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As Maryland awaits its bowl fate after finishing the regular season 7-5--a winning record for the first time in coach Randy Edsall’s tenure in College Park--the focus shifts, at least slightly.
The team will prepare for its bowl game, but there are still loose ends to be tied up on the recruiting trail and the interim period between now and then affords the staff an opportunity that they, like all other programs, plan to seize.
The two biggest blue-chip prizes for Maryland remain on the board, local prospects Jalen Tabor (DB, Friendship Collegiate (D.C.)) and Damian Prince (OL, Bishop McNamara (Md.)), and both decisions are not scheduled to be made until the new year.
Maryland is recruiting against the big boys--schools like Alabama, Florida, Florida State, and Ohio State--for players like Tabor and Prince. Already seen as solidly in the running, a winning season and bowl berth could be the blessing that seals the deal for the Terrapins.
“I think it’ll give us a bump. We’ll find out more when we go out [recruiting],” Edsall said on a conference call Sunday afternoon.
“All the negativity that [other schools] were throwing out there about a lot of different things is no longer there. I don’t know what they’re going to use from a negativity standpoint.”
Before this season’s success and bowl berth, negative recruiting likely wasn’t hard for the nation’s major power players, considering Edsall was 6-18 through two seasons in College Park.
But the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs, proving that offensive coordinator Mike Locksley could entice local blue-chip prospects to stay home, as well as the move to a new conference and the school’s status as Under Armour’s flagship school has paid dividends on the recruiting trail.
Earlier this fall, Maryland got a commitment from Good Counsel (Md.) defensive end Jesse Aniebonam and New Jersey four-star receiver Juwann Winfree.
“I think the biggest thing is it’s just good for everybody when you get to where we are right now,” Edsall said on Sunday. “This team has really come together and accomplished some good things this year, despite that adversity. Now we have to be hungrier because we want to accomplish even more as we go forward.”