It was a bright moment for Garman in what has been a grueling week of competition for the starting quarterback job. Both redshirt junior Caleb Rowe and junior Perry Hills had their moments Friday, too, but the position battle is clearly still a work in progress. The practice also featured a number of mistakes, including interceptions, bobbled snaps and errant deep throws.
Working out kinks is to be expected in the first week of preseason camp, and Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said after Friday’s session that he is still searching for which quarterback is “the consistent guy.” All three quarterbacks have split reps with the first team throughout the week.
“We’re going to evaluate how they do in the practices, how they do in the scrimmages. I’d like to make a decision as quickly as I can so we can get some continuity going with a guy in there. They’re competing,” Edsall said.
Rowe, who is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last season, said he is still adjusting to the speed of the game after so much time off. As opposed to last year, when he entered camp firmly behind starter C.J. Brown, Rowe is now in a position to display his command and understanding of Mike Locksley’s offense.
“I don’t feel like I’m very rusty. It’s just being faster, a little quicker with my reads. I feel fine. My feet are good. I’m making good throws,” he said.
Garman, meanwhile, said that “he’s really trying to stay in his playbook” as he continues to acclimate to Maryland’s system. While Rowe and Hills are now entering their third season in Locksley’s system, Garman said he felt as though he “had to start from scratch again” after transferring to Maryland in late May. That left him with about eight weeks to wrap his head around a new offense, although he said Friday that he has been able to apply some principles he learned at Oklahoma State to his new role.
Rowe said the competition has been “very respectful” and hasn’t added pressure over the first week – he said the trio has given each other support and advice in between plays and series. Garman echoed that sentiment on the eve of the team’s closed scrimmage on Saturday, which promises to be an important checkpoint in the three-way race.
“It’s a competition. We’re all battling each other,” Garman said. “But at the same time we’re still trying to help each other as well.”
A few other notes from Friday’s practice:
– In the wake of Abner Logan’s season-ending ACL injury earlier this week, Edsall has moved senior Jefferson Ashiru to the weak-side linebacker position. Ashiru, a Connecticut transfer, has been receiving first team reps for several days but sat out Friday’s practice due to a “little bit of a bug,” Edsall said.
– While tight end Andrew Isaacs and offensive tackle Derwin Gray are among the players that remain limited, Edsall said Logan is the only player to suffer a significant injury during the first week of camp. Edsall didn’t provide a surgery date for Logan, adding that the team’s doctors are waiting for the swelling to go down and currently working on the range of motion in the linebacker’s knee.
– Maryland has added a fourth quarterback to its roster in former Minnesota signal-caller Dexter Foreman, who was at practice Friday but did not participate in live drills. Edsall said Foreman has been admitted to the graduate school at Maryland and will begin practicing in full pads on Monday.
– While Wes Brown and Brandon Ross continued to split carries with the first-team offense on Friday, Edsall said neither has emerged as the clear-cut starter five days into camp. Freshman Ty Johnson and sophomore Joe Riddle have been splitting the second-team reps, while junior Tehuti Miles and redshirt sophomore Marcus Smith are working with the third team.