The Maryland Terrapins football team didn’t have a great season last year. They started 4-0 but went 6-7 overall, including 3-6 in the Big Ten.
Maryland has finished with a losing record in five of the last eight seasons, but Tom Lemming remains optimistic that the Terrapins are a sleeping giant – at least in terms of recruiting.
“I’ve been saying that for years – that the big sleeping giant nationally would be Maryland,” the CBS Sports Network National Recruiting Insider said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “They’re the only game in town in the state of Maryland, which is a loaded area, and then you got Washington D.C. just two miles south of the campus. Then you got Northern Virginia, which is only a couple of miles away also. So once you get a guy who knows how to recruit, who knows how to cultivate relationships with the high school coaches, then you’re going to be getting a guy that’s going to win. I think D.J. finally knows how to do it.”
That D.J., of course, is D.J. Durkin. The 39-year-old has been an assistant at Stanford, Florida and Michigan and knows what it takes to build a program.
“They’ve had some good coaches in the past,” Lemming said of Maryland. “Ralph Friedgen was not a great recruiter, but he was a great coach. I think Durkin can do both, so I do think the Terrapins will be a team that you see rising up the Big Ten ladder.”
In the Big 12, meanwhile, Lemming expects big things from Texas in the coming years. The Longhorns, who have finished with a losing record in three straight seasons, were just outside the top 25 in the 2017 class rankings.
“It’s not a bad finish considering what was going on in that entire state with Baylor and with Texas,” Lemming said. “It’s not a typical Texas year obviously, but I do think Tom Herman had a great recruiting reputation at Ohio State and at Houston. I’ve been doing this so long, whenever I travel to Texas and talk to the high school coaches, it’s a Longhorn state much more so than Texas A&M or TCU or Baylor or Texas Tech. Once he gets things rolling, I expect them to really tear things up. I expect it to be next year where Texas is going to land these top players because it reminds me of Ohio State and Ohio. I just think it’s a matter of time. There’s an immense amount of talent (in Texas), and most of the kids are raised to become Longhorns in that state.”