Maryland football’s signing day includes just one player to cap 2018 class

As Maryland Coach DJ Durkin gushed over his 2018 recruiting class during the inaugural early national signing day in late December, he knew he still had work to do. He had a about month before the traditional National Signing Day — which commenced Wednesday morning — to find a cornerback to help solidify the future of his secondary. But Durkin had already been recruiting Kenric Montgomery Jr. for months on end, checking in on the talented Tampa prospect whenever he could. “In the end, that’s probably what won out,” Durkin said Wednesday as he celebrated the signing of Montgomery, a four-star cornerback who chose the Terrapins over Nebraska, Louisville and UCLA. “A lot of teams were making a run at him late, but we had built a good relationship. Our coaching staff did a great job. That comfort level, that relationship is what held us up in the end.” [See the rest of Maryland’s 2018 recruiting class] 4-star CB Ken Montgomery Jr. is going to be a Maryland Terrapin. — Kelly Parsons (@_kellyparsons) February 7, 2018 Montgomery’s decision to sign was a key recruiting victory for Durkin, who in January lost a commitment from H.D. Woodson star cornerback Noah Boykin. Boykin pledged to Notre Dame on Wednesday, but Maryland is encouraged by what it is acquiring in Montgomery, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound defensive back who becomes the third player ranked in ESPN’s Top 300 to join the Terrapins’ 2018 class. Maryland’s class, heavy with offensive and defensive line prospects, had only one other defensive back sign in December — Boykin’s H.D. Woodson teammate, Vincent Flythe. “[Montgomery] is unique in that he has great movement skills, along with length. A lot of the time you look at corners, it’s either one or the other … sometimes you find those unique guys that have both,” Durkin said. “You mix that with his tremendous Continue Reading

The ACC is worse off without Maryland basketball than the other way around

John Feinstein, The Washington Post Published 10:27 am, Saturday, January 6, 2018 On that cold November day in 2012 - it was actually fairly warm, it just felt cold in College Park - when University of Maryland President Wallace Loh announced the school was leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference to join the Big Ten, there was much gnashing of teeth among Maryland alumni and fans. Deservedly so. After all, Maryland was a founding member of the ACC in 1953 and, despite many frustrations, Terrapins fans cherished their basketball rivalries with Duke, North Carolina and, to a lesser extent, Virginia. There was no way to match the feeling in the building when the Blue Devils and Tar Heels came to town regardless of how good Michigan State, Purdue or Michigan might be. Local Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Natural gas explosion at South Side motel hospitalizes 2 with severe burns mysa This tamale-making hack may change your next tamalada mysa Dog caught in middle of family's New Year's Eve fireworks mysa San Antonio child sings 'Remember Me' from Coco in heart-wrenching tribute to baby sister mysa Well-known San Antonio cook gunned down on his front porch, suspect at large mysa Man found dead in rollover wreck at busy S.A. intersection mysa Woman killed in fiery rollover crash on U.S. 281 mysa Video of San Antonio dad's Christmas hover board accident goes viral on social media mysa Summers enjoying trip home with TCU Bexar County identifies woman killed in deputy involved shooting Fox7 The reason for the move, as everyone knows, was money. Maryland was broke, having been forced to jettison seven nonrevenue sports earlier that same year, and it was drowning in red ink because of an ill-conceived plan to expand a football stadium that didn't need expanding, among other mistakes. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany came to town waving a fat checkbook built on TV riches and offered Maryland a bailout. The school jumped at it Continue Reading

Bud Wilkinson-Jim Tatum, Stoops-Snyder among all-time college football’s , mentor-mentee matchups

