COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — One of the reasons Mike Locksley was recently re-hired at Maryland was because of his prowess as a recruiter.
Locksley developed his recruiting reputation during his six-year stint as an assistant coach at Maryland. A District of Columbia native who played high school football in Prince George’s County, Locksley used his deep-seated connections in those two critical recruiting areas to stock the Terrapins with some outstanding local talent.
Before stints as the recruiting coordinator at Florida and Illinois under coach Ron Zook — and the last three as head coach at New Mexico — Locksley was responsible for signing such all-time Maryland greats as tailback LaMont Jordan, defensive end Shawne Merriman and tight end Vernon Davis.
So it was welcome news to Maryland fans when coach Randy Edsall announced Locksley was returning to College Park as offensive.
“With his relationships and his connections here in the Maryland area, I think (Locksley) is going to be tremendous,”
Edsall said in announcing the hire.
Indeed, Locksley has made an immediate impact by taking the lead in the recruitment of tailback Wes Brown from Good Counsel in Olney, Md. Brown, a consensus four-star prospect, committed to Maryland while playing in the Under Armour All-American Bowl on Jan. 5 and is considered the prized catch of Edsall’s first full recruiting class.
Brown, who garnered more than 30 scholarship offers and also listed Miami and Oklahoma as finalists, made it clear that Locksley was a major reason why he picked Maryland.
Locksley “has been away from Maryland for 10 years, and I know he’s happy to be home and back is in his comfort zone now,” Brown told Rivals.com. “He’s going after all the guys from Maryland and making sure he can get some talent to stay here. He’s putting the idea out there that Maryland can be great if the (local recruits) stay in-state.”
Locksley had numerous players from the Maryland-D.C. area on the roster at New Mexico. One of those was safety Zach Dancel, a freshman from Good Counsel who announced earlier this month that he is transferring to Maryland.
Locksley was also largely responsible for Maryland landing running back Albert Reid from Friendship Collegiate in D.C. and wide receiver Levern Jacobs, a Suitland High (Md.) product who took a prep school year at Milford Academy in New York.
Locksley has also gotten Maryland back into the mix for Good Counsel wide receiver-defensive back Stefon Diggs, the consensus No. 1 player in the state. Diggs, a five-star recruit who was named Maryland Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press, has whittled a list of 40 scholarship offers down to Auburn, California, Florida, Maryland and Ohio State. He is scheduled to make a decision on Feb. 10.
Maryland is expected to announce a 23-player recruiting class on Wednesday. In addition to Diggs, the Terrapins are also hoping to still gain the services of defensive tackle D.J. Reader of Grimsley High in Greensboro, N.C. The 6-foot-3, 306-pound Reader is also a standout baseball player and wants to play both sports in college.
He has narrowed his choices to Maryland and Atlantic Coast Conference rival Clemson.
Maryland could also sign two other four-star prospects in offensive lineman Mike Madaras of Good Counsel and linebacker Abner Logan of Dexter High in Brookline, Mass. Madaras, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle who was a consensus All-State selection, was the first prospect to commit to Edsall.
Recruiting analysts believe Logan, who also considered N.C. State and Northwestern, could prove a real steal for the Terps.
Edsall is expected to receive letters-of-intent from a total of eight prospects from the Maryland-D.C. region despite the fact Maryland is coming off a 2-10 season.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)