By Matt Zenitz
Had Maryland coach Randy Edsall made a list of his top question marks heading into the beginning of spring practice last month, quarterback C.J. Brown surely would have been near the top.
Brown certainly showed flashes while making five starts as a redshirt sophomore last season, especially as a runner. Not only did this spring represent his first as the Terrapins' full-time starting quarterback, he was also forced to adjust to an entirely new offense. These changes came when Maryland hired Mike Locksley as its new offensive coordinator in December, replacing Gary Crowton.
Speaking during Wednesday's ACC spring football coaches' teleconference, just days after the conclusion of spring practice, Edsall sounded pleased with the progression Brown made during the spring.
On Saturday before their spring game, the Terrapins also announced that Brown was voted by the team as one of four team captains for the upcoming season.
"You've seen the improvement with [C.J] this spring," Edsall said, "and I think it's a big statement that his teammates voted him a captain for this year. … We're excited to have C.J. leading the offense.
"He's picked things up mentally with everything that we're doing, and you could just see him getting better with the more reps that he had."
Brown struggled some as a passer last season, completing just 49 percent of his passes, while throwing for 842 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions. Yet he did prove to be a dangerous runner.
He posted three 100-yard rushing games and finished the year with 574 rushing yards and five touchdowns, averaging more than 7 yards per carry.
Brown ran for a career-best 162 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries during the Terrapins' narrow loss to No. 8 Clemson in October. He also threw for 177 yards and three touchdowns during that game.
"I think C.J. proved last year that he's a more-than-capable quarterback to go out and lead our team," Edsall said.
Edsall also downplayed the loss of quarterback Danny O'Brien, who was part of a seemingly never-ending quarterback carousel with Brown for the better part of last season after beginning the season as Maryland's starter.
O'Brien, the 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year, transferred to Wisconsin last month.
O’Brien endured a frustrating 2011, but threw for 2,438 yards, 22 touchdowns and just eight interceptions as a redshirt freshman in 2010.
"I don't worry about players that aren't here," Edsall said. "All I'm worried about is C.J. Brown [as well as incoming freshmen quarterbacks] Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe, and what they're going to do for us."
Posted April 26, 2012