Injured Maryland Quarterback C.J. Brown Acting As Mentor
By Chris Garman
In August, University of Maryland junior quarterback C.J. Brown tore his ACL and handed the reins of the offense over to freshman Perry Hills. But instead of keeping his distance or becoming secluded, Brown has instead imparted his knowledge on Hills, who also went down with a torn ACL, and third- and fourth-string quarterbacks Devin Burns and Caleb Rowe.
"[Brown has] done a tremendous job for us," head coach Randy Edsall said. "Again, he's one of our captains. He's in on all the meetings with the quarterbacks, helping those guys out, then on the headset on the sidelines during practice.
"Nothing but great things for him in terms of his contribution to our team, even though he's not out there playing."
Brown's influence has helped the Terps manage their quarterback void. When Hills went down during the N.C. State game, Burns and Rowe were both able to step in and put the team in position to win. Sophomore Ricardo Young is another quarterback on the roster, but he is sitting out this season because of NCAA transfer rules.
"A lot has been thrown at them," offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said of the Terps' quarterbacks. "We've been very fortunate that we have coach Brown and coach Young helping out getting quarterbacks ready to play.
"Then, trying to teach guys who've played the position you only have so much time, and that's where guys like C.J. Brown and Ricardo Young have been great assets for us. They're both smart guys."
The injury to Hills came at a time when the true freshman was starting to turn a corner. During the first half of the Oct. 20 game against N.C. State, Hills seemed poised and controlled in the Terps' offense. But then a Wolfpack defender hit him, and Hills went down. He finished the season having completed 57.4 percent (97-for-169) of his passes for 1,336 yards, eight touchdown passes and seven interceptions during seven starts.
Now that Hills has joined Brown on the sideline with ACL injuries, perhaps the former can learn a thing or two from the latter on how to deal with his first major injury.
"In terms of what he's experienced with the surgery, Perry's injury wasn't as severe as C.J.'s," Edsall said. "But handling the mental part of it, how to get through it, how to cope with it, the intensity you need to have in rehab, I think C.J. will be a great mentor for Perry as he goes through that process as well."
Along with learning how to lead the offense and handle a devastating injury, Hills will become a mentor himself. With the numerous injuries the Terps have suffered this fall, the players have had a next-man-up mentality. Fortunately for the next Maryland quarterback, he will have both Hills and Brown to help him through the remainder of the season.
Follow Chris on Twitter: @Garmelo10.
Posted Oct. 25, 2012