The atmosphere and culture of the Maryland football program “definitely changed” when head coach Michael Locksley took over the program three years ago, according to senior safety Jordan Mosley, who will play in the first bowl game of his career Dec. 29.
Locksley, who had been an assistant at Alabama from 2016-2018 and had two previous stints with the Terps, was charged with turning around a program in rough shape when he was hired. From 2011-2018, the school cycled through four football coaches — one of whom was Locksley on an interim basis — and went 38-61.
In 2018, offensive lineman Jordan McNair died of heatstroke two weeks after a spring workout. The school later accepted responsibility for the mistakes made by the athletic training staff.
Maryland went 3-9 in Locksley’s first year as head coach in 2019, then were only able to play five games in the COVID-19-shortened season in 2020. This year, the Terps had their first six-win season in six years. They’re now trying to clinch their first winning season since 2014.
Mosley, an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick this year, credits Locksley for the shift.
“When he got here, the atmosphere definitely changed. The culture definitely changed,” Mosley said on Glenn Clark Radio Dec. 21, adding that the program is about “more hard work and more dedication than it’s ever been, not too many excuses. That foundation has been built to where as the older dudes, he puts a lot more on us.
“We’re just trying to make it easier and make it palatable for the younger guys and hope that the younger guys do the same thing for when the kids under them come in. That’s really what it’s been, just putting in work every day, day in and day out, and not getting too focused on immediate goals [rather than long-term ones].”
As the program has taken steps forward, so has Mosley, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound safety out of Havertown, Pa. Coming into this year, he had totaled 112 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, an interception and a forced fumble. In 2021, he has made a team-high 77 tackles, forced a fumble and broken up seven passes.
Mosley was a consensus three-star prospect coming out of high school, and according to 247Sports, Maryland was one of only three Power Five scholarship offers he received. He committed to the Terps in July 2017, when DJ Durkin was the head coach, and blossomed under Locksley.
“Everything I’ve gotten to this point, I feel like I’ve worked for and I deserve, so I feel like I’ve put in the work to where I am right now,” Mosley said. “There’s still a lot more work that I’ve got to put in. But in terms of being counted out and being doubted, I’ve faced that throughout my whole career so it’s not anything new. Every chance I get, every Saturday I get, it’s a chance to put on for myself, my family and where I’m from.”
Though Mosley has played four years for the Terps, he has another season of eligibility in 2022 due to the COVID season last year. He’ll make a decision on his future later. For now, he’s focused on the Terps’ Pinstripe Bowl matchup against Virginia Tech Dec. 29. He’s looking forward to being in New York City during the holiday season and having friends and family at the game.
It would mean a lot to the seniors to leave on a high note, according to Mosley. Leaving Yankee Stadium with a 7-6 record is the goal.
“As an older guy, my job is to create a path and make it easier for the dudes that come behind me,” Mosley said. “That was really my goal this season, try to get us to a bowl game, try to make it easier for the dudes coming behind me. I feel like we did that. This senior class definitely did that. We’re just trying to go above .500 on the season this year.”
To hear more from Mosley, listen to the full interview here:
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