After spring football ended in College Park, Md. it was rather clear that there was a major hole on the Terps roster. It just so happened that the major hole was at a position any team can ill-afford to have one at these days — quarterback.
Junior Perry Hills was presumed to be the starter, if only because he was the only quarterback on the roster with any game day experience to his name this spring. However, his job appears to be in jeopardy now that former Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman has graduated and been given his release to transfer.
It also was likely in jeopardy with senior quarterback Caleb Rowe returning this fall after sitting out spring camp.
On Thursday it was announced that Garman would become a member of the Maryland football team, and be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer.
Head coach Randy Edsall confirmed the move with a press release from the athletic department.
“We are excited that Daxx will be joining our program,” Edsall said in the release. “He is an experienced quarterback who has proven himself as an accomplished starter in the Big 12, helping to lead his team to a postseason bowl game. Daxx is an outstanding student who has displayed tremendous poise and maturity during his college career. He comes in knowing he is competing for the starting quarterback position and is looking forward to the competition and being part of our football family.”
With eight starts under his belt, it would be obvious to think Garman immediately jumps to the top of the Terps’ depth chart. Still, Edsall isn’t shutting the door on competition — and that may be a very smart thing indeed.
That’s because a look at Garman’s numbers suggest there’s a reason he was essentially on the open market and not in the future plans for the Cowboys of Oklahoma State.
Garman finished last season completing 54.9 percent of his passes for 2,041 yards and 12 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. It was that inconsistency with his touchdown to interception ratio that eventually cost Garman his starting job, with redshirt freshman Mason Rudolph eventually becoming the starter.
Not exactly great numbers in a pass-happy offense to say the least. Yet, it’s hard to think about the current crop of quarterbacks with this type of addition too.
Garman’s numbers aren’t far from what both Hills and Rowe could reach in 2015 themselves. Last season, Rowe had a better completion rate (63 percent), albeit on just 54 attempts. He did also manage to amass 13 touchdowns to 10 interceptions — numbers eerily close to what Garman put up himself.
However, clearly the returning duo aren’t thought of as the answer just yet or the Terps’ coaching staff wouldn’t have pursued this option.
There are two other issues to consider in the addition of Garman. One is the fact that this will be Garman’s third stop in attempt to become a starting quarterback. He was a three-star quarterback out of Carroll, Texas and signed with the University of Arizona out of high school.
After redshirt his first season, Garman transferred to Oklahoma State and eventually became the starter for the Cowpokes this past season. However, he really hasn’t had a “home,” if you will, anywhere he’s played quarterback.
Secondly, Garman isn’t anything like C.J. Brown and is much more a pocket-passer than a mobile spread-like quarterback. Can Garman adjust or this offense adjust to the needs of his new coaching staff?
No doubt Garman has the potential to fill in for one season and allow highly touted four-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins to have a clear path to a starting job in his first year next season.
What it doesn’t do is guarantee Maryland is going to sustain the level of success it had last season. Garman’s past doesn’t necessarily suggest he’s the answer long-term or in the interim either.
So, while he has the experience under his belt, assuming Garman will be the starter come this fall is a bit premature at best. He still has plenty to prove, otherwise why did Oklahoma State give up on him with a season of eligibility left.
What this does do is give Edsall and the coaching staff and extra option to work with at quarterback after a failed spring at the position. Either it finds a starter to fill the gap or it’s stuck right where it was this spring.