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Tag:Ralph Friedgen
Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:05 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 10:09 am
 

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Posted by Chip Patterson

One of the many twists and turns in the transfer of Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien has been the reported stipulation that prevents O'Brien from accepting financial aid from Vanderbilt. It is common for hopeful transfers to be blocked from future opponents - O'Brien also cannot accept aid from future ACC opponents, West Virginia, and Temple - but the Commodores are not currently on any future Terrapins schedule.

No Maryland officials, including head coach Randy Edsall, have elaborated on why Vanderbilt is not an acceptable landing place for O'Brien, but it is likely because of former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin. Franklin was O'Brien's offensive coordinator, and thought to be a candidate to replace Ralph Friedgen, before accepting the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. Speaking to a local radio station, Franklin addressed the allegations regarding his involvement in O'Brien's departure.

“I don’t like innuendos and comments being made about tampering and things like that,” Franklin told 104.5 The Zone in Nashville.  “You guys know me. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players. I hope to have relationships with the guys that play for me for the rest of my life.

“But the fact that people would make accusations that we tampered or did this or did that, again, I’m just going to defend our program and defend our character and how we do things. But I think it’s ridiculous to think that I’m not going to have relationships with these kids after I leave places.”

Todd Willert, O'Brien's high school coach, told CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman he expects the quarterback's family to appeal Edsall's reported restriction in order to have the option to transfer to Vanderbilt.

"I believe they will," said Willert. "This weekend, Danny and his family will sort through everything. They think (Vandy) should be an option but I don't know exactly what they'll decide. It should be an option for him.  Just be fair to everybody. Danny has no ill will towards anybody."

O'Brien is set to earn his undergraduate degree from Maryland this spring, and will be eligible to compete immediately as long as he enrolls in a graduate program not offered in College Park. It is the same transfer rule that allowed Russell Wilson to compete right away at Wisconsin. Unlike Wilson, O'Brien will still have two full years of eligibility once he joins a program.

Willert told CBSSports.com there has been a lot of interest, but would not reveal what schools have attempted to contact O'Brien. In addition to Vanderbilt; Stanford, Michigan State, Wisconsin, East Carolina, and Ole Miss are all believed to be in the mix.

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Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:46 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 6:47 pm
 

Report: Maryland to hire Mike Locksley

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Although Maryland hasn't officially parted ways with Gary Crowton just yet, it seems the school is just about ready to sign his replacement as offensive coordinator. According to a report in The Washington Post Maryland is on the verge of bringing Mike Locksley back to the program.

Locksley spent five seasons as Maryland's running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under Ralph Friedgen. His most recent job was as head coach at New Mexico where he wasn't very successful either on or off the field. The Lobos went 2-26 during Locksley's two seasons and change, but there was also the lawsuit filed against him, the time Locksley hit an assistant coach, and finally there was a recruit getting busted for a DWI in Locksley's car.

Things that might fly if the team was 26-2 instead of the other way around. Instead Locksley was canned in September after an 0-4 start.

Still, before the stinkbomb that was Locksley's time at New Mexico, he was a successful offensive coordinator at Illinois for four seasons, including 2007 when the Illini went to the Rose Bowl. He was also a very strong recruiter at the school, luring players like Arrelious Benn from Washington D.C. to Champaign, Illinois.

And it's those recruiting skills that could be a large boon to a Maryland program that's seen a lot of players transfer over the last year since Randy Edsall was hired as head coach. If Locksley can bring that recruiting skill to the Maryland program and avoid all the off the field distractions, this could turn out to be a great move for Edsall and Locksley.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 10:56 am
 

Randy Edsall reminds Maryland fans of his history

Posted by Chip Patterson

After 2010's Maryland squad put together one of the biggest win-turnarounds in program history, the 2011 edition is dangerously close to making history in the opposite direction. The Terrapins closed out their home schedule with a 31-17 loss to Virginia on Saturday, a frustrating loss played before an announced attendance of 37,401.

