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Explaining factors that led up to Edsall's QB race update


Explaining factors that led up to Edsall's QB race update

Perry Hills taking snaps with the first team during Saturday’s open scrimmage in College Park was an indication that he was the leader in Maryland’s three-man quarterback race.

Then head coach Randy Edsall flat-out said it during a radio appearance on ESPN 980 Monday, adding the detail that Oklahoma State transfer Daxx Garman is a “close second” in the race and redshirt senior Caleb Rowe was third.

Below are three factors that may help to explain the way things have shaken out so far.

1) The justification by Edsall

After Saturday’s scrimmage, Edsall made clear his methodology in determining that Hills would take snaps with the first team during the scrimmage.

In plain terms, it is this: At the start of camp, the staff communicated to the quarterbacks that they would be evaluated on Variables X, Y, and Z -- whatever they specifically were. The player who displayed the ability to do those things would put himself in the best position to be named the starter.

That method of evaluation puts all assumptions aside, like last season’s depth chart or the presumption that a starting-caliber Power 5 quarterback (with his pick of schools) would only transfer to College Park if he were in a prime position to win the job.

Citing his desire for credibility, Edsall made an evaluation through two weeks of camp and Hills being the leader is a reflection of the fact he is viewed as the player who most effectively expresses Variables X, Y, and Z.


2) The narrative hasn’t centered around Hills, judging by Edsall’s words

If Hills had been excelling, it didn’t necessarily come across that way in Edsall’s quotes to the media. Perhaps in an effort to maintain that open competition, individual players were rarely praised.

Instead, the brush strokes were more broad and emphasizing consistency or the lack thereof. But when pressed on specifics, one quote stands out. Explaining the biggest obstacle so far for each quarterback, this is Edsall on Aug. 18:

“Caleb hadn't practiced in the spring coming off that ACL. Daxx came in as a transfer and still trying to learn, get comfortable with everything and then Perry [Hills] is there.”

Perhaps it’s an oversight in the course of speaking, but the brevity is surprising considering that player would be named the leader in the clubhouse less than a week later.

3) But only three practices prior to the scrimmage were open to the media

In those three sessions, it wasn’t that Hills struggled. But, at the same time, he wasn’t pulling away from the pack.

Media members are only seeing a small sample size, though. Practices and two-a-day practices had been going on with plenty of time for players to separate themselves in camp away from the media. During that time is when Hills must have jockeyed for position.

And there is still time to go. By the time the opener rolls around, Hills could widen his gap or Garman could overtake him.

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a longterm FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.


Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.


Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.


Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

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