Terps Football: 2018 Positional Preview — Quarterbacks
As has been the case far too often in recent memory for the Maryland football program, the 2017 season saw multiple season-ending injuries run through the quarterback position. Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill both had their years cut short in the team’s first three games, leaving Max Bortenschlager, Ryan Brand, and Caleb Henderson to finish out the season behind center. As has been said many times over the past few years, if the Terrapins can stay healthy at the quarterback position, this team could have some real success.
This article is part of a series previewing the 2018 Maryland football season. You can find my full projected depth chart here.
(Discuss this article on the BSL Message Board here.)
Kasim Hill (Redshirt Freshman)
2018 Projection: Starter
2017 Statistics: 18/21 (85.7%), 230 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT; 12 carries, 60 yds (5.0 ypc), 1 TD
When Pigrome suffered his season-ending knee injury in the first game of 2017 against Texas, Hill stepped in as a true freshman and led the team to two straight victories over the Longhorns and Towson. He impressed with both his arm and his legs, but especially with his poise in his first collegiate action. While he isn’t the athletic runner that Pigrome is, he showcased an ability to make every throw necessary to have success at this level.
Like Pigrome, Hill is recovering from a season-ending knee injury that he suffered against UCF. The two will compete for the starting job during summer camp, but I expect Hill to emerge as the team’s starter under new offensive coordinator Matt Canada. This new system will most likely swing towards a more pro-style scheme than the up-tempo spread run by former offensive coordinator Walt Bell. This probably gives Hill the leg up, as he has the arm better suited towards a pro-style approach.
Tyrrell Pigrome (Redshirt Sophomore)
2018 Projection: Second-Team
2017 Statistics: 9/12 (75.0%), 175 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT; 11 carries, 64 yds (5.8 ypc), 1 TD
Pigrome saw action in just one game last season before tearing his ACL, but it was one of the more impressive performances by a Maryland quarterback in recent memory. He ran the offense to perfection, breaking down defenders with his legs before beating them over the top with some very impressive throws off of play-action.
As mentioned above, Pigrome will compete with Hill for the starting quarterback job during summer camp. While he’s the most athletic signal-caller on the roster by far, his skill-set may not be as well suited for Canada’s scheme as Hill’s. While I have no doubt that Canada could design a successful offense around Pigrome, I have to believe that he’d prefer the more versatile type of offense that Hill could run. However with Canada’s unique play-calling style, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Pigrome see the field in certain packages or on certain drives. He brings a lot to the table with his athleticism, and you can never have too many athletes.
Max Bortenschlager (Junior)
2018 Projection: Third-Team
2017 Statistics: 121/233 (51.9%), 1,313 yds, 10 TD, 5 INT; 72 carries, 13 yds (0.2 ypc), 2 TD
With Pigrome and Hill injured last season, Bortenschlager saw the most time behind center for the Terrapins. He did a decent job overall, leading the team to wins over Minnesota and Indiana. But his skill-set simply wasn’t made for Bell’s scheme, and he struggled to make plays with his arm in obvious passing situations. He gained valuable in-game experience however, which will certainly help him if he happens to see the field in 2018.
It’s fairly certain that Hill and Pigrome will occupy the top two spots on the quarterback depth chart, so I’ve projected that Bortenschlager will begin the year as the third-stringer. Of course, this is the same spot that he was in last season when he started the majority of the team’s games.
Legend Brumbaugh (Sophomore)
2018 Projection: Fourth-Team
2017 Statistics: Did Not Play
Brumbaugh is the son of Maryland co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Brumbaugh, and transferred to the team from Tennessee-Martin as a freshman last season. He’s a lefty with good size, but isn’t likely to see much game action this season. I’ve projected him to be the team’s fourth-string quarterback.
Tyler DeSue (Freshman)
2018 Projection: Redshirt
2017 Statistics (High School): N/A
A 4-star recruit from Virginia Beach, DeSue has been with the team since January after enrolling early. He saw a lot of the field during spring practices with Hill and Pigrome injured, and gained plenty of valuable experience. He showed flashes of brilliance with his arm, but also had a number of freshman moments.
With a number of more experienced quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart, I’m projecting DeSue to serve a redshirt season in 2018. He’ll have a better chance to compete for playing time later in his collegiate career.