Randy Edsall often sticks to a collection of talking points that tend to shade toward dryness.
"It was a good effort. We had a good week of practice. They're a good team. We have confidence in our game plan." And that's his style.
But in response to comments to boosters by new Penn State head coach James Franklin about impending recruiting domination in the region, Edsall had a spicier response when prompted.
The initial shot fired?
“I consider [Maryland] in-state. I consider New Jersey in-state,” Franklin said about his program's recruiting plan at a rally in Baltimore in May. “[T]hey might as well shut them down because they don’t have a chance.”
And now the shot fired back:
"We're not gonna boast and brag. We're more about substance at Maryland," Edsall told the York Dispatch at a charity golf tournament in Pennsylvania on Monday. "We're gonna find guys that fit the profile we're looking for. We're gonna worry about ourselves and not worry about anything else. Talk is cheap."
No one is shutting it down, of course, but Franklin and Penn State have the clear edge so far when drawing talent from the class of 2015.
The Nittany Lions rank third in the country according to Rivals.com with 16 commits, including 10 four-star pledges. Maryland checks in at No. 37 with one four-star commit.
Jabs aside, the exchange highlights a contrast in styles between the two coaches. Edsall, known as a disciplinarian with a highly structured program, is different from Franklin, who is the publicly visible seller of a program who goes on a regional tour to make his pitch.
Though they'll be competing in the same region, it doesn't mean they'll necessarily be honing in on the same players. Sure, they'll overlap on four- and five-star prospects, but they could both end up with solid classes while still drawing from the same geographical pond. It just depends on the style a player prefers.
In a public contest of rhetoric, Franklin wins hands down and I'm sure Edsall realizes that. Franklin could sell a cage to a lion, so it's doubtful that this light sparring continues. But that doesn't mean Maryland fades into the background.