No Redshirt for Rowe: Freshman is Maryland’s New Starting Quarterback
After Perry Hills became the second Maryland quarterback to succumb to a torn ACL this season, Terps’ head coach Randy Edsall had a choice to make before Saturday’s game at Boston College: to start backup Devin Burns, a converted wide receiver, or true freshman Caleb Rowe, who didn’t receive any other Division I scholarship offers.
Unfortunately, Edsall’s decision got a bit easier this week. On Thursday, the coach confirmed that Burns suffered a Lisfranc injury and will be out for the rest of the year.
Caleb Rowe, the team is all yours.
If half the battle is showing up, the other half, at least for this year’s Maryland team, is staying off the injury report. The Terps have 17 players listed as probable for this weekend’s game, and nine are out, either for the game or the year.
Three of the players out for the season are quarterbacks. C.J. Brown was the first to go down, with a torn ACL back in August. Hills took over and started every game for the Terps but was injured in last Saturday’s Homecoming game against N.C. State. Burns took the majority of the snaps in the second half last week, but his season is over just as it was beginning.
The Washington Post‘s Alex Prewitt reported that Burns injured his foot trying to avoid a sack. Lisfranc injuries involve either broken bones or torn ligaments in the middle of the foot, where it connects to the ankle. Trying to scramble out of the pocket, Burns planted on the foot and then fell. Extreme pressure on that area of the foot is one of the most common causes of Lisfranc injuries. Burns will have surgery Friday, followed by a 9-12 month recovery.
The money was on Burns to get the nod this week, but now Rowe is the only scholarship quarterback on the roster.
The coaching staff hoped to redshirt Rowe this season, but they brought him into the game last week to run the two-minute offense. He was 2 for 2, and he led the team 60 yards in four plays, putting the Terps in position to kick the game-winning field goal. It missed, but Rowe got his job done.
“That’s the thing that was so impressive, that he went in and performed given the minimal reps he got,” Edsall said of the former third-string QB.
Rowe is, by many accounts, the best pure passer of any of the Terps’ quarterbacks. In his senior year of high school in South Carolina, he emerged as the season progressed and finished with 2,722 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
According to The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Barker, Rowe’s teammates have called him a “gunslinger” for his sharp passes in practice, and Edsall says he’s not worried about his inexperienced quarterback – not that he has many other options.
With no scholarship quarterbacks remaining, Edsall just wants Rowe to relax and play his game. “Don’t got to worry about a quick hook,” the coach quipped.