The Maryland football program suffered a big blow with the losses of Dwayne Haskins and Keandre Jones.
However, there are still many options going forward.
Losing Haskins is certainly the tougher pill to swallow just due to the importance of the position. After all, Maryland quarterbacks threw 29 interceptions over the course of 12 games.
The Terrapins did finish the season on a strong note with Caleb Rowe leading the team to a comeback win over Rutgers in the season finale. Rowe completed 16-of-31 passes for 239 yards and zero interceptions, and used the running game quite often.
Regardless of the improvement, Rowe and Perry Hills each only have one year of eligibility remaining. With that in mind, coach D.J. Durkin has offered several quarterbacks recently and will likely lock at least one up on National Signing Day in two weeks.
We’ll take a look at a few of the options and how they would fit into the Maryland offense.
Tyrrell Pigrome (Clay-Chalkville, Ala.)
Size: 5’11/180 lbs.
Offers: Maryland, Rutgers, Tulane, & Virginia Tech
Overview: Durkin and his staff certainly had an idea that Haskins might be a lost cause, so that’s when Maryland began a flood of offers to other quarterbacks. The Terps offered Pigrome and California quarterback Devon Modster (who committed to UCLA on Monday) in an effort to secure a signal caller before National Signing Day (Feb. 3). Pigrome has official visits scheduled with Virginia Tech (Jan. 22), Rutgers (Jan. 24), and Maryland (Jan. 29). The Terps certainly will have the chance to make one final big picture impression on the Alabama signal caller before National Signing Day.
Pigrome certainly appears to be one of Maryland’s top quarterback targets for the 2016 class. While Haskins was a pro-style signal caller, Pigrome is the complete opposite as he is in the mold of a dual-threat quarterback. If you watch film of Pigrome, it’s very clear that he is one remarkable athlete. In the 2015 Class 6A championship game against Spanish Fort, Pigrome came out with a swing pass to one his wideouts for a 13-yard gain. Obviously, it’s been well-established that offensive coordinator Walt Bell loves the short passes that get skill position players out in space. One strength of Pigrome’s is his ability to make quick decisions, whether it’s dumping it out in the flat on a swing pass or pulling it down and running with the football. He certainly has the legs and the intelligence to run Bell’s offense.
However, he is definitely a versatile quarterback. During the second quarter, Pigrome and the Cougars were facing a 3rd-and-29, but he didn’t mail it in and run the football. Instead, Pigrome threw a nice ball downfield to Alabama enrollee T.J. Simmons, who stopped on a dime and ran for a 52-yard touchdown. While the run after the catch was very impressive, Pigrome hit Simmons when he wasn’t being covered and the three-star wideout was able to do the rest. Pigrome’s quickness also allows him to throw on the run, and shows just comfortable he is outside of the pocket.
It appears that Pigrome would be a great fit in Bell’s offense, especially given his overall skillset. With Maryland having the final shot at speaking with him next week, the Terps do stand a great shot to land the services of the Clay-Chalkville quarterback.
Chase Fourcade (Archbishop Rummel, La.)
Size: 6’0/180 lbs.
Offers: Arkansas State, Maryland, & Nicholls State
Overview: As was mentioned above, Durkin and his staff really began to hit the recruiting trail hard when it came to the quarterback position. Shortly after Modster and Pigrome received their offers, Nicholls State commit Chase Fourcade began to garner interest from the staff. Part of that had to do with the fact that Bell had recruited Fourcade when he was at Arkansas State. Fourcade committed to Nicholls State on July 27 and just received his Maryland offer on Monday.
