The 6-foot-3, 190-pound quarterback from Moorestown, N.J. has been in touch with the Terps, especially with Coach Lee Hull, the wide receivers coach. Pederson said he talked to the Terps when they showed up at his high school and also went to a camp in College Park. He also took a trip to Maryland for a junior day back in February.
Maryland told me I was in their top two or three there so that felt pretty good there, Pederson said.
The reason the Terps have not given Pederson an offer is that while Pederson wants to play quarterback in college, he has mostly been playing defense at Moorestown High and does not have any quarterback highlights for colleges to watch. Pederson said he will be playing quarterback this upcoming season and should have enough highlights to send to Maryland and other schools by the third or fourth week of his senior season.
I can run, but I'm more of a passer first, Pederson said. I guess the best part about my game is timing and accuracy. I think those are my biggest attributes at quarterback. The biggest thing I need to work on is, well, I weigh about 190, so definitely getting some more size and more strength. I'm pretty good on accuracy, but I can definitely improve on my arm strength.
Pederson has the unique opportunity to learn how to play quarterback from his father, Doug Pederson, the quarterbacks coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and a former NFL quarterback himself, backing up former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre at one point in his career.
My dad, he's the quarterbacks coach for the Eagles and I like to learn from him, Pederson said He teaches me a lot. The thing I need to work on my game is understanding defenses even better, being able to recognize coverages and stuff like that which will help me during the season to break the defenses down and execute plays.
As a quarterback, Pederson understands the leadership needed to run the team. He said that he believes he has a good grasp of leadership and looks forward to taking on the role as both a teammate and a leader his senior year.
I think as a quarterback, you need to be able to make your team look up to you and take charge of the offense, said Pederson. This summer, we had camps and practices. Me and a couple of the other seniors were running it and the coaches weren't there. It was just by us. It's good. As a quarterback, you know everyone looks up to you because you're calling the plays, you're telling them what routes to run, so it's being a good example to the young guys and teaching them stuff that I've learned and be like a secondary coach to them, answering questions and anything like that.
I've really liked Tim Tebow, Pederson said. Everybody thinks he's not a good player or not able to play in the NFL, but he's just one of those guys that works hard every day. He's going to give his full attention on every play. He works hard, he's a good teammate to everybody and he's just a leader on the field. From a leadership standpoint, that's definitely who I admire the most.
Pederson also looks up to one of his father's former teammates, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. While Tebow embodies the kind of teammate and leader Pederson wants to become, Rodgers is the type of passer and field general and Pederson looks up to.
My dad played with him for one year in Green Bay and I remember getting to meet him and he's a great guy, said Pederson. On the football field, he takes total control.
Pederson does not hold any offers as most schools are waiting to see him play at the quarterback position his senior season before offering, but Pederson has been gaining some interest from several programs, including Maryland. He said that distance will not be a factor as his family is used to moving around during his father's NFL career.
I want to go to a program that has great coaches, Pederson said. Definitely interactions with others players too. I don't want to go to a program where I don't feel comfortable and don't feel like I'm going to put my best effort into football. From a football standpoint, I want to go someplace that makes me feel comfortable and a place that will put me in the best place to be successful. School-wise, football won't always work out, so it's a goal to have my academics in line for the rest of my life.
If the Terps offer him, Pederson could see himself spending the next few years in College. He has visited already on a few occasions and will be trying to come down for a game at Byrd Stadium in the fall.
Outside of football, I really like their campus, like the style of the campus, Pederson said. I really like how their academics are above those of other colleges. Football-wise, I like Coach Locksley, the offensive coordinator, and what they're doing there. I know they struggled a little bit last year, but from what I understand, they're bringing in a lot of talented players and they should be pretty fired up about their upcoming season and their seasons to come.
College is still a year away for Pederson and he still has yet to decide where he will enroll. His focus is on the upcoming season and working with his teammates. He knows that if he plays well, the offers will come.
We started practice on Monday, said Pederson. It's good now that our whole team's together and I'm getting to know all my receivers on my team and getting the timing down. It's feeling pretty good.