Our summer profile series is back and we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time. This week, we’re starting with the quarterbacks.
I kicked off the series by profiling Tyrrell Pigrome on Monday, Sean looked at Tyler DeSue on Tuesday, Justin wrote about Max Bortenschlager on Wednesday and Lamar wrote about Lance LeGendre yesterday. Quarterbacks Week finishes with graduate transfer Josh Jackson, the most proven quarterback on the Terps’ roster.
Josh Jackson, QB, No. 17
Year: Redshirt junior
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
High school: Saline
Josh Jackson comes from a football family. His father, Fred, has been a football coach for over 40 years, including 23 seasons at the University of Michigan, and his brother Jeremy played there as a wide receiver.
At Saline High School in Saline, Michigan, Jackson threw for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior to become a finalist for the Michigan Player of the Year award. He was ranked as the ninth best dual-threat quarterback in the country, given that he also rushed for 470 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. A four-star recruit, he committed to play for Virginia Tech in June, 2015, and redshirted his first year.
He impressed at Virginia Tech, but now has a new home.
In 2017, Jackson led all Power 5 freshman quarterbacks with 2,991 passing yards and 236 completions. He ranked second with 20 touchdown passes as well, and also rushed for 324 yards and six touchdowns on 124 attempts, leading Virginia Tech to a 9-4 record. By the end of the season, Jackson broke multiple school records, including the most touchdowns, passing yards and 200-plus yards passing games (9) by a freshman in program history.
He had another great start to the first two games of the 2018 season, throwing for 207 yards and two touchdowns on 15-for-26 passing against Florida State, and 12-for-16 passing for 217 yards against William & Mary. But in Week 3 against Old Dominion, Jackson fractured his left fibula, ending his season.
Jackson entered his name into the transfer portal on Jan. 23, 2019, and less then a month later on Feb. 18, he announced he would transfer to Maryland — though the move wasn’t officially approved until May 21.
He’s the presumed favorite for the starting job.
With his track record at Virginia Tech, Jackson makes the best case to lead Maryland’s offense, though there will a quarterback battle ahead for him to prove himself to Locksley’s coaching staff. Bortenschlager, DeSue, LeGendre and Pigrome will try to compete for the job as well, though they certainly haven't enjoyed the same success Jackson has.
With two years of eligibility remaining, Jackson brings as much potential as any quarterback the program has seen in years, and he’s proved that he can perform against tough college competition. He does come in on the later end of things, though, as he wasn’t allowed to attend spring practice as a graduate transfer.
Maryland fans are just getting to know Jackson, but if all goes according to plan, they’ll be hearing his name a lot this fall.