Daxx Garman won’t change QB landscape


It was announced on Thursday that former Oklahoma State starting quarterback Daxx Garman transferred to Maryland, and would be immediately eligible for the upcoming 2015 college football season.

Garman recently graduated from Oklahoma State and is joining the Terps as a fifth-year senior.

In nine games in 2014, Garman completed 152-of-277 passes (54.9 completion percentage) for 2,041 yards, a 122.4 quarterback rating, and 12 touchdowns along with 12 interceptions. Not world-beating numbers by any stretch, but he was moderately productive during his time with the Cowboys.

After the announcement of Maryland’s newest addition, coach Randy Edsall stated that Garman will compete for the starting quarterback job in 2015. While this remark does not come as much of a surprise given the fact that questions already loomed over the quarterback position even before Garman’s arrival, I’m not so certain that the ex-Cowboy will have an opportunity to make a significant impact next season.

If quarterbacks Caleb Rowe and Perry Hills remain healthy, I think they still will get the majority of the snaps in 2015. Edsall has previously proclaimed that the oft-injured Rowe was his guy to start the season, but (even more) injuries and Hills’ impressive performance in the spring Red-White game seem to have backed the head coach off those comments a little.

In parts of three seasons for Maryland, Rowe has thrown for 12 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and completed 123-of-229 passes (53.7 completion percentage) for a 127.1 passer rating; eerily similar to newcomer Garman’s numbers last season. And while Rowe has appeared in a total of 13 games for Maryland, he has rarely started and has not been afforded a true opportunity to show what he can do with consistent playing time.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during Edsall’s tenure at Maryland, it’s that he is stubborn in his ways. Despite C.J. Brown’s significant struggles to lead the Maryland offense at times last season, he was only replaced once for poor performance (by Rowe after halftime against Ohio State).

Edsall consistently responded to criticism and questions from the media that Brown was the unquestioned starter, even following the Ohio State game in which Brown was pulled after passing for just 71 yards and throwing a critical interception at the end of the half. Edsall’s stubbornness is evident in other facets as well, such as specific play calls.

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Take, for example, the final game of the 2014 regular season against Rutgers. With a minute remaining in the game and the Terps down by three (after blowing a 25-point lead), Maryland found themselves at the Rutgers 36-yard line on 4th down with a yard to go. Instead of relying on the foot of the best kicker in the country and likely tying the game, Edsall chose to go for the first down. Running back Brandon Ross was stuffed in the backfield.

After the game, Edsall stubbornly defended his call, saying, “You can always look back and say you could have called this or could have called that. They are always good calls if the plays are executed.” Two words, coach: Brad Craddock. Or who could forget Edsall reaming out cornerback Cameron Chism for taking an interception to the house against Miami to seal the win for the Terps in Edsall’s first game as head coach in 2011. Edsall apparently wanted Chism to kneel before crossing the goal line, but after the PAT the Terps were up nine with 39 seconds remaining.

Here’s the video (check out the 1:20 mark):

My point is, Edsall is set in his ways. And so far, when he’s stated a guy is his guy, that is in fact his guy. Garman would not just have to outperform Rowe and Hills in summer practices; I think he would have to blow the coaching staff away.

Based on his overall lack of experience and mediocre numbers last season for the Cowboys, I think the odds are against him. He will likely come in and “compete” for the starting job with Rowe and Hills, which is a good thing for all three quarterbacks.

Hopefully having two other quarterbacks shooting for the starting gig will only push Rowe that much harder leading up to the start of the 2015 season. I think that’s Edsall’s true motive in bringing in Garman, in addition to having more depth at a position that seems to become depleted each year due to injuries.

That is, however, if Rowe and Hills stay healthy next year. Given their respective track records regarding injuries, that is certainly a big “if.”

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