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November 19, 2012
The B1G move by Maryland has sent ripples across the recruiting landscape.
Joining the powerhouse Big Ten Conference will instantly stabilize the Terrapins' financial future, while also changing the way the football team has to recruit.
Offensive line play is a big emphasis in the Big Ten, and that is an area in which coach Randy Edsall and his staff have taken a lot of heat, losing multiple quarterbacks to injuries.
Nonetheless, the immediate reaction from players committed to the Maryland football program has been very positive. The offensive line has to become one of the focuses for the Terps, and the move to the Big Ten has already helped on the recruiting front.
Uncommitted four-star offensive lineman Na'Ty Rodgers from Pomfret (Md.) McDonough seemed very happy with Maryland's decision.
"That's really good for them," the 6-foot-5, 278-pound Rodgers said. "The ACC does not get a lot of respect for football, and for them to make a move like that will excite a lot of recruits and, I'm sure, the players there. "
The Terrapins have made Rodgers one of their top targets in the 2013 class, and they are one of two teams still in play for him.
South Carolina has long held the lead for Rodgers, and it seemed like the Gamecocks extended their lead when Rodgers visited Columbia with members of his family.
Where does this move by Maryland put them when he compares the Terps with South Carolina? "Right up there, tied."
Could this be a sign that the newest member of the Big Ten can be seen in the same light as an SEC school?
Rodgers' positive thinking is shared by many other Maryland commits.
Four-star junior college wide receiver Deon Long from Council Bluffs (Iowa) Iowa Western C.C.: "I think it's a good thing. It's better competition. I like better competition. They say the Big Ten has the best competition, so that's how I feel. I'm ready for whatever.
"I'm still 100 percent committed. I just came off my visit on Saturday. They showed me around the school. To get to see them play Florida State, that was a great football atmosphere. The news didn't hit me off guard. I've been getting updates on my phone about it. I like the move. I like it a lot."
Three-star cornerback Jarrett Ross from Wilmington (Del.) Charter School of Wilmington: "Honestly, whether it's the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, I'm going to ball out no matter what. I look at the Big Ten as a newer, bigger challenge to defeat."
Two-star linebacker Jermaine Carter from Washington (D.C.) Friendship: "Honestly, I am excited about the move. It does not affect my decision at all. The Big Ten is a great conference. I feel it fits my playing style better with teams like Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State and hard-nosed teams that like to run the ball."
Two-star defensive end Malik Jones from Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar: "I don't plan on de-committing because of that move. The move to the Big Ten is interesting. We just have to wait and see how things end up going while in a new conference."
Two-star athlete DeAndre Lane from Baltimore (Md.) Catonsville Senior, via Twitter: "Since we have been asked a few times, ACC or Big Ten, DeAndre is fully committed to the Terps!"
Of course, not everyone is happy about the move. Three-star offensive lineman Jajuan Dulaney from Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern seems unsure.
"As of right now I don't know too much. I don't know too much about how or why or whatever," he said. "As far as right now, I'm still trying to figure out information. I can't tell you (if it affects my status) now. I don't know yet. "Of course it was going to be good to come back and play in Atlanta," he said. "It's going to be something I'm going to have to get used to if I plan on staying committed."
The Maryland fans and coaches should breathe a collective sigh of relief at the overriding positive reaction among the program's recruits.