Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood wouldn’t publicly recognize Maryland by name on Monday at Big Ten media day in Chicago, Ill., but when asked about his recruiting plan and how it changes as his program moves into a new conference, the Terrapins were squarely in the conversation.
“What I will tell you is the Big Ten schools, whether it’s our neighbor to the west [Penn State] or our neighbor to the south or any of the other traditional programs in the Big Ten, have always recruited New Jersey and that hasn’t changed.”
Maryland has, indeed, cultivated the New Jersey recruiting grounds, including nabbing four-star 2014 wide receiver Juwann Winfree.
Flood went on to lay out his full recruiting map, one that overlaps with Maryland’s.
“Certainly as we recruit, we recruit what is called 'The State of Rutgers' and The State of Rutgers begins in New Jersey, but it also includes southeastern New York, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and we’ve always traditionally recruited Florida,” Flood said, as aired on BTN. “So that’s been our recruiting footprint and that will not change.”
Terrapins head coach Randy Edsall and his staff draw from all of those places, obviously in its own backyard in Maryland, but also in the rest of the Northeast and Florida.
Sophomore Will Likely, a Florida native, had a breakout season in 2013. Wide receiver Levern Jacobs, by way of New York, stepped up in the absence of Stefon Diggs and Deon Long after both went down with season-ending injuries.
Brandon Ross of Delaware was one half of Maryland’s running back tandem in 2013. Five-star in-state offensive lineman Damian Prince may need to be slotted in immediately as a starter up front this fall.
Most of the offseason chatter has been in regards Edsall and former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin, now the head coach at Penn State, but Flood and Rutgers want to be in the picture for their inaugural Big Ten season as well.
The Scarlet Knights visit College Park on Nov. 29.