Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WHO WANTS TO BE A QUARTERBACK?

So asked Ralph Friedgen last week when queried about the starting quarterback for his Maryland Terrapins.

If the on-going “who’s number 1” controversy wasn’t problematic enough with four, count ‘em four, candidates vying for the job, young Toly Hansbrough threw his hat in the ring late this week. Toly informed Coach Fridge that he would “run away from home and enroll tomorrow if you let me start August 30th versus those Blue Hens from Delaware, and you throw in a #9 yellow practice jersey plus 20 matchbox cars…and maybe a pirate ship or two, and some ice cream...”

In a post-practice press conference held in one of Coach Friedgen’s favorite locations (the cafeteria above the locker room at the field house adjacent to Byrd Stadium), Coach Fridge said definitively that even though Chris Turner currently is listed as the top quarterback on the depth chart, neither Turner or Jordan Steffey has a lead in the race as of yet.

"I think it's pretty tight all the way around: 1A, 1B; 1A, 2A, (pepperoni/sausage…cake/ice cream) whatever you want to do with it," Friedgen said. "I'd like to make a decision on that pretty early. One of the things we're trying to do differently than what I've done in the past is make our decisions on first and second teams earlier, maybe a week earlier, and really try to prepare for the season."

Friedgen made similar comments regarding a desire to make a quick decision on a starting quarterback early in training camp last season, yet waited nearly three weeks before giving the nod to Steffy. This season, Friedgen promised, will be different, a notion that could bode well for Turner.

After Steffy was brought down with a helmet-to-helmet hit late in the first half at Rutgers last September, Turner stepped in and led the Terrapins to an upset win over the Scarlet Knights, then the No. 10 team in the country. Steffy played in just two games the rest of the season, while Turner developed into the full-time starter.

With regard to possible nabbing UNC’s prized multi-sport recruit, Toly Hansbrough, Friedgen would only acknowledge having “some interest.”

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is rumored to have contacted MD about trading a future draft pick for one of the Terp QBs.
(10 Chris Turner, 11 Jamar Robinson, 12 Josh Portis and 13 Jordan Steffey)

(AP Photos/Nick Wass)

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