Maryland football coach Randy Edsall had just finished speaking with quarterback C.J. Brown on Wednesday afternoon when he addressed reporters via conference call regarding his starter’s season-ending knee injury.
Despite the sobering news roughly two weeks before the Terrapins’ season opener on Sept. 1 against William & Mary, Edsall said that he and his team remained optimistic despite the loss of their starting quarterback.
“It’s disappointing for C.J., but the excitement we have and the kind of practices that we’ve been having the last few days, the things that are taking place, that hasn’t dampered anything,” Edsall said. “Like I said, we’re disappointed and upset that this injury has occurred to C.J., but none of the expetations or the enthusiasm for this season have been taken away from us.”
What will be sorely lacking is college experience at quarterback after Brown tore the ACL in his right knee while performing a non-contact two-minute drill on Tuesday night. Edsall said Brown suffered the injury while making a routine cut up the field.
Perry Hills is a true freshman who has ascended to the No. 1 position since training camp began on Aug. 6. He had been competing with Caleb Rowe, another true freshman who has not taken a snap in a college game, to be the top reserve, but Brown’s injury has changed those circumstances drastically.
“When [Hills and Rowe] came in here, they knew that either one of those guys or both of them were going to have the opportunity possibly to get on the field because injuries do happen,” Edsall said. “What we wanted to do was make sure we got those guys game ready from the time that they were here and let them know that they needed to be game ready as they started practice.”
Edsall also said Devin Burns will be the emergency quarterback after he volunteered to help at the position upon learning of Brown’s injury. Burns is a sophomore wide receiver who is second on the depth chart behind senior Kevin Dorsey.
Burns played quarterback at Carver High School in Columbus, Ga, where he was named Class AAA all-state as a senior. Burns also served a redshirt season at quarterback at Maryland in 2010.