It didn't take long for new Maryland football coach Randy Edsall to lay down his laws -- and stamp out any individuality -- by telling his players that they weren't allowed to wear do-rags or hats inside the Gossett Football Team House, have their ears pierced or forget to leave their dorms and apartments without a fresh shave.
And as we wait to catch a glimpse of the football team’s uniforms, designed by Under Armour, Edsall told The Washington Post that he is not a "name-on-the-back-of-the-jersey guy," which isn’t really all that surprising. The change means Maryland will not put the surnames of its players on their jerseys for the first time since 1961, when the Terps became the first college football team to sew names on their jerseys.
Appearing at the Sports Legends Museum on Monday night, Edsall told Jeff Barker of The Baltimore Sun that the change was part of a plan to recruit more top in-state prospects by instilling Maryland pride.
"You can't see [players' names] from the stands for the most part anyhow," Edsall added.
Can someone please explain to me how taking names off of jerseys will make local kids want to play at Maryland?
I get it, Edsall is putting his stamp on the Maryland program. And it’s easy to see why Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, formerly of Army, likes this guy so much. But he can’t be serious.
Most recruits will be indifferent toward the changes, but four- and five-star recruits who want to wear diamonds in their ears and have their names show up on national television might think differently.
His old-timey tactics will help him take control of the team -- and if he has success like he did at Connecticut, he will keep control of it -- but taking away do-rags, neck beards and last names won’t help him in recruiting. Wins, conference crowns and big bowl games will, though, so Edsall should probably just focus on that.
Your turn: What kind of effect will the decision to remove player names from Maryland football jerseys have on recruiting?