The quarterback position was one of the main sources of the struggles that Maryland had in 2015.
As the 2016 season draws closer, Caleb Rowe will try to put that abysmal campaign behind him and look to be “the guy” for the Terrapins.
Prior to the 2015 season, Rowe had been a spot starter for Maryland.
As a true freshman in 2012, Rowe started one game against Boston College in which he completed 23-of-42 passes for 240 yards to go along with two touchdowns and three interceptions. The Blue Ridge (S.C.) product was hurt during the game, which resulted in the end of his season.
It also signaled the Terps having to go with linebacker Shawn Petty under center.
Rowe played more frequently during the 2013 season. He filled in for starter C.J. Brown when the mobile signal caller was injured.
Rowe started games against Clemson and Virginia. The former three-star quarterback completed 18-of-34 passes for 332 yards and a touchdown against the Cavaliers and led the Terps to a 27-26 win.
The Maryland quarterback was also tasked with leading the Terps against No. 9 Clemson in late October. Rowe was also forced to attempt an upset without Stefon Diggs, Deon Long, and Brandon Ross, who all missed the game due to injury.
Rowe rallied the Terps to an early 7-3 lead after a 71-yard catch-and-run by wideout Levern Jacobs. Maryland hung around throughout most of the contest, but ultimately faded in the fourth quarter in a 40-27 defeat.
In the loss, Rowe completed 20-of-46 passes for 287 yards to go along with three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
During the 2014 season, it was mostly mop-up duty for Rowe in games where Maryland was heavily leading or trailing in. He completed 63 percent of his passes and threw five touchdowns while being intercepted on four occasions.
The 2015 season really compounded to show one of Rowe’s biggest weakness. The South Carolina native has always had a knack for making poor decisions throwing the football.
Rowe was tied for third in all of college football with 15 interceptions.
Despite a history of poor decision making and not-so-stellar numbers, Rowe has a chance to erase all of that and seize control as the team’s starting quarterback later this summer.
One of the aspects of Rowe’s game that does stand out is his pocket presence.
Rowe is a traditional pro-style quarterback that isn’t afraid to stand in the pocket and sling it. He excels both under center and out of the shotgun formation.
Rowe definitely has a huge arm and provides more big-play potential for Maryland. However, it’ll be interesting to see how the quarterback competition shakes out between Perry Hills and Rowe.
While Hills is definitely the more mobile signal caller, Rowe can certainly pull it down and run when he needs to.
For example, in Maryland’s season finale win over Rutgers, Rowe carried the ball seven times for 98 yards, which was good for an average of 14.0 yards-per-rush. When the play breaks down, Rowe is smart enough to know where the sticks are as well as the sidelines.
While Hills’ skillset may be better-suited for new offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense, the competition is still going to be decided throughout training camp.
Rowe definitely could thrive in Bell’s offense due to the fact that he possesses some running ability. It also doesn’t hurt that Rowe can flat-out toss the pigskin when he has time in the pocket.
Much like last summer, this is the position battle that most fans will be paying the most attention to and rightfully so.