It’s official—gone are the days of Perry Hills as the Maryland quarterback.
Hills was by no means a great quarterback, or maybe even a good one at that. However, he was a tough player who continued to improve throughout his time at Maryland. Despite what he did or didn’t do, it’s time to move on.
Both Hills and his nearest competitor, Caleb Rowe, are gone as Maryland usher in a new era under D.J. Durkin. His first full recruiting class was one of the best the Terps have had in years and there is plenty to be excited about.
Two incoming players—one a freshman, the other a transfer—are set to duke it out for the spot Hills leaves behind. Kasim Hill, one of Durkins’ highest-ranked recruits, and former North Carolina backup Caleb Henderson look to be the early favorites. Tyrrell Pigrome showed flashes of brilliance last season and could be in the mix, but seems behind the previous two.
Here’s a look at what Hill and Henderson bring to the table, and why one may have a better chance to start the September opener against Texas.
Hill left St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in his class. He’s a tantalizing prospect for Maryland fans simply because they haven’t had a quarterback who can really throw for a long time. It appears Hill might be that guy.
The worry with a pro-style guy is that the Terps do run a spread, read option-heavy offense. Walt Bell runs a high-octane system, but Hill can succeed in it. He’s labeled pro-style because of his superior arm, but, according to ESPN, runs a 4.7 40-yard dash. That won’t blow anyone out of the water, but he’s an athlete.
At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, his combination of size, arm strength and athletic ability makes him, at the very least, a bright light for the future. Durkin showed in his use of freshman last year that he’s not afraid of youth. However, there is one thing that may set Henderson apart.
Henderson transferred to Maryland before last fall. That means he spent the entire season with the program. Simply, he knows what Durkin expects having spent a year with him, and his knowledge of the playbook could push him ahead of Hill.
Like Hill, Henderson has the size and makeup of a pro-style quarterback (6-foot-4, 220 lbs.). However, his highlight tape shows decent athletic ability, not just tucking the football and going, but throwing on the run too.
The most attractive quality of Henderson goes hand-in-hand with his superior knowledge of the offense, and that’s his experience. Despite not being a starter at North Carolina, he has been around college football for a few years now. Despite Durkin’s aforementioned affinity for younger players, it could set Henderson apart.
It has to go to Henderson based on experience and familiarity with the program. The Spring Game should show more, but it might be his job to lose. Hill will certainly come in with the full backing of the coaching staff, and if he shows he’s got the goods, there won’t be anything stopping him. Right now though, it’s Henderson.