Perry Hills Era Starts at Maryland: What to Expect from Freshman QB

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterAugust 22, 2012

COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 15: Head coach Randy Edsall of the Maryland Terrapins celebrates after the Terrapins intercepted a Clemson Tigers pass during the first half at Byrd Stadium on October 15, 2011 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

An embattled head coach who has absorbed blow after blow took to social media to spread the news of finding a quarterback. Randy Edsall, who has taken hits on his roster, first the transfers and now the injuries, headed to Twitter to break the news of his starting quarterback first:


Naming Perry Hills the starting QB. Caleb Rowe will be our #2 and Devin Burns our #3 heading into William & Mary game week.

— Randy Edsall (@RandyEdsall) August 21, 2012


Perry Hills, the kid from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, gets the nod, and as Edsall told the Washington Post, he's growing into the starting role nicely.

“I’ve been very impressed with just how he’s handled himself and the poise and the composure and the command that he’s handling that first offense with,” Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said. “Here’s a guy that’s a freshman, and he’s telling those guys, ‘C’mon let’s go. Get set. Get down.’ All those things.”

It appears that he has those intangibles that every coach and fan should be looking for in a quarterback. Not just the ability to lead, but a real desire to be "the guy" at the quarterback spot. As for the tangibles, he's got those too.

Look, the difficulties about to engulf Hills, the true freshman, are plentiful. He'll have to adjust to the speed of the game. He'll be presented with defensive fronts, coverages and overall schemes that he's never seen before. He'll be forced to balance school, football and social life, all while trying to be "the guy" at Maryland. Those are all very real.

However, in Perry Hills you get a kid who physically is up to the task. He's a 6'3", 200-pound-plus player who played in a pro styled scheme, has good footwork and a little bit of wiggle to him. He can escape trouble in the pocket, and he has the ability to pick up a first down with his legs if need be. He's not a world beater on the scramble, but he's got the wares to get out of a sticky situation.

As for his arm; he's more than capable. Hills has a strong arm and, unlike most high school to freshman players, he also has experience making those intermediate tosses that coaches love at the college level. He can fit the ball into tight windows, but that will be tested by the bigger, faster and stronger defensive backs closing on the ball.

While his time is starting a bit early at Maryland, the Terps expected Caleb Rowe and Hills to battle it out after C.J. Brown's departure; the freshman has the reins and success is on his mind. Hills, to the Washington Post, is saying the right things now:

“That was always my goal,” Hills said of starting. “That’s always been my mind-set of, ‘Hey, I don’t want to go there and be the backup or be redshirted.’ I’ve always looked at it as I want to be the starter and need to work toward that.”

We'll see how he handles himself once the games are live and the defenses are looking to put him on his back.