Maryland coach Randy Edsall was a special guest at an event at St. Matthew Lutheran Church on Tuesday night.
Maryland coach Randy Edsall was a special guest at an event at St. Matthew Lutheran Church on Tuesday night. (File photo)

Randy Edsall has changed in some ways over his 30-plus years in coaching.

No matter where he's been, though, the 54-year-old Edsall always remembers where he came from.

So it's no big deal for the Susquehannock High School graduate to make the 90-minute drive from the University of Maryland to York City on a Tuesday evening to be the special guest at an event at St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

"My mom lives here. She lives just out past West Manchester Mall," Edsall said before the event, when he took time out for one-on-one interviews with three reporters. "As a matter of fact, I was just up here on Sunday. I took her out for dinner."

With friends and family living in York and the surrounding area, Edsall said it's been a little easier for him to visit them since taking over the Maryland football program in 2011 after 12 successful years coaching at Connecticut.

"Being in the profession, I didn't get a chance to come home (much) because of where I was and what I was doing," Edsall said. "Even now, I don't get up here as much (as I'd like) being as close as I am. But it's a lot easier and it's more convenient."

Zeller: As far as travel goes, it's also easier on him recruiting in his old stomping grounds.

"I've been able to have success (recruiting), whether it's the Harrisburg, York, Lancaster area, it's been good for me," he said. "I've gotten kids from this area."

One of those kids Edsall tried recruiting a few years ago when he was the UConn head coach was former Red Lion offensive lineman Andrew Zeller, who will be a redshirt sophomore at Maryland in the fall. Zeller saw action in eight games last year, including starts against Wake Forest and Virginia.

Edsall said Zeller is the team's starting right guard in spring practice, which is currently halted for spring break.

"He's got strength. All of those things you look for in an offensive lineman, now it's just a matter of him getting the technique down," Edsall said of Zeller. "He's somebody we think is gonna be a leader for our team and be a guy who will play for us for the next three years."

Injuries: Edsall wouldn't call the 2012 season unfortunate or unlucky, which certainly might apply when describing how all five of the Terps' quarterbacks went down with injuries and led to a converted linebacker handling the play-calling duties in the final three games.

The Terps finished 4-8 last season after starting 4-2 and are now 6-18 overall under Edsall.

"When you take a look at the injuries, the thing that made it bad is we just had them all at one position," Edsall said. "We had less ACL (injuries) in the history that they've had in Maryland. It just so happened we had three of them at the quarterback position."

Two quarterbacks are healthy and participating in spring practice. Edsall said he expects the other three QBs to "be ready to go by August." That should help Maryland in its quest to get back to a bowl game for the first time since 2010.

Moving forward: Edsall is also excited about going back to UConn when the Terps travel there for a non-conference contest Sept. 14.

"It's like anything else when you go back to someplace you left," he said. "It's like Ray Allen going back to Boston and getting booed. I'm sure I'll get booed."

The 2013 season will be Maryland's last in the Atlantic Coast Conference before joining the Big Ten in 2014. Edsall admits the move is mainly about money, which he said will help improve the school's academics and athletics. Either way, he's excited about going to a prestigious conference. And he feels it'll help him get recruits from an area he once called home.

"We'll be playing teams like Penn State," he said. "Plus, with the Big Ten Network there is gonna be more exposure for kids in the Big Ten than in the ACC."

Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.