The University of Maryland football team is taking time out from its spring practice schedule for this commercial.
Although it will be the 12th of 15 practices the Terps are allowed in the spring, this one is as much to promote the program as it is to prepare the players for the 2013 season.
Maryland will be holding drills and a scrimmage at Middletown High School on Saturday at noon as the Terps work toward the annual Red-White scrimmage on April 12. It also serves as a chance for the Terps to reach out and touch their fans.
“We are trying to grow Maryland pride,” said coach Randy Edsall. “This is a chance to come see all the fans we have in Frederick and Washington County. It helps from a branding standpoint and it helps us in marketing the program and in recruiting.”
For the Terps, it’s kind of a roadtrip that breaks the monotony of practice. The players get a chance to go out and stretch a little by going on a field trip.
Such trips are unusual, but not unheard of. Edsall said the Syracuse teams he played for would practice on the road at times.
“This is a chance for us to bring people who love football our product,” Edsall said. “We are in an area where there are a lot of pro football teams and this is our chance to make a mark.”
The road practice hits many levels of importance for Maryland.
It will be the second road practice for the Terps, who played at Dunbar last Saturday. Edsall learned a lot about his team, but also made a what he hopes to be a lasting impression.
“It will be a chance for younger fans to see us play,” Edsall said. “Then, when they get older and start getting to the recruiting age, maybe they will remember these things and think about coming down by us to be part of the Maryland pride. That’s why we do these.”
The Terps will be bringing along two examples of what could be in running back Joel Riddle, who graduated from Linganore, and lineman Ty Tucker, a Walkersville graduate, as Frederick area players who signed on at Maryland.
“This is such a small state, it is easy to get anywhere to enhance our program,” Edsall said. “We can meet with the kids and jump on the bus and be almost anywhere to practice in about an hour.”
For Maryland, the brand and the marketing will take a different turn for the 2014 season. The Terps will be leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference to join the Big Ten, which may add some dramatic changes everywhere but on the field.
“We are just thinking about the ACC this year,” Edsall said. “We feel like what we are doing here now will be successful in the Big Ten.
“We want to expand our brand. We want to tell the people of Maryland that we appreciate what they do for us. We want to generate more excitement ... the more we can do that, the better.”