Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Terps Football Losing Ground

Yesterday, Ralph Friedgen’s Maryland football program suffered another setback when prized offensive line recruit Antonio Logan-El announced that he would forgo the opportunity to stay home and be a Terrapin. Logan-El announced he would attend Penn State in a tawdry public relations spectacle that all too often accompanies these decisions by highly rated college football and basketball recruits.

Logan-El, in an announcement covered live by ESPN News, enjoyed toying with the crowd while a video highlight package of his career played on a giant screen behind him at Baltimore’s ESPN Zone restaurant. He had a bag with several school caps in it, dramatically pulling out first a Florida hat, then tossing it aside, then a Tennessee hat, and finally a Maryland hat was flung away. Logan-El then pulled out a picture of himself standing with Penn State Coach Joe Paterno and made his formal announcement.

According to the Baltimore Sun report, one fan in the back of the room yelled, “Traitor.” The player’s mother shouted back, “Hater!” Nice example mom. Asked about that afterwards, Logan-El said “It shows you why Penn State was the best decision for me.” That’s right, young man, fans in Happy Valley don’t boo or shout nasty things at you… long as the team is winning. Good luck dealing with it if things don’t turn out that way.

Thanks in large part to talent from the state of Maryland, that is not very likely. Paterno has landed seven of the top eleven players in the state this recruiting season. For Friedgen, who made signing the top players in the state a top priority when he took over in 2001, this is a disturbing trend.

A program that won 31 games in Friedgen’s first three seasons is now trying to come back from consecutive 5-6 records. Recruiting losses like this don’t help. The Terps’ fan base and the boosters who have written checks for Maryland’s plush new training facilities are beginning to get a bit restless and wondering what direction the program is heading.

Especially with most of the state’s best players heading north to Penn State.


At 3:23 PM, Blogger buster said...

nice site it's my first time and I like it.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger O-FACE said...

Not hating, but seriousily, you have a oppurtunity to play for Penn State.. a school dipped in tradition rich football, a tradition football conference and rivials, top facilities, chance to play before 100,000 people everyweek home or away. I can't blame the lad for leaving. I do however see the talent base in the area changing with the growth that the region is having, but its gonna take a long time to establish a winner mindset in the eyes of fans before recruits take Terp ball serious.


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