Terps' starting QB job goes to senior Steffy

August 19, 2008

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Senior Jordan Steffy will serve as Maryland's starting quarterback for its season opener Aug. 30 against Delaware, head coach Ralph Friedgen said Monday.

The announcement came following the morning practice of the team's second-to-last two-a-day session. Steffy and fellow signal-callers Chris Turner and Josh Portis were informed of the decision prior to that practice, the 17th of preseason camp.   

"It was a hard decision," Friedgen said. "(The coaching staff) talked about it for a long time last night. We looked at every statistic that we kept, from pass completions, yards per catch, yards after catch, interceptions, percentage of drives scoring, good practices and bad practices. We even consulted with some of the players. Really when you look at all the data, Jordan Steffy has earned the spot. He was ahead in almost every category."

Friedgen said Turner will serve as the No. 2 quarterback, though Portis, who possesses incredible athletic abilities, also will have a role with the offense.


All three quarterbacks will continue to receive repetitions during practice, though Steffy will take the bulk of the snaps with the first game less than two weeks away.

Steffy, Turner and Portis each spent time working with the first-team offense during camp.

"We rotated the quarterbacks with all the teams for the last nine practices, so everybody had an equal shot with every team," Friedgen said. "I think there's a credibility thing here. If you don't reward kids for practicing well, then I don't know what you can base your decision on. What made it hard is that Chris played well in the games, and I think that's his M.O. But based on not only fall practice but I even went back to spring practices, (Steffy) was far and away ahead in all the statistics."

Friedgen did not rule out playing two or even three quarterbacks this season.

"I think they'll all end up playing throughout the year, to be honest with you," Friedgen said.

Steffy, now in his fifth season, started the first five games last season before sustaining a concussion Sept. 29 against Rutgers. The Leola, Pa., native completed 70 of 104 passes for 686 yards in 2007.

"The biggest thing for me is how well Jordan has played," Friedgen said. "I think people need to get behind him and support him. He's worked his butt off. There's no question he knows where everybody is and what we're doing, he's just got to go out and do it. He is ahead in that light."

Turner started the final eight games last season, and Portis saw action in six games as a true freshman at the University of Florida before transferring to Maryland following the 2005 season. 

"I don't think there's another team in the ACC that has three quarterbacks like we do," offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach James Franklin said. "Now that's great - the most important thing is the one quarterback you have on the field, but I don't know if there's anybody who has three like we do."

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