Friday, December 16, 2005

Terp's hire new defensive coach

Ralph Friedgen announced that he hired Chris Cosh, formerly the linebackers coach for Kansas State, to be the new defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and to assist with recruiting . Cosh held the title of recruiting coordinator at Maryland in 1997 before leaving for Michigan State. It is assumed that Cosh was attractive to Friedgen because of his local contacts since he is from the DC area and a Maryland native. Cosh played at Virginia Tech before an injury ended his career. He's since bounced around a bunch of teams and has been at four different programs since leaving Maryland.

In case it wasn't obvious I'm very skeptical of this hire by Big Ralph. In examining Cosh's resume it isn't all that impressive and in some ways is downright alarming. Consider the three defensive coordinator jobs he's already had in his young career: Illinios 1995, Michigan State 1998 and South Carolina 2003. None of those teams had a winning record for those years and he wasn't asked back for a second year in any of those three seasons. A little concerning, hmm? If he was really a promising young defensive coach why would three different programs send him packing?

In all three of those seasons his defenses had some real drubbings, at least 3 times each season his teams gave up over 30 points a game including allowing 63 points in a blowout to Clemson (South Carolina) and 51 points in a slaughter by Penn State (Illinois). Blackney's defenses only gave up 30+ points 6 times in his first 4 seasons, and giving up those points to Steve Spurrier's Gators or Florida State is a might different than Indiana and Clemson. In Cosh's three seasons as a coordinator his teams gave up 24.5, 26.2 and 18 points per game, which isn't very impressive.

Cosh was saying the same kinds of things about not tampering with the defense of his predecessor and keeping an aggressive scheme when he replaced Charlie Strong, who departed South Carolina for Florida. Well that didn't turn out too well as Holtz fired him after one season in which his defense gave up 36 points and 463 yards of offense per game in its final six.

Another issue that makes me slightly uneasy about this hire is that he can't helped but be tainted by the scandals that rocked South Carolina under Lou Holtz. Going to someplace like Kansas State after that debacle isn't exactly like going to Lordes to get your sins absolved, it's more like going to Bangkok.

I don't quite understand why Fridge made this choice so quickly, as he had said before that they would wait to talk to a few assistants after the bowl season was over, unless he feels he will lose out on some of the top defensive recruits due to the uncertainty. Phillip Taylor and Akeem Hebron, who has committed to Georgia, come to mind and is it just coincidence that the Bulldog commit is taking an official visit to Maryland in the near future? Might be a better sell if he can actually talk to the linebackers coach, hyped as a linebacker "guru", and new defensive coordinator.

There will be some fall out from this choice as no candidate from the coaching staff was promoted. Don't be surprised if Dave Sollazzo moves on soon. I'm not sure how the choice of Cosh will turn out but there isn't much to get excited about right now.

Recruiting
Add another entry into the out-of-control parent file for college recruiting these days. Josh Portis, who was intensely recruited by Maryland last season, has announced he will transfer from Florida because he didn't get enough mop up duty in their blowout of FSU. This is the state of major college sports, a freshman quits because he didn't get enough garbage time in a blowout. His mother spent the whole week blabbing in the Florida papers about why he was leaving; genius move there, mom. She already dragged the poor kid out of two high schools because she didn't see eye-to-eye with the coach. Like Derrick Williams and his papa this is a package deal with Portis and his mother that you don't want any part of, fellow Terps. Sad thing is that Josh is reputed to be a nice kid, but his mother is trying her best to ruin his life.

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