Nick Saban vs. Kirby Smart is only the latest in a line of high-stakes coaching matchups between mentors and mentees over the history of college football. In 1938, with Heisman Trophy winner Davey O'Brien leading the team, TCU's Dutch Meyer beat old boss Matty Bell of SMU to finish a 10-0 regular season. The Horned Frogs moved from No. 2 to No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll. In the 1950s, Bud Wilkinson's dominant Oklahoma teams won two Orange Bowls over ex-Sooners coach Jim Tatum's Maryland Terrapins, not to mention a regular-season game over Tatum when he was at North Carolina. Wilkinson said his national champion Sooners' 20-6 win in the 1956 Orange Bowl was "the most satisfying victory we've ever had." From 1969-78, fans across the nation were captivated by the "Ten Year War" between Michigan's Bo Schembechler and Ohio State's Woody Hayes. Alabama's Saban will be coaching against one of his former assistants for the 12th time since 2010, and second time this season, when his Crimson Tide plays Georgia for the national championship in Atlanta. Saban is 11-0, including a season-opening 24-7 win over the Florida State team coached by Jimbo Fisher . "Well, I don't think the game is about the coaches. I think it's about the players," Saban said this week. "And I think in most of those games, if the other guy had the players that we had, they might have beat us. You prepare the players the best you can, but we've had pretty good teams around here. Most of the guys were going to rebuild programs, so maybe we're a little bit ahead of them, and if they had had our team, they'd have probably beat us." Barry Alvarez, former Wisconsin coach and now the school's athletic director, was on Hayden Fry's Iowa staff from 1979-86 and lost his first five meetings with Fry. Alvarez broke through against a 12th-ranked Iowa team 13-10 in 1997. The next year the Badgers won 31-0 on their way to the Rose Bowl. "Once the game starts you're into the game. It's not Continue Reading

Catching Up with … former Maryland guard Ron Solt

Not once, in their 31 years in Baltimore, did the Colts take a Maryland Terrapin No. 1 in the NFL draft. So what happened as soon as the team moved to Indianapolis? A Terp was one of its two first-round picks in 1984. Ron Solt sees the irony. “I would like to have played in Baltimore,” said Solt, 55, an All-America guard at Maryland and the second offensive lineman to go in that draft. “The only pro game I ever saw as a kid was at Memorial Stadium.” Born in Bainbridge but raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Solt started three years for the Terps and helped them reach two bowl games before turning pro. He played nine years in the NFL and made the Pro Bowl in 1987, when the Colts won a division title. That year, Solt carved holes for Eric Dickerson, then a first-team All-Pro running back, just as he had in college for rushers like Charlie Wysocki and Willie Joyner. Solt remains Maryland’s only full-time offensive lineman ever chosen in the first round of the pro draft. A three-year starter in College Park, he was a bulwark up front for the Terps, who went 16-8 in his last two seasons and played in the Aloha and Citrus bowls, losing both by a total of eight points. “We should have won both,” he said from his home in Harding, Pa. Quarterback Boomer Esiason passed for more than 4,600 yards in those two years as Maryland won seven straight games one season and six, the next. Solt was Esiason’s sentinel-of-choice — and the 6-foot-3, 280-pound player kept improving. “Quick feet, great strength, a good thinker,” Terps coach Bobby Ross once said of him. “There was never any question of Ronnie’s natural ability, it was a matter of how … aggressive he would become.” Solt credits his growth to Ralph Friedgen, then Maryland’s offensive coordinator. “Best coach I ever had. He brought out my raw talent,” he said of Friedgen, the Terps’ head coach from 2001 through 2010. Continue Reading

Sitting in a Baltimore nonprofit showroom: iconic ‘Maryland’ floor boards from Cole Field House

There it sits in a Baltimore nonprofit warehouse, stacked side-to-side along a wall like Scrabble game pieces waiting to be placed on the game board. But these unique slats of hardwood with valued letters printed on them aren’t to be held in the palm of your hand. When interlocked and spread out as they were 60-plus years ago, they’re as tall as a shooting guard, and 75 feet wide. Baltimore’s Second Chance, the nonprofit that offers reclaimed and renewed items and materials for sale, has the iconic “MARYLAND” lettering from the endline of the University of Maryland basketball court from 1955 when Cole Field House opened. The one-of-a-kind piece of floor is listed on the organization’s website under featured products, and pitched as “Hallowed Ground.” As described there: Savor and Save the floor of this institution’s iconic “Red and White” MARYLAND lettering. Think about the multitude of incredible people who performed here from all Genres of Sports, to International Ping-Pong Tournaments with President Nixon, to Hollywood performers, to Musical and Comedy Super Stars! The list goes on! Millions have been walking across this floor for Graduation from the Largest University in the World since 1966! Second Chance has plenty of flooring in stock — enough in different types and colors and sizes to fit most remodeling or home project needs. But this wood is different. “It’s very unique to begin with,” said Cari Clemens, direction of donations and acquisitions at Second Chance. Clemens has been with Second Chance for eight years. She said a few years ago she got a call from a representative of the owner of the wood. “The shorter boards were signed by players or coaches and sold at quite a premium,” Clemens said. But there were pallets in storage, wrapped in plastic and a coating of dust, that hadn’t been pieced back together since they were dismantled from the Continue Reading