With thirteen scholarship players no longer a part of the program, and the significant drop off from last year's 9-4 season, there is plenty of reason for concern within the Maryland fan base. First-year head coach Randy Edsall was brought in to change the culture of Maryland football, but the transition has been much rockier than many imagined. Edsall addressed some of those concerns on Sunday, offering a reminder that this is not his first time struggling with a coaching changeover.

"I've been through this before," Edsall said in a teleconference on Sunday. "I know how to handle it. I know what to do. There is no panic. It was like this the first year when we put the team together in Jacksonville. ... It's Connecticutall over again, 13 years ago. Jacksonville Jaguars all over again. It's going to Boston College when we were there. I've been through all of this. This isn't earth-shattering. It doesn't have me discouraged. I have a vision of what we're going to do and I know we're doing things the right way."

Athletic director Kevin Anderson brought Edsall in with hopes of a focus on getting things done "the right way." There have been reports of players not agreeing with some of the dress code and discipline policies instituted by the new head coach, and the inconsistent on-field performances do not offer much evidence that this team is unified behind the scenes.

The Terps have been forced to deal with several injuries to key players and changes in both the offensive and defensive scheme, but even with those set backs few people believed they would see Maryland tied for last place in the ACC in November.

Things won't get any easier down the stretch, either. The Terps face Notre Dame at FedEx Field on Saturday before finishing the season on the road against Wake Forest and NC State. Edsall could really use at least one more win to avoid finishing with a 2-10 record: identical to that dreadful 2009 Maryland season.

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:18 am
 

Under Armour CEO supports Randy Edsall

Posted by Chip Patterson

When he called Maryland his "dream job," the Terrapins fans had high hopes for the Randy Edsall era in College Park. But after an exhilarating season opening win against Miami, things have not gone as planned for the Terps.

Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien has struggled to find his rhythm in the new offense, and now finds himself in a quarterback battle with the run-first freshman C.J. Brown. The defense has lost several key players to injury, most notably preseason All-ACC linebacker/safety Kenny Tate - who is done for the season with an undisclosed injury.

With 13 players with eligibility from the 2010 squad no longer on the team, and multiple reports of possible transfers, some fans are wondering if the 2-6 start can be blamed on the new leadership. Some fans may be doubting Edsall, but CBSSports.com's Dave Carey reports that one of the school's top boosters, Kevin Plank, has issued a vote of confidence for the first-year coach.

"Randy Edsall's a competitor, a fighter, and somebody whose foxhole I would stand in any day of the week," Plank said in a radio appearance on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore. "There are a lot of kids in-state that are looking at the University of Maryland."

Plank, Founder and CEO of Under Armour, is one of the brains behind the re-branding of the Maryland football program. Along with Edsall and athletic director Kevin Anderson, the program has been trying to emphasize the school's presence as the premiere destination for football players in the state of Maryland. That "Maryland Pride" that Edsall references frequently can be seen in many of the uniform combinations and promotional tools - like the uniform inspired by the Maryland state flag pictured right.

Anderson brought Edsall in to change the culture at Maryland, and the former Connecticut head coach quickly put new dress code and strict discipline requirements in action. There was initially some discontent in the locker room, but team leaders like senior running back Davin Meggett stood tall behind Edsall at the beginning of the season.

But as Maryland prepares to face Virginia on Saturday, the Terps are coming to terms with the likely possibility of missing the postseason for only the second time in six years. They have not won another conference game since that opener against Miami and their only other victory was against Towson.

It appears Edsall has the support of the program's leadership, but the players and fans will feel much better going into 2012 if Maryland can show some signs of turnaround in the final four games of the season.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 7, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 2:41 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 6

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom. 

This is a bit of a bizarro week in your college football diet, as most of the big games on Saturday will be taking place earlier in the day while our nighttime offerings lack some of those bolder flavors we all love. But that's fine, because with some of the entrees you'll be served during the day, you might not have enough room for that 32-ounce steak once dinner comes around.

Though hopefully you have room for one of those steaks at breakfast.

