The hits keep on coming for the Maryland Terrapins football team. Four quarterbacks have taken snaps as the starter this season. All four have been subsequently lost to season ending injury. This weekend, Shawn Petty gets the opportunity to be the next man up.
Petty, recruited as a linebacker, will be the quarterback this weekend when Maryland takes on Georgia Tech. While his size — 6-foot-1, 230 pounds — is ideal for a bruising linebacker in the ACC, he will attempt to use that frame to his advantage on the other side of the ball.
Terrapins offensive coordinator Mike Locksley seems to think that Petty is up to the challenge.
“He’s into being a quarterback, and I think for him and for us it’s probably a benefit,” Locksley said. “If this is something he really wants — and I think he wants to prove he can be a quarterback at this level even though he was recruited to be a linebacker — I love that because then I know he’ll put everything into being prepared and put everything into going out and executing. You can work with a guy that wants to do it.”
While he did excel as a quarterback in high school — 1,300 yards passing, 550 yards rushing, 15 touchdowns as a senior — he’s playing in a conference game with virtually zero experience learning, running, or executing a collegiate offense.
The fact that Maryland has remained competitive through the injuries has been a testament to their head coach, assistants, and resolve of the roster. You can make the case that no team in the country could withstand losing their top three or four quarterbacks and still remain competitive deep into the season.
Thus far, Randy Edsall has guided the Terps to do just that. We’ll see if a converted linebacker — wearing No. 31 — can continue the magic in College Park.