Maryland football tries to duplicate Dontari Poe’s jump pass but fails miserably

Oh Poe they didn’t. The Maryland Terrapins tried to duplicate Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe’s jump pass into the end zone, but came up miserably short during Monday’s Quick Lane Bowl. With the Terps down 23-13 to Boston College in the second quarter, Maryland running back Kenneth Goins Jr. lined up in the shotgun for an extra point attempt. Taking inspiration from Poe’s Tim Tebow-like trick play in Sunday’s win over the Broncos, Goins took a couple of steps forward before leaping in the air to hurl the ball over the linemen. While Poe’s stunt was successful, Goins’ pass went behind tight end Avery Edwards, turning the play into an embarrassing blooper. Even head coach D.J. Durkin was grinning when his players returned to the sideline. Maybe the Terps should be doing less imitating and a bit more practicing. Continue Reading

Maryland’s ‘1812’ football uniforms feature lyrics from ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’

Move over, Cowboys. The Maryland Terrapins will be America’s Team this weekend. The Maryland football team will wear uniforms that feature the words to Francis Scott Key’s “Defence of Fort McHenry,” which provided the lyrics to our national anthem — “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The new look is courtesy of Baltimore-based Under Armour, Maryland’s official uniform provider. The Terps will forgo their normal, black, red, yellow and white color scheme when they face West Virginia on Saturday. In its place, Maryland will wear red, white and blue uniforms with gold helmets that feature the poem’s words and also an outline of the star-shaped Fort McHenry. Inside the star will be the 15-star flag that flew during the Battle of Baltimore, which happened 200 years ago Saturday during the War of 1812. The player names on the backs of the jerseys will be replaced by “Triumph.” The shoulders will also be gold and include the poem’s words. “Everything that we do is always based on a deeper concept,” Adam Clement, Under Armour’s creative director for team sports said. “So the 1812 uniform is really cool because it’s a point of pride within the state. ... The fact that we can celebrate that through a uniform and bring attention back to our state but have a team take the field in something that really pays homage to an amazing event is something very special.” On a mobile device? Click here to watch video. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

D.J. Durkin rebuilds Maryland culture with intense focus on competition

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – There have been a number of times since his arrival in late 2015 that D.J. Durkin has proclaimed this day – today, yesterday, any day – to be the most important in Maryland’s football history.As on national signing day. This is the biggest day in our program’s history, Durkin told his assistant coaches. He said the same after one of the Terrapins’ wins during the previous season. At some point during these coming months, Durkin will make a similar assertion: that today, or whatever day he chooses, will be the most significant day this place has ever had.“Because it is,” Durkin said, “until the next one. That’s the mindset.”These are bullish days for Maryland football. Durkin, the program’s second-year coach, won six games in his debut last fall, doubling the team’s 2015 total to bring the Terrapins back into bowl play. The rapid improvement came even as Maryland played 16 true freshmen, one of the highest totals in the Football Bowl Subdivision.On signing day, Maryland inked the nation’s 18th-ranked class, according to the composite standings compiled by Included in the Terrapins’ haul were victories in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., a fertile recruiting area deeply crucial to the program’s long-term goal of challenging the top tier of the Big Ten Conference.These are moments to be celebrated. Winning six games in the East Division of the Big Ten is an achievement, and doubly so as a first-year coach. Recruiting is an inexact science, and it’s nearly impossible to properly grade a class on signing day itself. Even then, the Terrapins’ crop of newcomers is very likely the strongest group in program history.Yet they are just moments – and the same achievements are being replicated by the elite of college football on a daily basis, at places in as close proximity as Ohio State and Michigan. To gain ground on the Continue Reading

