The Maryland Terrapins ran out of quarterbacks last football season when literally all their signal callers succumbed to injuries. This spring they have five, and even though three are still rehabbing, it’s a far better situation than when the Terps were forced to stick a linebacker under center – but head coach Randy Edsall isn’t happy yet.
“I think there’s guys that have been okay, but I don’t think there’s anybody who, for four practices, has just nailed each practice,” Edsall told reporters after Saturday’s workout.
Senior quarterback C.J. Brown, the projected starter before tearing his ACL in fall camp last August, seems to be in line for the starting job because he has the most experience and he’s furthest along in his recovery. (Sophomores Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe, who both tore their ACLs during the season, have been at practices but are still working back from their injuries.)
The Terps do have two completely healthy quarterbacks this spring: transfers Ricardo Young and Dustin Dailey. Both players were unavailable during Maryland’s 2012 Quarterback Crisis because they were sitting out per NCAA transfer rules – although considering how the season worked out for the rest of the Terps’ QBs, it was probably better that they weren’t able to take the field.
Or was it?
The extended time out of the lineup hasn’t done the quarterbacks any favors so far this spring, and Young might suffer the most. Maryland fans were excited about the possibility of reuniting him with his former head coach, Mike Locksley, who recruited Young to New Mexico and is now the Terps’ offensive coordinator, but he hasn’t impressed Edsall so far this spring.
“I think he’s been very, very inconsistent. I think he has a long way to go,” Edsall said after Saturday’s session.
It might be true, but it wasn’t necessarily what Terps fans wanted to hear. Many remember that Brown was underwhelming when he shared playing time with Danny O’Brien in 2011; he’s an excellent running quarterback, but he completed fewer than half his pass attempts, and he certainly didn’t lead the 2-10 Terps to many wins that season. (The team did not win any of the five games he started.)
The backup’s always the most popular guy on the team when it’s struggling, but in Maryland’s case, many Terps faithful hoped the reportedly athletic but relatively unknown Young would come in and suddenly light things up in 2013. It’s still early, but so far, that hasn’t happened.
There’s still hope for the Ricardo Young contingent: Brown has also been inconsistent, but after Saturday’s practice, when he completed just 9 of 29 pass attempts in one-on-one drills, he pointed out that he was still rusty and many of the receivers were new to the offense.
Young, on the other hand, still has more work to do, at least according to his coach.
“He’s got to understand that he is a good athlete, but he’s got to pay attention and master the fundamentals and technique and be exact,” Edsall said.
Here’s hoping at least one of them gets it together by the time fall rolls around – although if they just stay healthy, they’ll already have a better season than the Terps’ QBs in 2012.