We’re previewing Maryland football’s roster one position group at a time this summer. This week, we're focusing on the quarterbacks.
First we’ll take a look at Tyrrell Pigrome, one of just two quarterbacks on the roster that Maryland fans have actually seen play in a Terp jersey going into this season. Pigrome has been part of a quarterback competition three straight years, and he’ll face stiff completion again this fall. While he isn’t the probable starter, his experience and leadership will be valuable this season.
Tyrrell Pigrome, QB, No. 3
Year: Redshirt junior
Hometown: Birmington, Ala.
High school: Clay-Chalkville HS
2018 stats: 37-of-67 passing, 561 yards, 2 TDs, 1 int.; 58 rushing attempts, 159 yards, 1 TD
Career stats: 69-of-127 passing, 873 yards, 6 TDs, 4 int.; 122 rushing attempts, 464 yards, 6 TDs
Pigrome came to Maryland as a three-star recruit after an impressive career at Clay-Chalkville. He was the 2015 Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year and a two-time Alabama Mr. Football runner-up, with 1,349 yards and 62 touchdowns as a senior.
After arriving in College Park, Pigrome appeared in 11 games his freshman season, but made just one start. Then in 2017, he edged out a true freshman Kasim Hill to start the season opener against No. 23 Texas. He helped lead the Terps to the upset, completing 9-of-12 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushing for 65 yards and a touchdown. But late in the third quarter, he suffered a season-ending leg injury and had to be carried off the field.
Pigrome spent the rest of the year recovering from an ACL tear, and Hill beat him out for the starting job in 2018, relegating him to sporadic appearances off the bench.
He showed flashes late in 2018, but couldn’t lead his team to that sixth win.
Pigrome stepped in after Hill’s injury against Indiana and led a comeback that fell just short. Against No. 9 Ohio State, he made his first start of the season and threw for a then-career-best 181 yards and a touchdown. He led the Maryland offense to a 51-point outburst in that game, but the last play of the overtime loss still haunts Pigrome and Maryland fans alike.
On a two-point conversion with the chance to win the game, Pigrome took the snap and threw to wide receiver Jeshaun Jones, who appeared to be wide open in the end zone. The pass just missed the tip of Jones’ hands and the Terps fell to the Buckeyes.
Heartbreak in College Park pic.twitter.com/bZMbX4HcIS— Jared Goldstein (@_jgoldy17) November 17, 2018
”I’m still not over it, I’m not going to lie,” Pigrome said in spring practice. “That one play, it hurts, it still hurts.” He’s rewatched it over and over, but said he now uses it as motivation.
In the final game of the season against No. 12 Penn State, Maryland couldn’t score a single touchdown in a 38-3 loss. Pigrome threw for a career-best 185 yards, going 14-for-23 on passing attempts, but couldn’t lead his offense to a touchdown. Maryland finished the season 5-7, losing its last four games when one win would have clinched bowl eligibility.
He’ll have to compete for the job again this fall.
Though Pigrome showed positive signs in the final two games of 2018, Maryland might have brought in his replacement this offseason. Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson, who sat out most of last season but threw for 2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2017, is the presumed starter. Pigrome will be one of four other quarterbacks competing for the job, with four-star quarterback Lance LeGendre coming in as a freshman and the likes of Tyler DeSue and Max Bortenschlager in the mix as well.
It’s hard to gauge how coach Mike Locksley feels about Pigrome, especially given that he never pointed to one quarterback standing out from the rest in spring practice (just Pigrome, Bortenschlager and DeSue were present). An injury kept him out of the spring game, so it’s hard to tell how he stacks up with his counterparts.
Still, Pigrome said he’s adapting to Locksley’s offense than a lot better he did under previous schemes at Maryland.
“In this offense I feel more comfortable because it’s similar to something I ran in high school,” Pigrome said during spring practice. “The past offense was a good offense, I just feel like it didn’t fit me as well as this offense [does].”