Maryland head coach Randy Edsall, during a radio appearance on ESPN 980 Monday, said that junior quarterback Perry Hills is the leader to win the starting job, now less than two weeks before the team’s opener on Sept. 5 against Richmond.
“We went into Saturday and then came out after Saturday after we evaluated that and right now Perry is No. 1 with Daxx [Garman] being a very close second and then Caleb [Rowe] would be third right now,” Edsall said.
“The good thing is, guys, that I can always feel good about is we tell the kids up front. We tell them exactly what’s going on. We told them it was going to be a competition. We told them here are the that things we’re going to evaluate through the practices and … they’re going to determine it.”
Hills took snaps with the first team during Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage, which Edsall maintained was a product of the staff’s evaluation through two weeks of camp.
The junior threw two touchdowns but was also intercepted twice.
For much of the preseason, it appeared the battle was between Garman and Rowe, but Edsall’s decision prior to Saturday’s scrimmage has shifted the race.
“The one thing that I told all of them yesterday, brought them each in individually, sat them down, told them where they were,” Edsall said, going on to recount his conversations with each player.
“Perry, if you want to stay No. 1 just keep playing that way and doing the things you’re supposed to.
“Daxx, if you want to overtake him, here’s a couple things you need to do.
“Caleb, here’s the things you haven’t done and that you’ve got to pick it up if you want the opportunity.”
Hills has experience as a starter at Maryland. During the 2012 season, which was so plagued by injuries at quarterback that the Terrapins eventually used a linebacker under center, Hills played in seven games. A torn ACL ended his season.
He completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,336 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions that year.
In 2014, with Rowe lost to a season-ending injury and starter C.J. Brown injured against Iowa, Hills entered and completed five of his 10 passes to help Maryland to a win over the Hawkeyes.
“[Winning the starting job is] obviously my goal,” Hills said on Saturday. “Honestly, I think [the competition] makes you better. Having every guy not just sitting there and having the position you pretty much have to fight every day to try and win a spot.”