Heading in to the 2011 season, depth has become an issue for Maryland at the quarterback position. Devin Burns moved to wide receiver, Jamarr Robinson will not return to the program, and Tyler Smith transferred to Elon. In the past week, the Terps have picked up two signal callers in the 2012 class, including Blue Ridge High School (Greer, Sc.) rising senior Caleb Rowe.
Rowe, listed at 6’3″ and 210 pounds, is unranked by Rivals and Scout and gets two stars from ESPN, but had received notice from plenty of big-time programs. While his only offers before Maryland came from Presbyterian and Gardner-Webb, he was recruited by Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, and South Carolina.
The quarterback received his formal offer from Maryland over the phone this past Wednesday, and immediately accepted.
“I was still on the phone, I accepted right away,” he said in a phone interview. “It feels great, I’m just excited. I really love the school and love the coaches, and I feel like it’s a really good fit for me.”
A key aspect to Rowe’s recruitment was his relationship with Andre Powell. The new Maryland running backs coach has been in contact with Rowe for around three years, dating back to his days at Clemson. In general, the quarterback said the coaches were one of the key aspects in his recruitment.
“The coaching staff was great,” he said. “They were really interested and it felt like they wanted to be there, and I learned a lot from [offensive coordinator and quarterbacks] coach [Gary] Crowton.”
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Rowe threw for 2,689 yards with 27 touchdowns against four interceptions and was named to all-state, all-region and all-county teams last season. He said his strength as a quarterback comes in his leadership abilities, something he’s looking forward to bringing to College Park.
“As a quarterback I just try to be a leader, getting the ball out to the playmakers and letting them play football,” he said. “I’m a leader, so I can lead a team. I feel like I can make all the throws, I can scramble a little bit, and I can throw on the run so I feel like I’m a pretty versatile player.”
One of the other commitments in Maryland’s 2012 recruiting class is fellow quarterback Perry Hills. Rowe says he isn’t bothered with the fact that there is another player at his position, and welcomes the competition.
“I actually have watched his highlight video, I’m not gonna lie,” Rowe said. “But it doesn’t really concern me, I’m just gonna work to my best and we’ll see what happens.”
Although Rowe says his leadership abilities are ready for the college level, there are some aspects of his game he still would like to work on.
“I’ve got to work on getting bigger and just keep working on my football smarts a little bit,” he said.
Luckily for him, he fits in well with Crowton’s new system.
“[Crowton] said we’d play a little bit of spread and play a little under center,” Rowe said. “And that’s cool with me, I can do both.”
Like most commits, Rowe is now grateful to put his mind at ease without having to worry about the recruiting process. The rising senior said he’s not listening to any more schools, and said Maryland was his last camp.
“It makes it so much easier,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about where I’m going or the phone calls. Now I can just focus on my senior year and school and my coaches. It’s just a great relief knowing that I have that taken care of.”
For Maryland, it’s a great relief knowing that their depth issue at quarterback has been taken care of.