Perry Hills will be Maryland's starting quarterback when they take the field Sept. 5 against Richmond, head coach Randy Edsall announced during a conference call on Friday evening.
The junior beat out redshirt senior Caleb Rowe and Oklahoma State transfer Daxx Garman for the spot, with Rowe now slotting in as the backup and Garman as the third-stringer.
"I thought he had the best camp and he earned the opportunity to be the starter and we have guys that competed very, very hard," Edsall said Friday. "But at the end of the day we had to make a decision and he's the guy that won the job."
It seemed to be something of a surprise when Edsall first announced during a radio interview Monday that Hills was the front runner, but he held his spot by continuing to be solid through the final week of camp.
Though Hills was the third stringer for much of last season, he helped Maryland to a win over Iowa at home after Rowe had torn his ACL in practice and starter C.J. Brown was knocked out of that game on Oct. 18.
"He's won games for us before," Edsall said. "Go back to when he was a true freshman [in 2012] and went in and played.
"We were 4-2 with him in the ballgame and I think he's gotten better since that time. He's very composed, very poised. He's a guy that goes out and does the things that he's coached to do. I think the players respect him. He's tough. He's gritty. He's a guy that is dependable and reliable as well and can make good things happen for your offense."
Maryland knows better than anyone that there are inherently injury concerns at the position, though, which Edsall has preached means players farther down on the depth chart need to remain prepared.
Between Hills and Rowe, the starter and backup, there are three ACL surgeries at the college level. But if there is any added benefit to a tough three-way race in camp, it is the resulting depth.
"The great thing about it is you know you got a bunch of guys there that can win games for you," Edsall said. "But [Hills] was the guy who came out on top."
Players were not available for comment on Friday. They will be made available to the media on Tuesday.