Quotes from Signing Day Press Conference

Maryland Athletics
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Head Coach Randy Edsall

Opening Statement:

“It’s a good day for our program. We had 16 young men in the fold. We found out just like all of you about Damian [Prince] when he made the announcement. We didn’t know anything before that. We thought that we were in good shape and we had done everything we could possibly do. That was great news for our staff and for our program. When he announced, it kind of capped the morning off with 17 outstanding young men who have decided to come here and play their college football and get a great education here at the University of Maryland.

“We really had it zeroed in how many we really wanted to get at each position and really got the guys that we wanted at those positions. What it’s been able to do is add depth, more competition to our roster and now we’ve kind of got the numbers in place at the positions in terms of what we like offensively, defensively and on special teams. Again, we only really wanted to go after one quarterback and we got the guy we wanted. We only wanted one receiver and we got the guy we wanted there. We knew we needed to address the line situation on both sides of the ball and we were able to do that with quality people. So we feel good from that because your team is built from the inside out. I thought we got very athletic at the linebacker position with two outside guys and an inside guy. And then we got length, speed and range in the secondary. At tight end, we only wanted to take one and we got a guy we really like who’s athletic, moves well and is a good blocker. We didn’t get a running back this year. We have seven guys there between fullbacks and running backs, and that’s really the number we like. We felt we had a need at the snapping position, which is so vital in terms of special teams. To be able to get Nate Adams to come in and fill that role was very important to us. Nate is one of those guys that’s just not a snapper. He played at all different positions in high school. That was something that we targeted and made a priority.”

On the reaction to landing Damian Prince:

“We were all sitting in a room watching TV. We didn’t know. Talking to him the last few days, he’d get back to us, and then all of a sudden last night I was putting calls in to him and Mike [Locksley] was putting calls in to him and I said, ‘Did you talk to him last?’ He said no, ‘Did you talk to him last night?’ I said no. I think he just wanted to have some space. With all the offensive linemen, I mean, you add Brendan Moore and Sean Christie. Those are guys we feel have the size, athletic ability and mentality that we want in our offensive line. When you’re watching, they move well, they’re athletic, they’re tough and they can bend. That was something we wanted to address and I thought we addressed it in a big way with those five guys.”

On how the move to the Big Ten affected the process:

“We told them we thought it was going to be a very positive move for us to go to the Big Ten. Those guys were excited about it. We’ve got our schedules for the next five years to be able to show them who they’re playing. It was a very positive experience for those kids and they wanted to be a part of it. We used it and we used it quite often.”

On the personality of the recruits:

“It’s a really great group to be around. A lot of these guys have personality. When you guys get a chance to sit down and talk to them you’re going to be very impressed because the personalities and the way they can handle a conversation and they’re confident. It’s a good group. The 17 guys are great.”

On recruiting Damian Prince:

“Recruiting is a relationship game and it’s the relationships that you develop. I’ve had a relationship with Damian for over three years. I told him and I think he alluded to it today, I remember the day he was out at our big-man camp and he walked out there and I thought, who is that. This was at the end of his freshman year. We saw him out there and we ended up offering him. He continued to come to campus, come to games, and come to basketball games. We just really worked the relationship. When Mike [Locksley] came on board, he took over Bishop McNamara and continued to develop a really good relationship with Damian. That’s what it was. Also, Damian is a young man whose family is very important to him. We wanted his family to see him play in his collegiate career. We were upfront and honest with him the whole time and he’s been around us long enough to know who we are. He’s seen us in good times and when things haven’t been so good. We just stayed consistent and persevered and kept recruiting him. His value system was something that fit into what we’ve all about.”

On Jessie Aniebonam:

“Jessie’s one of those guys who will play at the WILL position. We’ll have him rushing and have him dropping. He’s a really good athlete and comes from a good family. He wants to do well in everything that he does and he’s a neat kid to be around. Comes from a really good program at Good Counsel. We targeted Jessie very early. He’s a young man who we had in our camp at a young age and had him around here and he’s been around us quite a bit. He’s a young man that has a great future ahead of him. I like his size, speed and athletic ability.”

On recruiting locally:

“It’s very important to us. Again, I think the one thing that everybody has to understand is that we want to recruit the best possible players here locally. Not everybody is going to fit the profile that we have. We’re not going to keep them all at home. But the ones that we identify that we want to keep at home that fit the particular needs for that year and fit the profile that we have, we’re going to aggressively pursue them. I really believe that if we can keep the nucleus of the guys from this area here at Maryland then that’s going to make us a better program.”

On how the new position coaches were involved in the process:

“We got Chad [Wilt] involved as soon as he got here. He went up and saw Brett [Kulka] in Erie and saw David [Shaw], two guys that he would be coaching. Keenan [McCardell] went up to visit with Juwann [Winfree] and that was very positive. We got Greg [Studrawa] in to see all the guys that he would be coaching. That was something we wanted to get done and we worked very diligently. We got three outstanding coaches and people that have a great track record that can relate and recruit. They played a big part down the stretch.”

On landing lesser known prospects:

“There’s a lot of fun when you find players that nobody else knows about and that the media doesn’t know about. When you take the time and effort to evaluate the kids the way you want to and then you know they’re good players and they develop and end up going onto the next level; it’s crazy because of the way the process is. That’s our job. Our job is to go out and evaluate everybody in our area. That goes back to the relationships and knowing coaches and knowing the good programs and I think we’ve got guys like that. It’s not about the stars or anything like that. It’s about what’s inside a person and the makeup. Each of these young men has a story and they all fit the profile of what we want in a Maryland football player.”

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