BALTIMORE — This unprecedented time in the sports world has forced everyone to take a step back and count their blessings, including Mike Locksley.
"It’s a big time of reflection. I think it really makes you appreciate a lot of things," he said.
The University of Maryland Head Football Coach should be conducting spring practices right now. Instead, because of coronavirus concerns and cancelations, he is coaching from home in Montgomery County, teaching his team via online video.
"We’re in constant contact with our players," said Locksley.
With no practices, he said the toughest part of this break is the lack of physical reps for his guys. The mental, well, he’s got that covered. His staff spends about eight hours per week in virtual meetings with Terps players, teaching scheme and trying to improve their football IQ.
"If we can come out of this thing a smarter team, when this thing finally does open up, then we can really focus on the physical," he said.
While on-field sessions have stopped, recruiting has not. That is being done virtually as well.
Locksley landed one of the nation’s top high school players within the past week - Dameioun Robinson from Quince Orchard High School in Montgomery County. The junior linebacker/defensive end is the country’s 16th-ranked recruit in the 2021 class according to ESPN.
— Demeioun Robinson (@chopyoungbull) March 27, 2020
"To be able to attract the top local players is a must if you want to get this program turned around and going in a direction that we all want it to go," said Locksley.
Right now that direction is adjusted daily as Locksley tries to navigate this unique time. When the football world will return to normalcy, nobody really knows.
Has he even thought about the coronavirus possibly affecting the 2020 season?
"I just know just hearing you say that all of a sudden you get heart palpitations like what if there’s no football? I’ve tried to focus our team and our program on right now and where we are today and we’re going to prepare our guys today based on the circumstances that we’re given," he said. "And then tomorrow we’ll wake up and find out what the circumstances offer and we’ll prepare tomorrow."
While taking a step back and appreciating it all.