Quarterback has long been a position of need for Maryland football. The Terps led all FBS teams in interceptions two seasons ago, then saw clear, though tempered, improvement in 2016.
The program thought it had its savior in four-star recruit Dwayne Haskins, but he ended up flipping to Ohio State a month before National Signing Day 2016. When Maryland’s new staff took over, it took no time grabbing a commitment from local quarterback Kasim Hill.
The four-star recruit out of St. John’s College High School in D.C. committed to the Terps in April and never appeared to waver. He’s rated as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the country by the 247Sports Composite, which is higher than any recruit Maryland usually signs.
Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe have graduated, and Gage Shaffer transferred after his redshirt freshman season. Maryland needed a quarterback for the future, and Hill has all the attributes this coaching staff could ask for.
Here’s offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s breakdown of Hill:
“We have the quarterback, which is such an important part of what we do. I think part of what makes Kasim so special is not only the physical skills and the tools he has in his toolbox, but he’s got a great maturity level, just a great mentality about how he approaches things. He’s a kid that, when you’re talking to him, it feels like you’re talking to someone who’s much older.
Hill is technically one of two quarterback’s Maryland brought in.
The other is Ryan Brand, a preferred walk-on with a track record better than most preferred walk-ons. He was a three-star recruit out of high school, and enrolled at Air Force before spending a year in junior college. He’ll be part of the equation at quarterback, but the likelihood he ends up attempting any passes as a Maryland quarterback appears to be slim.
Brand is a dual-threat quarterback who could carve out some sort of role for the Terps. He seems athletic enough to potentially switch to either defensive back or receiver. Brand enters Maryland as a redshirt sophomore, and this spring will give the coaches a chance to see where he fits in.
The big question everyone’s asking: when will Hill be ready?
It’s impossible for us to know exactly how Hill is going to factor in to Maryland’s quarterback competition. Really, we don’t know that much about Maryland’s quarterback competition at all, except that there isn’t much experience anywhere.
Transfer Caleb Henderson might be the starter next year, but no one outside of Maryland and North Carolina’s coaching staffs have seen him play since his days as a four-star recruit in high school. Sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome could take steps forward with his passing abilities and take the job too. Max Bortenschlager, another true sophomore, could factor in as well. He could have the arm for the job, though it remains to be seen if he has the foot speed to work in offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s offense.
Bell and head coach DJ Durkin showed a willingness to play true freshmen in their first season, but handing the reigns over to a true freshman quarterback would be a big move. Hill only gets to campus in June, and will have a lot of things to learn in the three months before the season starts. It’ll take time for him to get used to Maryland’s playbook and the speed of the college game, but his throwing and running skills might be better than those of anyone the Terps have right now.
We won’t know anything until sometime in August, but Maryland’s already using him to promote ticket sales for next season.