Maryland has been dealt with a number of significant injuries in recent years that have made life difficult for any offensive identity. Before the 2019 season begins with a new head coach, Mike Locksley had some unfortunate news to share regarding one of his quarterbacks this weekend. Max Bortenschlager suffered a stress fracture in his foot or leg that will force him to miss the next eight weeks, according to the Terps head coach.
Being out for eight weeks would mean Bortenschlager’s return would come as early as Oct. 12 for a road game at Purdue, or a home game against Indiana the following week. Bortenschlager would be unavailable for games against Howard (Aug. 31), Syracuse (Sept. 7), Temple (Sept. 14), Penn State (Sept. 27) and Rutgers (Oct. 5).
Losing quarterback depth is never a good thing, although it should be noted Bortenschlager was likely going to be providing depth at the bottom of the depth chart for Maryland at the quarterback position. The starting job is expected to be awarded to Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson before the start of the season, although Locksley is keeping the competition ongoing with Jackson and Tyrrel Pigrome.
Bortenschlager appeared in four games last season but did not record any offensive stats (he did record a tackle, however). In 2017, Bortenschlager appeared in 11 games and completed 121 of 233 pass attempts for 1,313 yards and 10 touchdowns with five interceptions. He also recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Alabama took advantage of a staff opening on its coaching staff this week to promote Mike Locksley to a full-time offensive assistant’s role. Now, his role appears to be a bit more defined. According to a report from Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, Locksley will be taking on the role of co-offensive coordinator.
Locksley has previous offensive coordinator experience, of course. Locksley coached the offense at Maryland and Illinois prior to arriving at Alabama. Feldman reports Locksley turned down “several coaching offers” so he could remain a part of the Alabama coaching staff for the 2017 season.
Locksley was previously added to the Alabama football staff as an analyst. Now he will share the offensive coordinator duties with another recently promoted analyst, Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian was promoted to offensive coordinator in the week leading up to the College Football Playoff national championship game after Nick Saban made the decision to force Lane Kiffin out of the position and send his offensive coordinator to take on the full-time work of being the new head coach of FAU.
With some room to work on the Alabama coaching staff this offseason, head coach Nick Saban has found the right opportunity to promote Mike Locksley to a full-time offensive assistant role in Tuscaloosa. The hiring was made official by Alabama on Monday.
Locksley spent the 2016 season as an offensive analyst for the Crimson Tide. He spent the previous four seasons as an offensive coordinator at Maryland and was previously the head coach of New Mexico from 2009 through 2011. Locksley previously spent time in the SEC as a running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for Florida in 2003 and 2004 as well. He is a well-known recruiting machine, as if Alabama needs any extra help in that department (I say this in a joking manner, because Alabama didn’t get to where they are today without having to grind on the recruiting trail).
“We are excited to add Mike Locksley to our staff as an assistant coach on the offensive side of the football,” Saban said in a released statement. “He is an outstanding offensive mind who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as both a head coach and offensive coordinator. Mike is also one of the best recruiters in the nation and will be an excellent addition to our staff. His time as an analyst with us over the past season should also ensure a smooth transition and a full understanding of how our organization operates.”
The University of Alabama Board of Trustees still needs to approve the contract to make Locksley’s hiring official, but that should just be a formality.
With the bowl season behind us and National Signing Day just around the corner and the dead period in recruiting lifted last week, we are in prime flipping season. On Monday, Ohio State finally had something go their way at the expense of a division foe, Maryland.
Dwayne Haskins, a four-star pro-style quarterback and Top 100 player according to Rivals, has officially changed his commitment from in-state Maryland to Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Haskins previously committed to Maryland last May, but The program has undergone some changes since that point in time, of course. Randy Edsall was fired and Mike Locksley is no longer a part of the staff either. Both were influential in recruiting Haskins.
“It has been a dream of mine to play for The Ohio State University,” Haskins said in a released statement. “This prestigious university best represents my family values and playing under Coach Meyer, Coach Beck and the rest of the coaching staff best exampled strong leadership abilities and a people that I can have a relationship with after football was important. ”
As if nabbing a four-star player at a position of great need for Maryland was not hard enough for the Terrapins, Ohio State also managed to successfully flip linebacker Keandre Jones. Jones had committed to Maryland in December 2014 but took the opportunity to re-evaluate his standing in the recruitment process amid the staff changes in College Park. Jones took an official visit to Ohio State over the weekend and came away with a change of heart. He informed Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin of his plans on Monday morning. Jones is the top-rated player in the state of Maryland and the 30th best player in the country according to Rivals.
So to recap, Ohio State swooped in and took two of Maryland’s top recruits in the Class of 2016 with just a few short weeks remaining before signing day. Ohio State currently owns the top-ranked recruiting class in the updated team rankings assembled by Rivals. Maryland has slumped to No. 63.
A day after losing on the road at Ohio State, Maryland has cut ties with head coach Randy Edsall. It was reported late last week the school was about to go in a different direction with its football program but there was no definitive timeline mapped out. Apparently that day was today. Maryland also relieved outside linebackers coach Lyndon Johnson of his coaching duties and let go of Director of Football Operations Fran Foley. Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley will serve as Maryland’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Edsall was hired by Maryland in the 2010-2011 coaching carousel. After leading UConn to a 70-63 record and taking the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl in 2010, Maryland thought they made a quality hire in replacing Ralph Friedgen. Maryland went 22-34 in his four and a half seasons in College Park, which included a transition from the ACC to the Big Ten. Maryland went to two bowl games under Edsall, and lost both of them. Maryland went 6-18 in Edsall’s first two seasons and put together back-to-back 7-6 seasons the last two years. Despite that possible sign of progress, Edsall had seemed to lose the team, which was never more evident than last week when Edsall was informed of a players-only meeting that took place at least five hours before he learned about it on a conference call.
“We appreciate Randy’s tireless commitment to the University of Maryland,” Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said in a released statement. “This was a difficult decision, but ultimately this is the best course of action for our football program moving forward.”
Edsall stormed out of his postgame press conference yesterday in Columbus after being asked about shaking hands with his players before games. Accoridng to a report rom Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, Edsall is owed $3.1 million in a buyout.
Locksley coached three seasons at New Mexico, guiding the program to a 2-26 record from 2009 through 2011. Locksley was let go after four games in 2011.