Mike Locksley hire a gamble

December, 22, 2011
12/22/11
2:16
PM ET
Let me get this straight:

In order to improve Maryland football and the dreadful perception of it right now, coach Randy Edsall hired an offensive coordinator who has more baggage than Santa’s sleigh.

[+] EnlargeMike Locksley
Beth Hall/US PresswireMike Locksley is expected to boost Maryland's recruiting under coach Randy Edsall.
There is a reason or three Mike Locksley was not hired as Maryland’s head coach.

Reason No. 1: A former New Mexico assistant accused Locksley of choking and punching him.

Reason No. 2: A former New Mexico administrative assistant accused Locksley of sexual harassment.

Reason No. 3: He was 2-26 at New Mexico.

The gold star on Locksley’s resume is his ability to recruit. It’s indisputable. So is the fact that a New Mexico recruit who was pulled over and arrested for aggravated DWI was driving a car registered to Locksley.

In the end, recruiting is what this is all about, otherwise, this hire makes absolutely no sense considering the criticism Edsall has already faced after a disastrous 2-10 season. Recruiting has been at the heart of Maryland’s problems in recent years, but Locksley can help turn that around. He knows the D.C. high schools, he has relationships with the coaches, and this hire should concern opposing recruiters and create some buzz amongst weary Maryland fans. The transition to a pro-style, multiple offense should also be intriguing to embattled quarterback Danny O'Brien, who is well-suited for it but had a trying season and was benched in Gary Crowton’s system. Whether it’s enough to keep O'Brien from transferring remains to be seen.

Locksley’s first priority should be recruiting the quarterback he already has.

Because of the widely reported off-field incidents in Locksley’s past, he returns to College Park with a dark shadow looming over him. The only way to shake them will be to win and avoid any similar reports. Locksley, though, doesn’t put any stock into them.

“There’s been a lot of things written and said obviously over the last two and a half years that have no validity to it and have been unfounded,” Locksley said. “I’m from the theory of common sense that had the things that had been said and constantly written about me had the validity or had any scope to it, I think the best proof is that the University of New Mexico has honored the contractual obligations they had to me. Had those things taken place the way they had been reported, I venture to say with the lack of success we had on the field, they probably wouldn’t have had to honor their contract.”

Locksley also said he had “no regrets” about his time at New Mexico. Edsall said he’s not concerned about the perception of this hire.

“I’m not concerned about that,” he said. “We’ve talked to the people, talked to Mike, and Mike is going to be a tremendous asset here to us as we continue to move forward with our program, and be a mentor, coach and parent to our players here at the University of Maryland.”

Locksley is such a good recruiter he already got Edsall to buy his sales pitch.

Now they both have to sell this one to Maryland fans.

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