NCAA FB, Terps

A Higher Place

Jamarr Robinson

Jamarr Robinson, 2009 Maryland Red-White Game (Photo by Patrick Duffy)

Recently ESPN’s ACC Blogger Heather Dinich rated Maryland’s Jamarr Robinson 11th (out of 12) of the starting ACC quarterbacks.  I understand the assessment because Jamarr hasn’t played a whole lot and he has an incredible amount of pressure on his shoulders this year.  I respect Heather and I am in no way here to discredit her, or to attack.  However I do believe Jamarr Robinson is going to put together a strong season and mark my words, by the end of the season Jamarr will not only rise from his rank at the bottom of the ACC QBs, but will be ranked no lower then #6 on this chart.

A few years ago, in James Franklin’s first year as the UMD OC, I remember watching Jamarr outperform Chris Tuner and Jordan Steffy in a Terps preseason scrimmage.  While Turner and Steffy were constantly throwing into traffic, or dumping off to the running back in the flat, Jamarr was throwing the ball all over the field.  While many throws were off target, he did manage hit a few receivers in stride on deep balls, he had a few throws that would knife between defenders and into the hands of his receiver, and when in trouble he raced out of the pocket and found a man downfield as the LB’s and Safeties would come up to try and stop him from running.  I recall thinking to myself, “how are we not hearing more about this kid?!?!”  He showed flashes of brilliance along with the potential to be much more of a playmaker then his two predecessors.  Now here we are in 2010, and he is under center full-time.  I know when Jamarr graduates he will be the most successful QB of the Ralph Friedgen era, and he will save his head coach’s job.

Now when I saw the blog I immediately jumped to see where Jamarr was ranked.  Dismayed by such a low ranking I didn’t bother to read Heather’s reasoning for ranking each QB.  Nevertheless, here are the quarterbacks on Heather’s list, and the reasons why Jamarr will jump over them on this chart:

#10 Sean Renfree (Duke): This kid has a lot of upside but Duke is no longer going to be taken lightly.  He’s young, unproven, untested and I don’t see him performing at as high of a level as his predecessor.  Please keep in mind Thad Lewis was amazing last year but did it all against a league that slept on Duke all of last year.

#9 David Shinskie (Boston College): I admire this guy for attempting the Chris Weinke route, but he’s nowhere near the QB the former Seminole was.  He also doesn’t have the tools surrounding him to be successful, and last year he constantly failed to step up in pressure situations.

#8 Marc Verica (Virginia): In 2008, Verica was a DECENT QB, but he lost the starting job to Jemel Sewell last year.  Sewell of course was ineligible the year before which is the only reason why Verica was a starter in the ’08 season.  UVA has a long road to recovery, and while they have the right head coach to get the job done, this year will be a tough one for both Verica and the Whahoos.

#7 T.J. Yates (UNC): Many distractions surrounding the Tarheel program this year, but none of that matters here.  Yates will not keep his job throughout the year and former baseball player Bryn Renner is already forcing his way into a QB rotation that could start as early as their meeting with LSU.

#6 Kyle Parker (Clemson): Strong arm, a leader on the field, and lots of power.  He also possesses those same qualities in football, not just baseball.  Clemson however, will not be the same offense this year.  The loss of CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford, the 2 most prolific playmakers Clemson has seen in quite a while, will be glaring.  All that, not to mention Parker’s MLB prospects should make for an offense in Death Valley that will leave Tiger fans gasping for air.

#5 Tyrod Taylor (V Tech): This could be a HUGE, I mean HUUUUUGE year for the Hokie signal caller.  That is, if they allow him to throw the ball.  With two stud running backs ready to run for 1,500 yards a piece Blacksburg will be reminded of the days of Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones.  This is going to be the most dangerous running attack in the country especially when you factor in Mr. Taylor’s running ability too.  Unfortunately, Tyrod probably won’t have to throw more then 12 times a game, and I cannot see him putting up Josh Nesbitt rushing numbers.

As far as the Heather’s Top 4, I think Christian Ponder is going to be money this year.  The kid is a leader both on and off the field, and he has the tools to be a another Seminole legend.  Russell Wilson will be good, but not he’s not the #2 because NC State is still a lowly program with little talent to support their QB. #3 Joshua Nesbitt is primed for a big year and he will run, that’s run not pass, all over opposing defenses.  He’s a top 5 ACC Quarterback because nobody runs the team’s system better then Nesbitt.  #4 Jacory Harris will be the top rated ACC QB by the end of the year.  He’s smooth in the pocket, he’s got a solid O-Line to protect him, a very good run game to balance the offense, and some of the most talented wide receivers in the ACC.  I felt strongly that Jacory would fry the ACC last year, but he hit a few bumps in the road.  There will be no bumps this year and look for him to light up every game.

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About Patrick C. Duffy

Patrick Duffy is a Communications/Journalism student at the University of Maryland, University College. I also teach sixth grade English, high school Journalism, and Physical Education. Additionally, I’m the school’s Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach. My work is featured on the Maryland page of Bleacher Report, and has been redistributed by the University of Maryland football and baseball teams.

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