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Locksley breaks down balancing act between Alabama, Maryland

Newly-hired Maryland coach Mike Locksley must walk in two worlds for at least another few weeks while he remains committed to play-calling for Alabama’s College Football Playoff appearance. Locksley appeared Wednesday morning on iconic Washington DC radio program The Sports Junkies, and hit on a series of topics.

The biggest question shared between Maryland and Alabama fans comes in how Locksley is able to balance his time over the next month. While it is fair to doubt any coach with commitments to multiple programs, following Nick Saban’s lead usually pays off.

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“My best Nick Saban-ism, I get to do all of those things instead of I have to do all of those things,” Locksley told the Sports Junkies. “It’s a little different when you get to do them, meaning I’m excited about it. To be able to have to balance recruiting here, meeting the players here on this team. For me, I put a line of what I need to get done here now, and the first thing I needed to get done was get in front of each kid that’s on this team now and start developing that relationship.”

Maryland officially reached terms with Locksley shortly after the Crimson Tide won the SEC Championship against Georgia. Since Locksley’s press conference in College Park, he has been hard at work with face-to-face meetings with Maryland players and film sessions to prepare for the Oklahoma defense.

“I’ve spent the last two to three days individually meeting,” Locksley said. “I call it speed dating, where I’m just meeting with every player on the team. They’re in final exams. They’re about to be done. We’ve got that long winter break here that they don’t return back until the end of January. I thought it was really important for me to get out in front and and get these 1-on-1s with our current team. This is the first people I have to recruit. Make sure that we keep everybody here that can help us win ball games and be good members of our team.

“I’ve got that accomplished mixed in with trying to get some coaches hired, recruiting for Maryland and also preparing and starting to work on game plan stuff for Oklahoma. Those are the things I get to do. I’m excited about doing it. Balancing my time as been great. I’m excited.”

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Locksley will match wits with Ruffin McNeill, who replaced Mike Stoops in October after the Sooners lost to Texas.

“I get to Alabama on Thursday night, and then Friday we start practice and preparation for our game against Oklahoma. I’ll put my Alabama hat back on, and I’ve already started watching Oklahoma at night on my own time and putting together some base ideas. What a great challenge and great opportunity to be in the College Football Playoffs against Oklahoma. I know we’re excited as a team and as a program to be in the Orange Bowl down there in Miami. That starts on Friday.”

Maryland is off to a hot start in recruiting with Wednesday morning’s flip of four-star recruit Isaiah Hazel, and expects to add more local talent before next week’s signings.

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