Of all the headlines a Terps fan could have seen on ESPN, “The inside story of a toxic culture at Maryland football” is just about as bad as it gets.
In the aftermath of the death of 19-year old offensive lineman Jordan McNair, much has been made of whether or not the coaching staff should be held at fault. Outside investigations have been or are currently happening, and reporters have done their best to get the inside scoop.
In the meantime, no major changes have been made by leadership in College Park. In fact, a move was made to maintain the status quo when interim Athletic Director Damon Evans was promoted to the same position in a permanent status
While not every investigation is complete, there were major developments Friday afternoon, as ESPN released an article detailing a “toxic culture” behind the scenes, including several eyewitness accounts of the day Jordan McNair suffered his heatstroke.
The anonymous sources, which included both staffers and players, went into detail both on that fateful day and on the general ugliness surrounding the program. Stories shared include humiliation, verbal abuse, and more.
Strength and conditioning coach Rick Court is the most frequently named member of the coaching staff, though head coach D.J. Durkin’s name arises as well, and he and Court are described as like-minded.
The specific examples given paint both coaches in a bad light, and while Maryland hasn’t yet made any personnel changes, they have already announced that some staff members have been placed on administrative leave. It remains to be seen whether or not wholesale changes are coming, but given the current climate surrounding abuse, coupled with the unfortunate death of a young man, it’s hard to imagine everyone keeping their jobs moving forward.
University of Maryland head football coach Mike Locksley is back at it again on the recruiting trail.
On Monday, former Virginia Tech starting quarterback Josh Jackson announced his decision to transfer to Maryland. Jackson is the second quarterback in the last three weeks to commit to Maryland, as Locksley landed four-star prospect Lance LeGendre over Florida State on National Signing Day earlier this month.
Jackson has two years remaining of eligibility, and will be able to play for the Terrapins immediately.
The former Hokie entered the 2018 season as the starting quarterback, but suffered a season-ending injury in September. In 2017, Jackson started all 13 games for Virginia Tech, throwing for 2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns, while adding another 324 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. The Hokies went 9-4.
It's been a very busy offseason for the Terrapins quarterback room. Kasim Hill, who started the first 10 games of Maryland's season a year ago, announced he was entering the NCAA's transfer portal on Feb. 8.
Hill is currently recovering from a left ACL tear, his second ACL tear in as many years.
After adding Jackson, the transfer will most likely compete with senior Tyrrell Pigrome for the Terrapins starting quarterback position. Pigrome entered the 2017 season as the Terps starter, but tore his ACL in Maryland's Week 1 victory over Texas. Hill beat our Pigrome for the starting position in 2018, but Pigrome closed the season out as Maryland's starter after Hill got hurt.
It's very evident that one of Locksley's main priorities after being named head coach was upgrading the quarterback position. The Terrapins aerial attack struggled significantly in 2018. In his 10 starts, Hill failed to throw over 100 yards in six of them. That's not good.
While there is no guarantee that Maryland's quarterback play will improve in 2019, one thing is for sure: the quarterback room will look a lot different.
MORE NCAA NEWS:
For a third straight year, Woodrow Wilson High School took home the DCIAA title in boys basketball with its 92-48 thrashing of Roosevelt.
Head coach Angelo Hernandez received double-digit scoring contributions from five players, including a team-high 17 from Darren Buchanan.
The Maryland-bound Mitchell twins -- Makhi and Mahkel -- continued their efficient return to D.C. hoops with 13 points each. Makhi finished with a stat line of 13 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists.
They're set to join Mark Turgeon's 2019 roster after a high school journey which started at Bishop McNamara (Forestville) and went on to the famed Montverde Academy (Florida) for a short stint with current Duke star RJ Barrett before returning to their D.C. roots for a final hoorah at Wilson.
Up next for the Tigers? The state tournament.