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The New Offensive Coordinator May Be Found Just A Few Hours Drive From State College

James Franklin and Mike Locksley were on Ralph Friedgen's staff together in the early 2000's. Will the two reunite in Happy Valley?

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Locksley's name has been tossed around as a candidate for the open Penn State offensive coordinator position. Locksley took over as interim head coach of the Maryland Terrapins in early October when Randy Edsall was fired. The 45 year-old from Washington D.C. returned to Maryland in 2012 as the offensive coordinator when Edsall was hired as the head coach. From 1997-2002 he was the running back coach for the Terps.

Locksley has previous experience as a head coach but his cumulative record is 3-31 in the top position. As an offensive coordinator he has shown a great deal of promise for a team such as Penn State that needs to improve on recent results. The Lions have produced the 113th and 101st highest-scoring offense over the past two seasons respectively. Locksley's best season as an offensive coordinator was in 2008 with Illinois, when his offense averaged 438.8 total yards per game and was ranked No. 40 in total scoring. That offense featured a balanced attack, gaining 269 yards through the air and 169.5 yards on the ground per game.

He's also a great recruiter and there is reason to believe that there are a few Maryland recruits that will consider going elsewhere should he leave Maryland. The Terp's second-highest recruit Keandre Jones, a linebacker, stated in October that his future and Locksley's are tied directly together. Incoming 4-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins is likely leave as well and it has been rumored that Ohio State has renewed its recruiting efforts toward him.

Locksley interviewed for the head coaching position at Maryland but the school hired Michigan assistant DJ Durkin a few days later. Durkin has stated that all of the assistants will be evaluated when asked whether he plans to keep the offensive coordinator, who is under contract through next season.

While his resume is not as gaudy as some of the perceived prospective candidates, he does have a lot to offer. His time at Maryland overlapped with coach James Franklin's time there as they were both on staff for three years in 2000-2002. He has been well-liked among players wherever he has been during his career.

Locksley has 20 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level in various positions. With all of that experience his 46th birthday is in eighteen days on Christmas Day. In the coaching community he is still a youngster.

What do you think? Would you, reader of BSD, welcome Mike Locksley with open arms?