Unlike Pigrome, Fourcade is the definition of a pro-style quarterback. This is a recruit that has football in his blood because his uncle is former New Orleans Saints quarterback John Fourcade. When you watch tape of the younger Fourcade, it immediately becomes clear that this is a kid that doesn’t get rattled. For example, Archbishop Rummel battled Wayne County (Miss.) in Sept. in a nationally televised game. Wayne County boasts a tremendous defensive line that includes Ole Miss commit Benito Jones. The War Eagles were constantly in the Raiders’ backfield, so Fourcade wasn’t able to settle in and get comfortable. Even with the consistent pressure on Fourcade, he finally broke through in the second quarter. After a pass interference penalty on Wayne County extended Archbishop Rummel’s drive with 1:01 left in the first half, Fourcade was set up at the War Eagle 26-yard line with a fresh set of downs. On first down, Fourcade hit senior wideout Brett Eschette in the flat to move the chains. On the very next play, Fourcade took the snap from under center, used a pump fake, and hit a wide-open Eschette once again for the touchdown to put the Raiders ahead 7-3.
In the third quarter, Fourcade showed incredible pocket presence on two passing plays. With 6:14 left in the third quarter and the ball on the Wayne County 48-yard line, Fourcade faced the penetration of the War Eagles’ defensive line, but still hung tough and delivered a bullet to a leaping Ja’marr Chase for a 23-yard gain. On the ensuing play, Fourcade danced in the pocket and sidestepped a defender before finding Eschette along the sideline. Eschette caught the ball at 14-yard line and turned upfield to take it to paydirt. Fourcade also displays the ability to run the screen pass to his running backs fairly effectively, and that’s certainly a big part of Bell’s offense.
While Fourcade may not be flashy, he is a very fundamentally sound quarterback. The Louisiana native definitely has showcased the ability needed to run Bell’s offense at Maryland. It’s been documented that Fourcade is happy being committed to Nicholls State, but he continues to monitor the situation in College Park. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Fourcade makes his way to Maryland for a visit before National Signing Day.
Lindsey Scott (Zachary, La.)
Size: 5’11/205 lbs.
Offers: LSU, Maryland, Rutgers, & Tulane
Overview: One of the biggest positives to hiring Durkin was the fact that he really opens things up on the recruiting trail. Durkin was spent time at big-time schools like Florida and Michigan, so he has built relationships across the country, especially in the south. Lindsey Scott was another quarterback that was offered very late, but that was because he decommitted from Syracuse on Jan. 17. The one connection between Scott and Maryland is Chris Beatty, who briefly was on the Syracuse staff before deciding to come to College Park. The Terps just offered Scott on Monday and will host him on an official visit on Friday. Scott will also take an official visit to Rutgers on Jan. 24 and LSU on Jan. 29.
Much like Pigrome, Scott is a dual-threat quarterback that is extremely athletic. The Zachary signal caller is one of those quarterbacks that can make a play happen out of nowhere. For example, Zachary traveled to Calvary Baptist (La.) back in Sept. and when you watch film of the game, the film certainly doesn’t lie. With 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Zachary had the ball at the Calvary Baptist 18-yard line on a second down. Scott took the snap out of the shotgun formation and faded back to the 33-yard line before darting upfield. He weaved around several Cavalier defenders on his way to the end zone. It appeared as though there was nowhere for Scott to go, but his speed became the ultimate factor as the pass protection broke down.
With 11:01 left in the first quarter, Scott and the Broncos ran a running play that would even impress Bell. On second down, Scott began out of the shotgun formation and started running to his left before handing the ball off to running back Braylon Jones. Jones hit the hole hard and ran it in for a 27-yard touchdown on a very crafty play design.
With 8:59 left in the third quarter, Scott showed off both his legs and his arm. Out of the shotgun, Scott pump faked to the left and rolled out to the right. He then lofted a dart of a pass into the back of the end zone to a wide open Charles Peroyea for a 27-yard touchdown. The calmness under pressure was certainly impressive, but Scott’s accuracy on the run to hit his receiver in stride was phenomenal. It’s definitely not a play that many quarterbacks can make look that simple and Scott wasn’t flustered in the slightest.
Scott certainly fits the mold of the type of quarterback that could thrive at Maryland. His ability to execute misdirections and jet sweeps definitely is a card in his back pocket. His overall athleticism would fit right in if the Terps lured him to College Park.