BREAKFAST

#3 Oklahoma vs. #11 Texas - ABC 12pm ET

This is a pretty wonderful way to start the day, isn't it? There are a lot of great rivalries in the world of college football, and this one has to be considered one of the best. For years the winner of this game basically helped decide who was going to win the Big 12, and it will go a long way in deciding the conference champion again this year. Also, Texas finds itself ranked near the top ten once again after a terrible 2010 season, and while things seemed to have turned around in Austin, this game will be the first real indication of how far the Longhorns have come. - Tom Fornelli 

#13 Georgia Tech vs. Maryland - ESPNU 12pm ET

The Yellow Jackets keep scoring in bunches and riding their offense to methodical wins, while Maryland desperately is trying to put the pieces back together following a pair of home losses.  The Terps offense finally got back in a groove against Towson, particularly getting a boost from the return of wide receivers Quintin McCree and Ronnie Tyler.  Maryland's high-tempo offense must keep drives alive in order to give their defense time to rest on the sideline.  Additionally, the defense must get stops on third down or Georgia Tech will slowly wear down Maryland on both sides of the ball.  Let's casually call this one "The Friedgen Bowl" since former Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen said he "could care less about Maryland" and "is flying a Georgia Tech flag now." - Chip Patterson

North Carolina vs. Louisville - ESPN2 12pm ET

Louisville's offense is struggling, averaging less than 20 points per game and ranking dead last in the Big East.  The matchup against North Carolina's talented front seven will provide plenty of work for the Cardinals inexperienced offensive line.  Louisville's greatest strength on defense might be their secondary, but this Tar Heels team has become uncharacteristically run-heavy.  The emergence of Gio Bernard has changed the face of the offense, as the redshirt freshman will look to continue his streak of 100+ yard games to four.  Something that hasn't been done by a North Carolina running back since Ethan Horton in 1984. - CP

LUNCH

#1 LSU vs. #17 Florida - CBS 3:30pm ET

What happens when a Honey Badger smells blood? We may find out when Tyrann Mathieu and the rest of the LSU defense hosts a Gator attack missing John Brantley and still licking the wounds from its strangling at the hands of Alabama. Whatever hope Florida has will rest in their defense shutting down the Bayou Bengals' power-running game, but the return of the bruising Spencer Ware from a hamstring problem won't help them. - Jerry Hinnen [Video Preview]

#20 Kansas State vs. Missouri - ABC 3:30pm ET

Raise your hand if you thought before the season started that Kansas State and Missouri would be pegged as a game appearing on a national network during the middle of the season. Okay, now put your hand down, liar. Missouri has been a bit up and down this season as James Franklin has grown accustomed to filling Blaine Gabbert's shoes, and he doesn't have the easiest defense to go against this week. Then there's Kansas State which has caught just about all of us by surprise so far this year, as Bill Snyder has once again lifted this program back into Big 12 contention. - TF

#21 Virginia Tech vs. Miami - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

Both of these teams need a win if they plan to contend with Georgia Tech for the Coastal Division title, but neither team has put together a truly impressive performance that makes me think they could.  It will be a chance for both teams to prove (to themselves, really) that they belong at the top of the ACC.  Miami has been wildly inconsistent on both sides of the ball this season, but get a huge boost with preseason all-conference safety Ray-Ray Armstrong returning from suspension.  The Hokies' offense will need more than David Wilson to beat the Canes, and that responsibility falls on quarterback Logan Thomas.  Thomas' development has taken longer than some expected, but this would be a great time for him to grow up and lead VT to a huge home win over their longtime rivals. - CP

Penn State vs. Iowa - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET

This has been a rather one-sided affair over the last decade or so, but give Iowa-PSU credit: the games are generally exciting, with six of the last 10 meetings featuring either single-score margins or a 4th quarter lead change. Expect more of the same this week, with Iowa bringing the conference's most prolific passing game (seriously) to town and Penn State hoping to turn their offensive fortunes around against a surprisingly green Hawkeye defense. - Adam Jacobi

DINNER

#10 Arkansas vs. #15 Auburn - ESPN 7pm ET

Last year's meeting produced an SEC regulation-time record 108 points, and judging by Tyler Wilson's 500-yard passing day last week (and Texas A&M's 381 yards rushing), Arkansas looks ready to do their part for a repeat performance. But this time, the Tigers have to hope their improving defense can keep them out of a shootout--a struggling passing game has Gus Malzahn's unit leaning heavily on Michael Dyer and ground-out first downs. - JH

