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Terps' Steffy - 'My time is now'

August 09, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Jordan Steffy is all about time.

His life, his future and his success have come down to his ability to manage it.

Time has been of the essence of Steffy's life since he stepped on the University of Maryland campus with the intent to be the quarterback of the Terrapins.

He's had to take his time, bide his time, let time pass and work on his timing - all pointing to when his time would come.

And that time seems to be now ... in due time.

Steffy is precariously sitting atop Maryland's depth chart for quarterbacks as training camp opens for the 2007 season. Although he's the closest thing the Terps have to an incumbent, Steffy will still have to prove himself and outperform Josh Portis and Chris Taylor to claim the starting job.

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"This whole thing is a marathon, not a sprint," Steffy said during Maryland's annual media day. "When I got here my freshman year, I thought things might play out differently, but the most important thing for me is that God had a plan for me and waiting for my time.

"My time is now and I'm excited about it."

Steffy played sparingly three years ago as a freshman behind starter Joel Statham. Then, after a medical redshirt season in 2005, Steffy spent the majority of last season signaling in plays to starter Sam Hollenbach while wearing a headset on the sideline.

"I think (signaling plays) is part of the mental reps. It helped me focus on the task at hand," Steffy said. "I was able to look at the situations and try to envision what I would do. It's all about checking the keys and reading the safety. He tells the story for a play. It's a matter of going through the whole progression."

Those times helped move Steffy into the position he's in today, even though his career statistics - 12-for-37 passing for 132 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns to go along with minus-31 yards rushing - are less than awe-inspiring.

Still, it's the closest thing to experience for any of Maryland's quarterback candidates.

"There is no substitute for time, especially in Coach (Ralph) Friedgen's system," said the 6-foot-1, 209-pound redshirt junior.

That time and familiarity are why Friedgen is planning to give Steffy every chance to win the job.

"I've really seen him mature as a person," Friedgen said. "He's much more serious academically than when he first came here. He's very confident in his ability, not only as a football player but as a student and a person. I think he's ready for this challenge. The one thing I feel confident about, especially with Jordan, is he knows what to do."

The things that Steffy doesn't do might be as important as the things he does this season.

The first is not to let everything around him bother him, per advice from Hollenbach.

"Sam told me that the fans and the media will say whatever they want," he said. "It all comes down to you and being there for yourself."

The other thing is the realization of what his job at quarterback entails.

"I don't have to go out and make big plays all the time," Steffy said. "I have other players out there who can do that."

Still, it comes down to the bottom line.

"I'm looking forward to winning games this year," Steffy said. "I'm just worried about getting better in the next three-four weeks."

Time will tell.

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