In the mid-1980s, a Gilman offensive lineman named Mark Agent enrolled at Maryland to play football.
After that, years turned into decades before the Terps managed to take the next step with the Baltimore school. Longtime Gilman coach Biff Poggi said he can't recall another Greyhounds player committing to Maryland until fullback Kenneth Goins selected the Terps, arriving as a freshman last season.
Goins was followed by quarterback Shane Cockerille a year later. For Maryland, it's akin to a thaw after a long winter.
"We probably have 23 or 24 Division I kids in our program [currently]," Poggi said. "We're recruited nationally — Alabama, Michigan — but Maryland is right in the hunt, and it wasn't that way before."
As the Terps (3-0) prepare to play West Virginia (2-1) Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium, the hope among their coaches is that a new era has begun in Maryland's relationship with Gilman and other Baltimore schools.
Maryland had recruiting in mind when it scheduled this game.
"I think any time we can play up in Baltimore [it] is a good thing for us from the standpoint that the recruiting base and the Baltimore fans get a chance to see us," said Terps offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, whose son Kai is Gilman's quarterback.
"The venue, the recruiting — I just think it could be an advantage for us," Edsall said.
For years, Maryland had a reputation for missing out on top talent from Baltimore and other parts of the state. Edsall's arrival from Connecticut in early 2011 gave the program a chance to start fresh with Baltimore high schools.
Edsall and Maryland have tried to brand the Terps as the city's — and the state's — "hometown" team.
Maryland's football uniforms and field markings — which, in recent years, had highlighted the word "Terps" — now more prominently display "Maryland."
It's no coincidence that Maryland's flashiest uniforms are called "Maryland Pride." In 2011, the football team used its nationally televised opener against Miami to debut the uniforms — a dizzying combination of red, white, black and gold in a design evoking the state flag.
Thursday night, Maryland and Under Armour held an event in Harbor East featuring the marching band and cheerleaders to debut the latest iteration of those uniforms — Maryland Pride 2.0.
During spring practice, Maryland held a scrimmage on Dunbar's field as part of its outreach program to Baltimore. Gilman and Dunbar are both outfitted by the Tide Point-based Under Armour.
"It's good for us to engage the biggest city in the state," said Nathan Pine, Maryland's deputy athletic director for external operations.
Poggi said he didn't want to discuss why Maryland was bypassed by Gilman players for so many years.
It didn't help relations when a Maryland assistant coach allegedly gave cash to a top Gilman prospect, Victor Abiamiri, a decade ago. The NCAA placed Maryland on one year of probation in 2003, and the assistant, Rod Sharpless, lost his job. Abiamiri enrolled at Notre Dame.
Poggi seems to feel a trust with Maryland's program that wasn't there before Edsall arrived.