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Some Ravens players endorse Alabama’s Mike Locksley as candidate for Maryland head coaching job

When Anthony Averett played cornerback at Alabama, he did not have the pleasure of being coached by Mike Locksley, who was hired by the Crimson Tide as an offensive analyst in 2016 and then promoted to wide receivers coach in 2017.

But Averett would have jumped at the opportunity. Now a rookie for the Ravens, Averett recalled spirited practices between the defensive backs and Locksley’s receivers.

“He used to mess with us DBs, just talking a little trash and creating some competition,” he said. “He would mess with us and say, ‘All right, DBs, let’s go! Let’s see what you all got today!’ ”

Locksley, Alabama’s offensive coordinator, has been mentioned as a candidate to succeed DJ Durkin at Maryland, and a few Ravens players with ties to the Crimson Tide said Wednesday they support such a move.

“I think he would be a great candidate,” said cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who crossed paths with Locksley for his senior year. “You see what Alabama is doing with him. He’s an offensive-minded machine.”

Rookie center-guard Bradley Bozeman called Locksley “one of those coaches that you have no choice but to love.”

“He’s a players’ coach, but at the same time, he’ll get after you,” Bozeman said. “He knows how to ride that line. I can’t really say enough about Coach Locks. He’s a great guy. I talked to him when we were on the bye week. We were just talking about scheme and everything else. He’s just an amazing guy. I still keep in contact with him. I could see him as a head coach somewhere, without a doubt.”

Locksley, 48, is a former longtime Terps assistant and offensive coordinator who was the interim head coach in 2015. Having grown up in Washington, D.C., and played safety and cornerback at Towson State, Locksley has deep roots in the area.

His profile has been strengthened by an Alabama offense that ranks second at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in scoring (49.0 points per game) and fourth in total offense (538.0 yards per game). Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, and Locksley is a finalist for the Broyles Award, which honors the nation’s top assistant.

Locksley’s record as a head coach is 3-31 after going 2-26 at New Mexico and 1-5 after replacing Randy Edsall at Maryland.

Averett said Locksley would bring instant credibility to the Terps, especially among potential recruits in Maryland and neighboring states.

“He’s from this area,” Averett said. “So I think he would be perfect. He knows the guys, he knows all the high school recruits. So he would definitely help Maryland big time and keep the recruits home. I feel like it would be a perfect fit for him.”

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