Who is starting at QB for Maryland in Big Ten opener? Locksley won't say

Mike DePrisco
·3 min read

Locksley plans to keep all his QBs prepared to start in 2020 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Just a few days before kicking off his second season as head coach of Maryland football, Mike Locksley isn't ready to reveal his starting quarterback.

Well, that's not true. He did give one name on The Sports Junkies Thursday morning. 

"I'm going to take this opportunity and name Taulia LeGendre the quarterback," Locksley said, combining the names of Taulia Tagovailoa and Lance LeGendre.

He was clearly joking, but there's a bit of truth to it. In a season defined by its uncertainty, the Terps plan to keep all of their quarterbacks ready to start, regardless of who gets the nod against Northwestern. 

"[I told them], this is one of those things where we're gonna play quarterback roulette," Locksley said. "But you do have to continue to produce and do the things to help us win. And we're going to continue to develop you because, with COVID and all the uncertainty that goes along with it, you have to prepare your first through third quarterbacks because you can wake up and take a test on Saturday morning, and deemed out.

"I did something similar like this at Alabama with Jalen [Hurts] and Tua [Tagovailoa] where when Tua was named the starter, we continued to put packages together just for the development piece because you don't get better sitting on the bench. You get better by playing in games and getting game experience."

There's an age-old saying that if you have two quarterbacks, you don't have one. Whether that proves to be the case in Maryland remains to be seen, but right now Locksley likes what both Tagovailoa and LeGendre bring to his team. 

With LeGendre, Locksley sees a bit of former Illinois quarterback Juice Williams in him. 

"If you watch Lance last year, our plan was to play him the last four games to really give him a chance to get game experience and then he got banged up in the Nebraska game," he said. "Watching his development from the time he got here to where he is today, there's no doubt that he has the ability to be a winning quarterback for us. He's obviously shown that he's a strong runner, but what we've seen is his development in the passing game. Real strong arm."

And with Tagovailoa, Locksley unsurprisingly notices a bit of his brother, Tua in his game.

"With Taulia, very similar skill set to his brother," he said. "Quick release, great hands, has the deceptive athleticism in terms of being able to extend plays and his ability to put the ball where it needs to be. 

Tagovailoa would probably be the fan-favorite pick to be the starter after transferring from Alabama. Maybe he ends up as the long-term starter, but for now, Locksley can work with both knowing he'll likely be using each of them before the 2020 season comes to a close. 

"They both bring something to the table," he said. "So that's been the hard part, but it's a good problem to have for the Terps.