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Former Pro Bowl receiver Keenan McCardell joining Terps' staff

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Randy Edsall was a 38-year-old defensive backs coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars when wide receiver Keenan McCardell arrived as a free agent for the 1996 season.

McCardell, who came from the Cleveland Browns, became one of the most valuable acquisitions in the franchise’s history, amassing 499 catches and 30 touchdowns over the next six seasons before departing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Edsall had an insider’s view — and occasionally a stressful one — of McCardell’s development. As the secondary coach, “I had to go against him every day,” Edsall, now Maryland’s head coach, said Thursday after announcing that McCardell, 44, had had been hired as the Terps’ wide receivers coach.

“He was a wide receiver and he was a pain in the butt, from a good standpoint for our team,” Edsall said. “He always gave our guys problems because he played so hard, he was smart.”

McCardell — who made Pro Bowls with the Jaguars and Buccaneers — was the biggest name among three new assistants Edsall announced were joining his staff.

Former New York Jets offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo is the new offensive line coach, while Ball State defensive line coach Chad Wilt has been picked to fill the defensive line coach opening. Terms of their contracts were not disclosed.

DeGuglielmo was also an assistant with the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. As chronicled by the New York tabloids, DeGugliemo had some minor feuds with the New York media — one was over reporters' access — when he was a Jets assistant.

DeGugliemo, who has a Super Bowl ring from his tenure with the Giants, also spent five seasons (1999-2003) as an assistant at South Carolina.

Wilt has served as recruiting coordinator as well as defensive line coach for Ball State. His first season at the school was 2011.

McCardell played for six teams in his 17-year NFL career and was the Washington Redskins' wide receivers coach in 2010 and 2011. With the Redskins, he helped develop Anthony Armstrong, an unheralded receiver from West Texas A&M who had 44 catches and a 19.8 yards-per-reception average in 2010.

McCardell, who did not immediately return a message on Thursday, is to join Edsall on a recruiting trip Friday. The new assistants have not yet been assigned recruiting territories.

McCardell hasn’t previously been a college assistant — a position that places a premium on relationships forged in recruiting.

What McCardell, who played for UNLV, lacks in recruiting experience he makes up for with other football credentials, Edsall said.

“I know this: If I was one of those [Terps receivers], I’d be a sponge,” Edsall said. “I’d be in there picking his brain and trying to find out as much as I could as to what’s going on. Obviously Keenan had a lot of talent to be able to stay in the league for 17 years.”

McCardell will oversee a group of receivers who arguably form Maryland’s strongest unit.

Stefon Diggs and Deon Long were having big seasons until suffering leg fractures Oct. 19 against Wake Forest. Marcus Leak, a wide receiver who averaged 17.1 yards per catch before being sidelined late in the 2012 season with a broken toe, is re-enrolling at Maryland after missing last season because of personal issues. Taivon Jacobs, a coveted recruit, is expected to contribute after a redshirt season.

The wide receivers coach opening was created when Lee Hull was hired last week as the head coach at Morgan State.

Wilt replaces Greg Gattuso, who left after the regular season to become the head coach at Albany. Gattuso was also the assistant head coach, a post that outside linebackers coach Lyndon Johnson has now inherited.

DeGugliemo replaces Tom Brattan, whose contract was not extended.

All of the assistants’ contracts — including defensive coordinator Brian Stewart's — were up after the season except for offensive coordinator Mike Locksley’s. All except Brattan got new contracts.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com
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