This article was first published June 16, 2014.
New Penn State football coach James Franklin fired the first shots over the bow during his introductory news conference back in January.
"I don't know if I mentioned this before, but we're going to dominate the state," Franklin said in a 51-minute presser that is now famous. "That's the first thing we're going to do."
Franklin then went on to emphasize his plans to recruit in other states and areas such as New Jersey, New York, New England, Virginia and Delaware. While Franklin didn't include Maryland in the list then, he did during a news conference last month in Washington, D.C., one of the stops along the Penn State coaches caravan tour.
"I made a comment earlier, and I think people took it out of context, but we're going to treat New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, D.C. and northern Virginia as in-state areas for us in terms of the attention that we put on it," Franklin had said. "You take a six-hour radius of campus, that's what we're going to treat as in-state, then we'll go other places to recruit nationally to do what we have to do to put our roster together. We're going to approach it as in-state."
Count Maryland Terrapins' football coach Randy Edsall as one who is aware of Franklin's recruiting intentions, but apparently not concerned about them. When asked about Franklin's comments Monday before the 26th annual York County Special Olympics Celebrity Golf Classic at the Out Door Country Club in Manchester Township, Edsall said he's not worrying "about what anybody else says."
"We're not gonna boast and brag. We're more about substance at Maryland," said Edsall, a 1976 Susquehannock High School grad. "We're gonna find guys that fit the profile we're looking for. We're gonna worry about ourselves and not worry about anything else. Talk is cheap."
It's not a war of words by any means. But the chatter coming from both football coaches should help rekindle the flame of an old football rivalry when Penn State and Maryland meet on the gridiron inside Beaver Stadium on Nov. 1, marking the first time the teams will meet since Sept. 26, 1992. It's a result of Maryland and Rutgers soon joining the Big Ten Conference, moves that will be made official July 1. Maryland is leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference while Rutgers is leaving the American Athletic Conference.
Then again, Penn State vs. Maryland is difficult to describe as a rivalry considering the numbers. Penn State has dominated.
"Maryland has not had a lot of success against Penn State. We're 35-1-1 against them but there's been some great games in that series," Edsall said. "I think it's something that can be a good rivalry. We have to do something about that on our end. I think it's just a natural fit. It'll be fun to play. To be able to play against them is fun. They're a good program and good school. Being a border rival is something, to me, that will be exciting for both schools."
Of the 25 players who made up Franklin's solid 2014 recruiting class, just two were from Maryland. Meanwhile, Edsall's 2014 recruiting class features three players from Pennsylvania, including Spring Grove product David Shaw, who will join another York County product on the Terps' roster in Red Lion High School graduate Andrew Zeller, a junior offensive lineman.
"He's a 6-5, 300-pound kid," Edsall said of Shaw. "We're gonna play him at nose guard. The thing that really impressed me about him is that when he lined up, he was very quick off the ball. He's a guy who's gonna be able to control one gap and be able to penetrate and do the things that you want to do."
Edsall will be taking the Terps' into Big Ten play this year in what will be his fourth year leading Maryland. After going a combined 6-18 his first two years with the Terps, Edsall steered Maryland to a 7-5 record last season, which included an appearance in the Military Bowl.
Notes: Monday's golf event raised more than $20,000 for York County Special Olympics. In its 26-year history, the golf classic has raised more than half a million dollars, according to an event organizer.
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.