- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Maryland has one more year to play in the ACC, but the big questions on signing day surrounded the Big Ten.
As in: Did the Terps use their conference switch as a major pitch on the recruiting trail? And did it make a difference?
"I think that the guys that we were recruiting when the news came out, they were all very excited about it," Maryland recruiting coordinator John Dunn said in a phone interview with ESPN.com. "Coach [Randy] Edsall mentioned the guys this year, they’re very unique in the sense they have a chance to play in two different conferences. Their freshman year they’ll be in the ACC and then they’ll move on to the Big Ten. I think a lot of our guys are from this area, not necessarily just Maryland but the surrounding areas as well. I think they’re excited about it.
"I think the opportunity to be in a different conference is good. I don’t know if that was the lone reason that someone decided to come here. You would have to ask them. But just from talking to the young men, they were all excited about the move."
After Maryland announced it was leaving for the Big Ten last year, Edsall said he would change recruiting philosophy and start looking at kids in the Midwest. While Dunn said the program will begin looking at kids in Ohio and Chicago, the focus will remain on Maryland's current recruiting footprint: Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida.
Nobody in the 2013 class hails from the Midwest region.
"Kids in the Midwest, Ohio, Chicago that’s something we’ve got to look at, but our footprint’s our footprint, and that’s where we will operate mainly year in and year out regardless of conference," Dunn said.
The other big question is whether Big Ten schools will begin making more inroads into Maryland's recruiting area, to give themselves another base from which to recruit. Major talent comes out of the Maryland footprint every single season. Expanding East gives Big Ten schools even more of a reason to expand their recruiting base East.
Because the announced move happened relatively late in the recruiting process for the class of 2013, there didn't seem to be a discernible difference. Does that change moving forward?
"I don’t know what other people are going to do," Dunn said. "Everyone was more worried about trying to finish strong in their respective classes this year. That’s something to be seen."
3dAndrea Adelson and Matt Fortuna