Northwestern vs. #12 Michigan - Big Ten Network 7pm ET

If it weren't for that Russell Wilson fellow over in Madison, this game might feature the best two QBs in the conference, as Dan Persa leads the Northwestern charge against visiting Denard Robinson and the Wolverines. Persa shined in his first week back from that Achilles injury last year, but missed the last few minutes for precautionary reasons after an awkward tackle. Can Northwestern make headway against a newly re-energized Michigan defense, or will the Wolverines keep rolling along? - AJ

#7 Stanford vs. Colorado - Versus 7:30pm ET

Colorado isn't terribly good this season but the Buffaloes are rebuilding their program under new head coach Jon Embree and do have several weapons Stanford has to contain. The Buffs are 36th in passing offense and sophomore Paul Richardson is averaging 95 yards receiving a game. As always though, the reason to tune into this game is Heisman candidate Andrew Luck and a balanced attack that can beat you through the air or on the ground. Plus, you never know when something like this is going to happen and make you say wow. - Bryan Fischer

#14 Nebraska vs. Ohio State - ABC 8pm ET

Before this season, this game looked like the second half of a brutal conference opening for Nebraska. Wisconsin held up its end of the bargain last week by beating the Huskers 48-17, but Ohio State is hardly the challenge it used to be without Terrelle Pryor and a host of other stars. If Nebraska's going to show it belongs among the Big Ten elite, it has to bring the pain against a reeling OSU ballclub this week. - AJ

LATE NIGHT SNACK

BYU vs. San Jose State - ESPNU 10:15pm ET

Not exactly a marquee matchup, I know, but it's football and it's on your television. Plus, aside from getting pasted by Utah a few weeks ago, BYU hasn't played a game this season that didn't come down to the final minutes, so the possibility of some midnight HAM is totally in play here. - TF
Posted on: October 5, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Report: Terps struggling with coaching transition



Posted by Chip Patterson


Maryland head coach Randy Edsall has had a rocky start to his first year in College Park. The Terps started hot, with flashy jerseys and a big opening win against Miami in front of a national audience. But the Terps followed that victory with a pair of losses in front of the home crowd, including an embarrassing 38-7 rout at the hands of Temple. Edsall has been very adamant about team discipline, already suspending offensive standouts Ronnie Tyler, Quintin McCree, and D.J. Adams at times this season for violation of team rules. He does not allow ball caps, do-rags, or earrings around the football complex, and has stressed that his first priority as head coach is to change the culture around Maryland.

Jeff Barker, of The Baltimore Sun had an interesting take on the rocky start and transition to Edsall's style of coaching. Below is an excerpt from the column.
"It's up and down. It's been a roller coaster," said quarterback Danny O'Brien, whose red T-shirt on Tuesday bore the team's slogan - 'No Excuses. Just Play.' - in white lettering. "In one month, we've experienced a lot of highs and a lot of lows already. I think that's going to be good for us. We've already experienced a lot of adversity as a team."

O' Brien called Edsall "a great leader.

But not everybody is on board. One prominent veteran player said privately that Edsall's strict style doesn't allow individuals to be themselves and that he's looking forward to the season's end. Another veteran player has sought advice about dealing with Edsall from Friedgen who was dismissed in December with one year remaining on his contract.

"A lot of guys are making a rough transition to the way Randy Edsall wants to run things," said former Maryland receiver Emani Lee-Odai, who keeps in touch with the current Terps players.

Former coach Ralph Friedgen made headlines last week with his comment on the radio regarding his distaste for the current Maryland administration, and his wife was recently welcomed warmly on a visit to the team. It is not unreasonable to be concerned with the players' commitment to the new head coach.

ESPN.com's Heather Dinich questioned if Friedgen had become a distraction to the team during the ACC's weekly coaches' teleconference, and Edsall predictably dodged the topic. But how long will he have to deal with Friedgen's looming presence in College Park? In addition to being the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year, Friedgen played offensive guard for the Terps and spent two different stints on the staff before taking over as head coach in 2001. In ten seasons he went to seven bowls with a 5-2 postseason record, and was deeply engrained in the Maryland football culture.

