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Maryland football coach DJ Durkin not exciting choice, yet

New Maryland football coach DJ Durkin isn't exactly a household name around here, so it might be asking too much for him to "excite the fan base" in his introductory news conference in College Park on Thursday.

That was the phrase used by athletic director Kevin Anderson when he announced the firing of Randy Edsall and described the focus of his search for a new coach, but the highly regarded Michigan defensive coordinator is going to seem like an unexciting choice to fans who were waiting for a recognizable, big-name guy.

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The Terps were at a low point in their second Big Ten Conference season when Edsall was fired, so it was important to cast the search in broad terms, but -- rhetoric aside -- Maryland needed to find the right coach rather than the most exciting name.

It'll be awhile before we know if Anderson made the right decision, but Durkin is a guy with a solid pedigree that includes positions on the coaching staffs of several very successful programs. He also was named the nation's top recruiter in 2012, which is reflective of a skill that might be the most important attribute for a coach hoping to elevate a struggling program into the Big Ten elite.

Still, there's plenty of room to wonder whether anyone can push Maryland through the glass ceiling that separates the second-tier teams in the Big Ten from a very entrenched competitive hierarchy.

That certainly won't happen overnight.

The bottom line is this: Whether you recognize the name or not, there's a new sheriff in town, which should be cause for celebration after such a long and discouraging season.

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