You could see the elation in every high-five and fist pump that took place in Maryland’s staff room as coaches watched five-star offensive line prospect Damian Prince commit on national television to play college football with the Terrapins.
But what about the ones who got away?
Head coach Randy Edsall was reluctant to talk about that when asked on Wednesday, National Signing Day, in the wake of a mid-week decision by Prince that changed the fortunes of his program’s 2014 recruiting class. Positivity, positivity, positivity.
“I never worry about misses. I only worry about the guys we have,” Edsall said. “The guys that we signed are the ones that are most important. The guys that don’t want to be here...they’re missing out on something special.”
Among those who Edsall would say are “missing out” would be 33 of the Top 35 players in the state of Maryland, according to Rivals.com, and five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor of nearby Friendship Collegiate (D.C.).
To Maryland’s credit, though the Terrapins secured commitments from only two of the state’s Top 35 players, the two that they got--Prince of Bishop McNamara and Good Counsel’s Jesse Aniebonam--were the state’s two highest-rated players.
“The guys that signed today, they want to be a part of what we’re doing...We embrace them,” Edsall said. “The guys that maybe we went after that didn’t want to be here, we wish them good luck and, you know, we’ll see them on the field or we’ll see them somewhere down the road.”
Edsall then emphasized player development, centered around the same mantra he has maintained all season about “the process” and how it would be unwise to rush such a thing.
“In this business, you worry about the guys you don’t get,” he said. “We never lose people because we never had them to begin with.”