On Wednesday, DJ Durkin confirmed what most of us already knew: Perry Hills will be Maryland football’s starting quarterback when the Terps take the field for their season opener against Howard next Saturday.
“After an open competition through the spring and the first two-plus weeks of training camp, we’re excited to move forward with Perry Hills as our starting quarterback,” Durkin said in a release. “Perry has embraced this challenge from day one and has put in the work and shown improvement every day. He’s grasped our offense and the way we want to do things, and has shown tremendous leadership.”
Hills has looked like the team’s starting quarterback from the beginning of fall practice, taking the majority of the first-team reps, but Durkin had maintained publicly that there was an open competition.
This is the second straight season that Hills has been involved in a competition at the beginning of fall camp, and the second straight season he’s emerged victorious. In 2015, Hills was the surprise candidate who beat out Caleb Rowe and grad transfer Daxx Garman. Hills’ was replaced as Maryland’s starter after two games, then took the role back two games later. Hills ended up starting eight games, throwing eight touchdowns to 13 interceptions, averaging 5.6 yards per attempt and completing 50 percent of passes.
With Rowe sidelined due to injury to begin this year’s fall camp, Hills seemed to have the lead from day one. Hills also beat out true freshmen Tyrrell Pigrome and Max Bortenschlager and redshirt freshman Gage Shaffer.
Hills seems like the best fit for new offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense, which will rely on a running quarterback and focus on short passes. Hills has the best combination of speed and strength out of anyone Maryland has at the position, and the lack of a deep game should mitigate some concerns about his lack of arm strength.