One of the four quarterbacks used by the Maryland Terrapins last season has elected to withdraw from the school and transfer elsewhere. Devin Burns, a player who has switched from quarterback to wide receiver multiple times in his career with the Terps, will not be a part of the upcoming quarterback competition for Maryland in the spring and the fall. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as Burns was near the bottom of the list of both quarterback and wide receiver options for next season. Transferring allows him the opportunity to see the field a lot more than he would have in College Park.
Burns is a very talented player. While he isn’t much of a passer, he can run the read option as well as anyone. He showed that this season in the game against N.C. State. When Perry Hills tore his ACL, the Terps turned to Burns as their quarterback. He did not disappoint. He jumpstarted a stagnant offense, and his ability to run the football opened holes in the defense for running back Wes Brown. Even though it was Caleb Rowe who led the Terps down the field for a chance at a game-winning field goal, it was Burns who got them back in that game.
Even with Burns’ departure, there is still a log-jam at both the quarterback and wide receiver positions. Let’s take a look at the quarterbacks and wide receivers that will be on the roster (barring any more transfers, or recruiting commitments):
Quarterbacks: C.J. Brown (RS Junior/RS Senior, depending on possible medical redshirt), Perry Hills (Sophomore), Caleb Rowe (Sophomore), Ricardo Young (RS Junior), Shane Cockerille (Freshman), Milan Collins (Freshman).
Wide Receivers: Stefon Diggs (Freshman), Deon Long (RS Junior), Marcus Leak (Junior), Levern Jacobs (Sophomore), Nigel King (RS Sophomore), Tyrek Cheeseboro (RS Sophomore), DeAndre Lane (Freshman).
I would expect to see C.J. Brown win the starting job in spring camp, with strong competition from Shane Cockerille, Perry Hills, and Ricardo Young. Originally I had thought Cockerille would win the job, but realized it would make much more sense for Maryland to redshirt him. Milan Collins is an athlete who can play quarterback, but expect him to play in the Terps’ defensive backfield.
As for wide receiver, the Terps will start a combination of Diggs, Long, and Leak. The wide receiver position is going to be the Terps’ strongest position on the field. Expect King and Jacobs to provide quality depth behind them. Tyrek Cheeseboro has proven to be a valuable asset in special teams coverage, and DeAndre Lane is an incoming freshman athlete who will play some slot-receiver with the Terps. He may also see some time in the return game alongside Stefon Diggs.
While Devin Burns was not in the Terps’ plans for the future, he provided good depth over the past few years for the team. He won’t be too sorely missed, but he had some good moments in College Park. I believe I speak for everyone in and around the Maryland Terrapins football program when I say that I wish Devin all the best in his future endeavors in both football and in life. As for the Terps, the quarterback competition did not get much clearer with Burns’ departure. But for now, it’s C.J. Brown’s job to lose.