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Maryland to Big Ten could mean recruiting gains for new conference rivals

The Terps should be able to recruit Pennsylvania and will have a harder time in the South, but the real winners could be the rest of the Big Ten.


With the departure of Maryland to the Big Ten, many Terrapin fans are beginning to ask about the possible implications on recruiting. The answer? Not as much are you might think. At least not in terms of changing the caliber of player Maryland brings signs.

Over the last decade, Maryland has recruited at a top-40 type level. That much shouldn't change, and this move should help to ensure that.

Reading into the comments made by the Maryland administration, paired with Maryland's recent significant financial struggles, it's clear that this move is aimed at securing Maryland's financial future. Maryland had experienced serious financial issues lately. So great, in fact, that the school was forced to cut sports programs.

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If Maryland had not made the move, facilities would have continued to suffer, and opponents would have used that as ammunition against the Terrapins vie negative recruiting. For Maryland, this really is about not falling further behind in the financial arms race that is modern college football.

What will change is Maryland's recruiting base.

Being in the ACC allowed Maryland to recruit the Southern states to an extent. Maryland coaches were able to tell Southern recruits that games would be played in their home states, thanks to opponents like Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, Miami and the Carolina schools. Currently, four of Maryland's 17 commitments are located in ACC states.

Now, Maryland will have a much tougher time recruiting the South.

Replacing the South will be the Midwest, which is far less talented. That's not a great trade off for Maryland. Plus, Maryland's coaches will have to establish and foster new relationships in the region.

The Terrapins might see an uptick in recruiting, however, in an area it already recruits -- the Northeast. Places like Pennsylvania, with Penn State being down for a while due to the NCAA sanctions, and potentially parts of Ohio, could be more accessible to the Terrapins, as that area is traditionally Big Ten country.

The big recruiting winner in this deal is probably the existing Big Ten schools. The Big Ten powers will be able to sell Baltimore and Washington D.C. players on playing a game annually in their home town when those powers visit Maryland. While Ohio State and other top Big Ten powers don't exactly have trouble recruiting the DMV area as the leagues are currently comprised, but the added exposure could help like the addition of Texas A&M to the SEC has helped traditional Southeastern Conference powers recruit in Texas.

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