Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley answered questions from the media on Wednesday, as the…
Edsall Talks Seminoles and More
"We got a tremendous opportunity and a tremendous challenge as we head down to Tallahassee to take on Florida State. Florida State is an outstanding football team that is really putting up impressive numbers offensively. They are also very aggressive defensively. They are undefeated this time. I thought that we had a good week of practice during the off week and got a little ahead of the game. We did a little bit more on Sunday than we normally do, and now we can get back and go through the game plan. We will work it on all this week and then head down to Tallahassee and our hopefully able to come away with a win."
On if the 4-0 start has changed the vibe while out recruiting:
"It was great to be 4-0 and go out recruiting. There was a better reception to us being out there and people taking notice. I also think that even ramped up a little bit after West Virginia beat Oklahoma State this weekend. But people see what we've done so far this year, and now all we have to do is go out and play and continue to get better each and every day. If we do that, people will take more notice. So we just have to go out and keep on getting better and play the way that we played against West Virginia."
On Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston:
"When you look at him physically, he looks a little bit like E.J. Manuel in terms of his body type. But he is just a very good player. He is strong and a big guy. He is tough to bring down and has got good escape ability. He's got really strong arms and can make all the throws. Really good people surround him and he is executing the offense very well. He is somebody that you can see is doing all of the things that they are asking him to do. He is a very good football player and someone who you are concerned with when you have to go up against him on defense. He's a guy that has the ability to throw the ball and has the ability to do something with his feet. When you get that type of quarterback, it makes the job very difficult for the defense."
On preparing for Florida State's team speed:
"I think what you have to do is execute at a very high level. You have to make sure that you take advantage of your opportunities that you have. I think you do have the ability to make some big plays based on their aggressive natures. We have to make sure to execute and make sure everyone does their job, so it allows us to get those big plays."
On Maryland's team speed compared to two seasons ago:
"I think our team speed has gotten better. I think that when you watch Florida State, they're very fast and athletic. But I think we've gotten faster and more athletic in two years. Again, what we've got to do is make sure we go down there and get everybody to do their job and get everybody to play with a high level of confidence and play hard. If you do that, then you got a chance to go and win."
On linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil:
"Well, when you get to see Yannik, and just compared to when he came here and how he's really handled himself and conducted himself on the field, off the field, in the weight room. When you see the work ethic that he's displayed since he's been here, and really, the leadership qualities that he's displayed, those are the things that make it easy for you as a coach to say ‘Hey, this guy's got to find a place to play' because he does everything the way it's supposed to be done.
"I think he has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. It's something that he's wanted to prove in terms of being up in Towson and the going to a Division II school that he believed enough in his own abilities to come here and compete and then earn a scholarship. I just love the way the guy handles himself. Just a tremendous work ethic and he's had that work ethic from the day that he's gotten here to the day he was awarded a scholarship. He kept working, kept doing those things. I've been around enough people in my lifetime to know if they have that ability, that focus, drive, determination that Yannik has, they're going to be successful and those are the kinds of people you want to surround yourself with."
On the increased level of high school talent in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area:
"Well, I've always been very fond of the players from the DMV (District, Maryland and Virginia) because of the fact, where I was previously, we had quite a few players from this area who came and played well and contributed to a whole lot of success that we had. One of the things is there's so many more youth programs that were started here in the state, that this state has a lot of really good athletes. And now what's happening, they're getting involved at a younger age and they're being developed a little bit earlier. But again, I think people recognize the talent that's in this area and again you're never going to keep everybody at home because some players want to get away from home. Some want to stay, but you do your best to keep those guys that have the academics, have the athletic ability, and have the character and work ethic that you're looking for to keep them here. Again, I think you just take a look at earlier this year when you saw all these teams playing teams throughout the country, from Florida, [New] Jersey and all that, the teams here from the state of Maryland and the District won and held their own. I think this area is recognized as one with a lot of talent. You want to make sure you get the guys that fit what you're looking for and you want to keep as many of those guys here that you possibly can."
On linebacker Marcus Whitfield's emergence:
"The beauty of what I do is to be able to see young people when they first come here and see how innocent or how shy they might be and just to see the ability in them, and then you watch them grow over two to three years, four years and to see how they develop and Marcus is really one of those kids. When I first met Marcus, he was kind of shy, wasn't a real confident person in my opinion, he might tell you different, but just my experience from what I saw. I just saw a guy that had ability and it's just neat to see how he's kind of grown out of that and developed into a young man whose a father now, whose more confident, it's just, he's got a smile on his face all the time. He communicates so much more than what he used to. He's having success on the field doing the things that were asking him to do. He's going to be graduating here at the end of the semester, just a neat kid.
"I think one of the things that helped him is Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil coming in and pushing him because Yannik sat out last year and Marcus was playing and I think he might have seen how hard Yannik works, and if he wants a chance to be the starter then he's going to have to work. Those two guys have a really good relationship, but he's a young man that you just like being around."
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