At the helm of everything new, for the moment at least, is rising junior quarterback C.J. Brown. After Danny O'Brien's recent announcement of his intention to transfer to Wisconsin, Brown has become the face of the Maryland offense; a responsibility he's taking seriously while still mixing in some fun.
“I was in the playbook much of the week but I was able to get down to Florida and relax and get away from College Park,” said Brown of his recent spring break. “Now I'm back here, focused and I'm ready to go.”
At the moment, Brown is facing little challenge to his starting quarterback job, as the rising junior shares snaps with Shepherd University transfer, senior Ricky Schulz. But competition is coming. In fact, competition was on the sidelines Tuesday as incoming freshman quarterback Caleb Rowe patrolled the grounds of the practice field with fellow commit Stefon Diggs.
The imminent summer arrival of Rowe and Perry Hills, another 2012 quarterback commit, isn't distracting Brown however, who is preparing for the season as though he is a starter while taking the steps to develop from a running quarterback to more of an all-around player.
“I think it's come along pretty good,” said Brown of his throwing ability. “Coach [Mike] Locksley is really working with me in the footwork department … a lot of it's under the center. I've done it before but it's just taking a year off, pretty much, because that offense was mainly in the gun. Just to get back here and get your footwork back, you know, slowly but surely it's coming back.”
Being on balance, throwing on rhythm and timing were among the things Brown has strived to improve this offseason; all things, he claims, that take time. “That all comes with learning the playbook, just seeing the right reads, seeing the safety's rotation, etcetera.”
Practicing what he preaches, Brown admittedly said he and some teammates who travelled with him to Florida over the break spent some quality time with the new playbook.
“You know, we went over it every day for a good hour,” said Brown. “It's just building on it. We didn't have too much in at the time and we still put in installments every day. So just to get in there, get familiar with it and the terminology and make sure everybody is on the right page is something you have to focus on.”
The Terps continue their spring practice schedule, culminating with the annual Red-White Spring Game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 21.