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NCAA Football

Maryland Terrapins Eying 2016 Defensive Ends


Everyone knows that recruiting is the lifeline of college football.  It’s all about stockpiling enough talent that peaks together at the right time, under a good coaching staff, to win a national championship.  As my old man commonly reminds me- “It’s more about the Jimmies and the Joes than the X’s and the O’s”

There is a reason that the teams that are in the top ten in recruiting rankings, are usually hovering around the top ten when the season ends.  Recruiting goes hand in hand with winning national championships.  The SEC usually has about 10-11 of their 14 teams in the top 25 recruiting rankings, any wonder they have won the last 6 national championships?

For the Maryland Terrapins, Head Coach Randy Edsall realizes that the talent level in College Park is vastly inferior compared with teams that regularly compete for the big dance.  Edsall is not necessarily known as a knock down recruiter, but Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley is.

Locksley is in his first season back with the Terrapins, and is focused on establishing relationships with young football players who can potentially help Maryland down the line.  Not just guys that are about to graduate either this winter or next spring, but guys that are years away from graduating.  We’re talking about guys that won’t graduate until 2016.

Edsall, Locksley and co. are paying a lot of attention to two local guys in particular.  Shane Simmons, from DeMatha in Hyattsville MD, and Rahshaun Smith, from Calvert Hall in Towson MD, are only weeks into Varsity football, but both already have a trio of offers.

Simmons, 6’3’’ 210lbs, camped extremely well this summer at Maryland and at the Virginia Cavaliers facilities, drawing offers afterward.  The North Carolina Tar Heels just recently offered as well.  Simmons has been playing weakside defensive end, and has explosive speed.

Smith, 6’3’’220lbs, has received offers from Maryland, the Boston College Eagles and the Youngstown State Penguins.  Smith has also been in contact with the coaches from the Southern Cal Trojans and UCLA Bruins.  Smith has a heck of a frame, and looks like he could get a lot bigger.  He has been playing strongside defensive end thus far.

Both are high on the Terps as of now, which is expected.  What freshman in high school wouldn’t be psyched to get a football scholarship from their local BCS school?  But there is no telling how many things could happen in, the next four years.

But this the time to start paying attention to who will be good or not.  Start developing relationships with them now, so when it comes time to actually sign on the dotted line, they feel comfortable choosing your school and your coaching staff.  Comfort level is one of the biggest components of recruiting, and the more comfortable a player is with your staff, the more likely you will sign him.

So while Simmons and Smith are years away from potentially playing for the Terps, kudos to Edsall and his staff for getting the ball rolling.  The next Tim Tebow, Herschel Walker or Archie Griffin is out there right now.  The question is who is can find him first.