Everyone under the sun knows about Mike Locksley's troubled two years at New Mexico. Now, it is being reported that Locksley is a candiate to replace Maryland's Ralph Fridgen is being asked to accept a buyout. All of this is being reported by ESPN's Joe Schad:
If Ralph Friedgen does not return to Md. in '11, potential names include Mike Leach, Tyrone Willingham and Mike Locksley
Despite a 2-22 record at New Mexico, Mike Locksley is a Washington DC native who is perhaps the best recruiter the school has ever had
Hey Schad! You know who is reportedly a great recruiter? His former boss at Illinois who brought in one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in Juice Williams and could do nothing with him, or the fact that he was at Florida and had all the talent but could not succeed. While it took Urban Meyer only two years to win a national title with Zook's players. So, when does coaching come into play because Rocky Long finished third or better five times, had five bowl game appearances and six seasons with a .500 or better record. All of this was done in 11 years, but Locksley comes in and immediately causes trouble while bringing down a decent football program.
For all the talk that Locksley is a great recruiter he has only four recruits so far in the 2011 class which puts the Lobos last and fifth in the league when arranged by star rating. This is for the new Mountain West that includes Boise State with Utah and BYU removed. Those numbers do not sound like Locksley is a master recruiter but even if he is able to add some great athletes to New Mexico he still needs to prove he can coach, and so far he has not shown that ability with his 2-22 records and by getting blown out on a near weekly basis.
Locksley is included just because he coached at Maryland from 1997-2002 as the running backs coach for one year and then was promoted to recruiting coordinator for the final five years at Maryland. Rivals only goes back to 2002 in their on line rankings which was Locksley last year and his class was sixth in the ACC that year. In 2003 and 2004 Locksley took the same position at Florida and was able to snag the second and third classes in the SEC those years. My opinion is that one would have to incompetent to not recruit well at Florida.
To go one step further at Illinois when Locksley was the offensive coordinator under Zook the Illini recruiting class through 2005-2008 went eighth, fourth, third and fourth. So there has to be some credit given to him there. However, he was the offensive coordinator and not the recruiting coordinator, but the real success of recruiters are how many four and five star recruits one can bring in. Illinois brought in 20 four-star recruits during that time and two five-star recruits, per Rivals. Those numbers were still well behind the leaders in the league and to his credit he was part of a staff to bring in good players that had only one gerat year when they were -- in my opinion -- unjustly chosen to go the Rose Bowl as a 9-3 team in 2008 just because the Rose Bowl wanted their precious Big 10 and Pac-10 matchup.
So, all of that was to point out that Locksley is an ok recruiter and not some magic man who can bring in great players, well he did snag New Mexico a four-star recruit in Calvin Watkins from Florida. If Locksley really is a choice, I think I can speak for Lobo fans that they would welcome him to the door and drive him to the airport.