Maryland’s special football uniforms slammed by pundits, fans after debut on Monday night

A special uniform that debuted on Monday night in College Park, Md., had many fans and pundits talking about the University of Maryland Terrapins by Tuesday morning. And not their football skills. The uniforms, which featured a Maryland flag on the helmet and parts of the flags on the shoulders, gained nationwide buzz - and most of it wasn't positive.PHOTOS: SPORTS ALL-TIME UGLIEST UNIFORMS Paul Lukas, the founder of and a columnist for who writes often about uniforms, said that the threads represented sportswear company Under Armour's influence on the Terps. "I don't think they're uniforms, I think they're costumes at best," he said. "At worst, they're a marketing scheme [from] Under Armour, which is now as synonymous with Maryland as Nike is to Oregon." Under Armour's founder, Kevin Plank, is a Maryland alum while Nike founder Phil Knight is an Oregon alum. "It speaks to an approach that says, 'Hey, hey, look at me' and does so to advance the sportswear company," he said. "What it represents to me is the company's hijacking of 18 and 19 year olds." Stewart Mandel, a senior writer for, agreed that it was Under Armour making a statement that Maryland was their flagship program. But he didn't think it was necessarily a terrible thing. "As ugly as (the uniforms) were to anyone over a certain age, it accomplished exactly what they want it to," he said. "For three hours last night, everyone was talking about Maryland football." "When's the last time anyone talked about Maryland football?" Shawn Nestor, a spokesman for Maryland athletics, didn't deny that the goal of the uniforms were to create some buzz, but said that they were just a nod to the state's heritage. "Really the uniform itself is more of a branding thing from our side of things," he said. "We're the flagship institution in the state." He denied it was in any way a favor for Under Armour. In an emailed statement to the News by Continue Reading

Rutgers football: Five takeaways from Rutgers’ 31-24 win over Maryland

PISCATAWAY -- Say what you will about Rutgers and Maryland as football programs, but the fact of the matter is, these teams play wild games against each other. Rutgers claimed the latest installment of what could one day be a quality rivalry, 31-24, in front of 34,972 at High Point Solutions Stadium. Rutgers has now won three of four against Big Ten competition. The three Big Ten wins are the program's most since joining the 14-team conference in 2014. 1. The defense brought this win home: Trevor Morris made a key early fourth-quarter tackle, arguably the biggest tackle of the season to that point, to force a Maryland punt. Gio Rescigno's 23-yard touchdown pass to Gus Edwards on the ensuing drive gave Rutgers a 31-24 lead with 7:30 to play. It was then the defense's turn to close the door. Maryland converted twice on third down, and on a fourth-and-3 along the way, but on fourth-and-10 at the 15, the 17th play of the drive, Isaiah Wharton broke up a pass to the back corner of the end zone to end the last threat. A holding penalty on tackle Derwin Gray erased what would have been a game-tying touchdown pass with 1:08 to play. 2. If you thought Rutgers would try and pass against a bad pass defense, shame on you: Even when trailing and seemingly needing to go through the air, Rutgers simply wasn't going away from what has worked. The Scarlet Knights ran on 26 of the 36 first-half plays it ran, and on 46 of 64 on the day for 239 yards. Keep in mind, Rutgers' commitment to the run came on a day it was playing a Maryland team giving up a Big Ten-worst 277.9 passing yards per game. On the game's first drive, which lasted 13 plays and 47 yards over 6:15, Rutgers ran 10 straight times to open the game. Of those 10, nine were play calls, the 10th being when Gio Rescigno scrambled following a collapsed pocket. Gio Rescigno was 0-for-2 passing on the drive, which ended with Andre Harte missing a 53-yard field goal attempt, Continue Reading