive coordinator. Though he left New Mexico amidst drama, he is one of the higher paid offensive coordinators in the nation (500,000 per/year). The addition paid immediate dividends, as Locksley lured a coveted recruit to College Park in Stefon Diggs.
With a reputation as a strong D.C. area recruiter, he readily attracted players from the DMV to New Mexico.
How will Locksley’s addition impact Maryland’s Class of 2013? It is too early to make any judgments as of yet, but it is certainly something to keep an eye on in the form of both high school students and transfers.
Upgrading the Playing Field in Byrd Stadium
Maryland is currently installing a turf field in Byrd Stadium, according to the Baltimore Sun. Though the school has not issued an announcement, work is apparently underway.
Attendance for the football team was at an 11-year low last-year. The quality of team certainly impacts these numbers, but other changes may improve the Maryland football environment.
Field turf is certainly something a lot of teams have embraced in recent years. Will turf upset the tradition associated with Byrd Stadium?
Diggs and Tate: Can They Carry the Terps in 2012?
2012 will bring two players to the Terps’ sideline.
According to the Baltimore Sun, WR/KR Stefon Diggs will enroll in summer courses at the university beginning in July. These courses will enable Diggs to partake in summer workouts prior to training camp.
Though it is unclear how much Diggs will play as a freshman, many are interested in his progress.
Fellow WCAC (Dematha Catholic) standout Kenny Tate will return for his senior season, following a devastating injury last season. Many scouts projected him as a strong NFL prospect prior to his injury. Will Tate return to form in 2012?
Skipping Town: Player Turnover in College Park
At least 13 players have departed the University of Maryland football team since the end of the 2011 season. Fans should not expect a 100-percent retention rate, but Maryland has experienced a disproportionately high number of players leaving the program the past two years.
Will any additional players leave the Terps over the summer?
The Beginning of Summer Workouts
Earlier today, Randy Edsall tweeted, “The team starts summer session courses today. 69 days until our first practice in August.”
The Terps start off with an underrated William and Mary team. Later, they play Edsall’s former employer—the University of Connecticut—in September.
The Terps seem to be building momentum since the end of a tough 2011 season—consider the additions of Locksley and Diggs, the return of Tate and even small details including the installation of field turf.
Consider how these story lines will develop over the course of the summer.