Maryland coach Randy Edsall doesn’t have time to wonder what might have been had former quarterback Danny O’Brien not left for Wisconsin this summer. He has to get a quarterback, or two, ready even though nobody on the Terrapins’ roster has ever taken a snap in college.
C.J. Brown’s season-ending injury last week put Edsall in a bind he obviously never saw coming. Brown replaced O’Brien as the starter last fall and was set to run the show for a full season.
With Brown out for the year and O’Brien now a Badger, Edsall has been looking at three players as options, one of whom was playing another position until Brown went down. So, a few days after Brown’s injury, how are things looking?
“I thought Perry Hills had a good day today, I thought he did some good things,” Edsall said after Sunday’s scrimmage. “Of course, there’s going to be plenty of things that he could learn from and get better. … When you talk about the mechanics and the operation of the offense, I thought he handled it really well.”
Hills, who sits atop the depth chart as of now, is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound true freshman from Pittsburgh who was rated the No. 29 signal caller in the high school class of 2012. Hill chose Maryland over Akron, Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and Buffalo.
Another true freshman, Caleb Rowe, is also in the mix.
“I thought Caleb had his moments,” Edsall said. “You can see Caleb can really throw the football, and what we got to get Caleb a little more in tune to exactly what needs to be done, and that just comes with experience.”
Rowe is a 6-foot-3, 180-pounder from Greer, S.C., and was rated the No. 30 quarterback in last year’s senior class. He opted for the Terrapins over Gardner-Webb.
Sophomore Devin Burns went to Maryland as a quarterback but was moved to wide receiver after Edsall took over in January 2011. Burns, who is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, redshirted in 2010 but worked as a quarterback under former coach Ralph Friedgen. Last season as a backup wideout, he caught one pass for 17 yards (vs. West Virginia) in seven games of action.
“Devin went in there and did good things there,” Edsall said.
Edsall was then asked to elaborate on Burns’ adjustment.
“It’s interesting,” he said, “because when Devin went to quarterback in the first day that he practiced, we sat there as coaches, the offensive coaches and myself, and said ‘Man, it looks like he’s been playing the whole time.’ He’s handled everything really well … He’s not where we need him to be, but I thought he’s handled things really well.”
As a quarterback, Burns was rated No. 56 in the class of 2010 and chose Maryland over Arkansas, Mississippi State, Georgia, Southern Mississippi and Vanderbilt.
The Terrapins posted a 2-10 record last season, Edsall’s first at the helm after he spent more than a decade running Connecticut’s program. Brown completed 49.4 percent of his pass attempts for 842 yards and seven touchdowns while running for 574 yards and five scores last fall. O’Brien completed 56.4 percent of his pass attempts for 1,648 yards and seven touchdowns. He ran for two scores, as well.