For the Maryland faithful, Edsall doesn't have that kind of familiarity to earn that trust off the bat. He's a Big East guy through and through, spending his playing days and first coaching positions at Syracuse and making a name for himself at Connecticut. His core values are in academics and player discipline, both reasons athletic director Kevin Anderson cited at the time of his hire.

The team, students, and fans will all join Camp Edsall eventually. The frustrations regarding the leadership change are a direct result of the Terps' on-field struggles. Winning doesn't cure everything, as some people say, but it goes a long way to fixing inter-program strifes. Once Maryland gets it together on the field, I expect the off-field chatter to slow down significantly.

Despite the frustrating home losses, Maryland is undefeated in conference play. At this point, only five teams in the league can still say that. If the Terps keep winning conference games they will put themselves in a position to compete for a conference title. It is much easier said than done, particularly with Georgia Tech and Clemson as their next two opponents, but if the Terps follow Edsall's lead and focus on the next game it can be done.

However if the losses pile up in the coming weeks, the questions about "transition," "distraction," and "culture" will only continue for the first-year head coach.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: September 30, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 10:47 am
 

Friedgen: 'I could care less about Maryland'

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen has not made any efforts to get back into coaching, and is currently enjoying some time off after 40+ years in the industry. Earlier this week, the current Terrapins got a visit from Ralph's wife Gloria. According to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun, she reprised her former role as "team mom" and brought some snacks on her friendly visit.

Ralph, on the other hand, might not be ready for such a visit anytime soon.

In an interview on a Baltimore radio station, Ralph made his feelings for his alma mater clear. The host asked Friedgen if he watches Maryland play, and if he thought seeing them struggle recently was painful.

"Well, it's not painful because I watch it for the kids," Friedgen responded. "I could care less about Maryland. I've burned my diploma, I'm flying a Georgia Tech flag right now."

Friedgen had two different stints as the Yellow Jackets' offensive coordinator, and compared to the Terps it is a more enjoyable fan experience right now. Friedgen was ousted just weeks after being named ACC Coach of the Year for leading the Terps to a seven-win turnaround. In his ten years as head coach Fridgen was 75-50 with a 5-2 bowl record and delivered an ACC title in his first year (2001).

Current head coach Randy Edsall will face Towson this weekend, as the squad looks to bounce back from an embarrassing 38-7 loss to Temple at home. Towson head coach Rod Ambrose was a member of Edsall's staff at Connecticut from 2001 to 2009. The Tigers' rushing attack has been potent, ranking 10th in FCS with 246 yards per game. The Terps currently ranked 11th in the ACC in rushing defense, and need a strong showing before traveling to Georgia Tech next week.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:13 pm
 

Maryland OL dismissed after alleged assault

Posted by Chip Patterson

For the first time in a couple seasons, Maryland was looking forward to having some experience on the offensive line. The only starter missing from last year's group is center Paul Pinegar. However, the line lost another key piece when guard Justin Lewis was dismissed for a violation of team policies. While the specifics of the dismissal were not discussed in the official release, local reports are helping make sense of the sudden departure.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Lewis turned himself in to authorities to respond to allegations of second-degree assault. There was an outstanding warrant in Prince George's County in connection with an alleged June 26 fight. While head coach Randy Edsall has made no secrets about his focus on keeping Maryland's off-field record clean, Lewis' father does not agree with the new head coach's hasty dismissal.

"This is only an accusation. Any person can make an accusation that somebody did something to them. There are two sides to the story," Ronald Lewis said. "Coach Edsall released him prematurely. As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing."

At this time Coach Edsall, university police, and Price George's Country have not released any new information regarding Lewis' status with the team or the alleged fight. The redshirt junior started 12 of 13 games last season for the Terrapins, helping protect ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien. While the Terps have had a tumultuous offseason with the coaching change, many believe that the former coach Ralph Friedgen left a program on the upswing. Returning Davin Meggett and promising sophomore D.J. Adams, the running game should be one of the strong points in Maryland's attack.

We will continue to update this story as more details are released from College Park
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com