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Clay Belton to Transfer to Maryland? The Vital Info

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Jamarr Robinson has some competition. Image via <a href="">Scout</a>
Jamarr Robinson has some competition. Image via Scout

It's looking like Maryland will gain another transfer soon, this time in former Miami (OH) QB Clay Belton. Belton is a redshirt sophomore, so he'd have to sit a season before being able to play (and would be a junior next year), but that's perfect timing: Chris Turner is leaving after this year, and is leaving a gigantic hole at QB.

Belton was mostly ranked in the three star area coming out of HS, receiving a 78 from ESPN (C.J. Brown was a 77, for comparison's sake), so he's got some natural talent. He size is Tebow-esque (6-5, 220), and his arm is a cannon. His Rivals highlight video showcases a very pretty deep ball, but ESPN would be best to actually describe his game. After all, I've never seen him play outside of about seven plays in HS (from that video, no less). If you're lazy, a basic synopsis would be he's big, well-built, strong-armed, a decent athlete, and sees the field well, but has a big, wind-up release (which you can see pretty well in this video).

From my reading of Miami (OH) message boards - that's pretty much the extent of my research here - he had some mental issues. Not with understanding the playbook, not with making reads, but more of - it sounds like a cliche, but it's the closest I could get - his lack of "it": that all elusive, indescribable quality that makes a QB. ESPN compared him to Byron Leftwich, but I immediately thought of Jason Campbell. From the big windup to the strong arm to the underrated athleticism to the lack of "it", he's a perfect description.

Now, we shouldn't go about judging his "it-ness" after seven games as a freshman - that's just unfair. And honestly, from a stat standpoint, he wasn't that bad when he saw time last year. His first game was as a sub against Michigan in Ann Arbor - hardly an easy way to start a career. He was 3 for 7 for 14 yards - not good, but not abominable. After seeing a combined three plays in the next two games, he broke out with a 14-22 performance against Temple, racking up 147 yards - not outstanding, but a solid game. His best game might've been against Kent State, going 18-31 for 171 yards and a TD.

If he comes (right now, I'd be surprised if he didn't), he'll probably run the scout team offense this year while waiting out a season to regain eligibility. That means he'll be eligible as soon as the QB competition starts.

The question is, does he stay at QB (some have said he'd be a good fit for TE), and if so, does he compete with Jamarr Robinson and the others? While Robinson earned respect in spring practice, a good two weeks doesn't make someone a starter. He'll still have to prove himself in spring and fall practice. He'll also be competing against C.J. Brown and Danny O'Brien. The one thing that connects all those QBs? They've never seen playing time in a real college game. Belton has. By some accounts, he's more naturally talented than any of Robinson, Brown, and O'Brien. There are some natural barriers - playbook familiarity, player familiarity, coach familiarity, etc. - but most of them should be solved after a year of practice. I'm not saying he'll start, but he'll get a shot and might surprise some people.