Terps Football Preview Part 1: Quarterbacks

July 08, 2008 |

This is Part 1 of a 10-part series previewing the 2008 Maryland Football Season. In addition to discussing the various positional battles within the team, I hope to also raise awareness for Terps Football because it is often overlooked in the crowded Baltimore media market. For the full 2008 spring football depth chart, goto http://terps.wikispaces.com/.
Quarterback
Team
Number
Name/Stars
Year
1st
10
Chris Turner-**
rsJR
2nd
19
Jordan Steffy-***
rsSR
3rd
12
Josh Portis-****
rsJR
4th
11
Jamarr Robinson-**
rsFR
-
-
Tyler Bass-**
FR
Chris Turner, a fourth-year junior from Simi Valley, California, began the season third on the Terps depth chart. However, the former 3-star recruit who chose the Terps over Louisville and UCLA, was flushed into action in a close game at Rutgers after starter Jordan Steffy was injured and backup Josh Portis was suspended for cheating on a test.
Turner never relinquished the starting spot even with the return of Steffy, leading the Terps to victories over Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and NC State. He ranked 3rd in the ACC in Passing Efficiency and completed 63.5% of his passes.
Jordan Steffy, a fifth year senior from Leola, Pennsylvania, was one of the Terps’ most heralded recruits of the 2004 class. After choosing Maryland over Michigan State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Clemson, Steffy played in 6 games as a true freshman in 2004.
After recovering from a car accident which forced him to miss the 2005 season, Steffy stood as the backup quarterback to Sam Hollenbach in 2006.
Poised to shine in 2007, Steffy was given the starting spot only to lose it due to an injury and inconsistent play. He struggled with his decision making, and at times he appeared scared to throw the ball down field (we’re used to that, right!)
In the four games that Steffy did complete, he led Maryland to wins over Villanova and Florida International while falling to West Virginia and Wake Forest.
Josh Portis, a transfer from the University of Florida, arrived in College Park with extremely high expectations due to his unbelievable athletic ability. Josh, the first cousin of Clinton Portis, came out of high school as one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects.
With a full depth chart at Florida, however, Josh decided to make the move to Maryland only to be suspended for the 2007 season because of an incident in which he cheated on an exam.
Even before the incident, it seemed unlikely that Portis would be given the starting spot as he was unable to grasp Ralph Friedgen’s complicated offense.
Jamarr Robinson and true freshman Tyler Bass will not see the field with Bass most likely taking his redshirt year in 2008.
My Take
At the quarterback position, Maryland finds both a great challenge and a great luxury, as the top three Terps on the depth chart have shown the ability to start on Saturday. With Turner and Steffy especially, Coach Friedgen has confidence putting both of them on the field.
I believe that one of those two will be the starter come September with Turner out to the very big lead due to his play last year. However, it is still very much an open race. Over the past 4 seasons, I have gotten the feeling that Coach Friedgen really likes Jordan Steffy and wants to give him the opportunity to prove himself with another chance on the field.
The X-factor again is Josh Portis. If he is able to figure out the offense and become a field leader, he has the athleticism to beat out Chris Turner and Jordan Steffy, but as I said before I do not think he will be the starter come September.
Coach Friedgen emphasizes trusting a player before he is able to put him on the field, and I do not see that trust in Portis yet. That being said, Josh Portis could be used in different packages as another variable for opposing defenses. That is an exciting feeling for Terps football fans who know what Portis can do.
Up Next: Running Backs and Full Backs. Don’t forget to leave a comment!

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