Coaches Excited About Options at Quarterback

The Terps added two quarterbacks to their roster when the letters of intent came in last week that should have Maryland fans excited.

After the letters of intent came in and the 2010 recruiting class was finalized, the Maryland Terrapins had added two newcomers to their inexperienced, yet talented crop of quarterbacks.

Devin Burns and Tyler Smith joined Jamarr Robinson, Danny O'Brien, C.J. Brown and Clay Belton to form a quarterback corps that the Maryland coaches are excited about.

“I think we have, probably, as good a group of quarterbacks as we've had here probably since Boomer [Esiason] and Frank Reich and Stan Gelbaugh and [Scott] Zolak was in on that group too,” said Head Coach Ralph Friedgen.

Burns, who is already enrolled at the university, is a 3-star prospect and the 56th rated quarterback by

“He's an athletic quarterback,” said Friedgen. “He has a good arm. He's probably 6'3”…195 pounds.”

In Smith, the Terps landed's 18th rated quarterback and a 4-star prospect.

“He's a mobile quarterback who has a very strong arm,” Friedgen said. “He's a leader.”

By adding two quarterbacks in this class, the Terps improved their depth and increased competition at the position.

“I was adamant that not only were we going to sign a quarterback last year, but we were going to sign two,” said Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator James Franklin. “To me you better always have a guy working for the future and… you better feel that 'Hey this is going to be the guy that we can win the ACC championship with' and if you don't have that guy in your program, you better be going to get one.

“So that's why we signed two, because I didn't think we could afford to miss.”

Burns and Smith will compete with the nearly as inexperienced quartet of Robinson, O'Brien, Brown, and Belton for the starting job in 2010.

Robinson, who figures to be the favorite heading into the competition, started two games as a sophomore for the Terps in 2009 after Chris Turner went down with a knee injury, which makes him the most experienced starting candidate.

He completed 54% of his passes for a total of 482 yards and 2 touchdowns. Robinson delivered his best performance against Florida State when he went 20 for 27 with 213 yards and a touchdown.

“I think the fact that Jamarr came on and played and improved in each and every game that he played in the end may be a blessing in disguise for us now,” said Friedgen.

Also in the mix is Clay Belton, the transfer from Miami (OH), who has impressed the coaches thus far in his time at Maryland.

“I've been very pleased with Clay Belton… who is I think a very talented kid, 6'6” about 220 pounds, pretty athletic,” said Friedgen.

“He can run. He's athletic,” said Franklin of Belton, who will be a junior next season. “He just won our scout team player of the year. I felt like he was the most dominating guy down there.”

O'Brien and Brown, both signed in 2009 class, will also figure into the competition as redshirt freshmen next season.

With all the quarterbacks now in the picture, a major concern for the coaching staff will be making sure that each of them gets in enough work in practice.

“That's one of the things we're going to have to do a good job, as coaches, is trying to get these kids enough reps to evaluate them and see what they can do when they're out there by themselves,” said Friedgen. “I was telling Coach Franklin we're going to have to come up with a formation that's got three balls in it.”

However, Franklin believes the logjam at quarterback will create competition that will benefit the players and the team as a whole.

“My plan is to create the most competitive quarterback position in the country,” said Franklin. “That's going to bring out the best in them, that's going to make our team better and that's what we want to do at every position.

“I really look at it: Pop Warner, Little League, High School, College, NFL. If you have a good quarterback, you got a chance to be pretty good.”

TerrapinTimes Top Stories