Friedgen seeking progress from Robinson

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The spring of Jamarr Robinson hasn’t exactly gone according to plan.

The sophomore-to-be entered Maryland’s offseason with a chance to solidify a spot as the top backup to quarterback Chris Turner. While this figured to be a learning spring for some guys (read: any offensive lineman with a pulse), it looked like a 15-practice session that would lead ever closer to a verdict on Robinson.

After all, Robinson grayshirted, enrolled in the spring of 2007, then waited out the quarterback circus of Turner, Jordan Steffy and Josh Portis (not to mention Jeremy Ricker and Bobby Sheahin).

Only Turner remains, and he’s entrenched as the starter. But freshmen C.J. Brown and Danny O’Brien will help replenish the Terps’ quarterback depth in the fall.

Think of the spring as Robinson’s head start – or, to hear Ralph Friedgen describe it, a chance to actually fall behind.

“I need to see more progress out of him,” Friedgen said. “Right now, it’s not where it needs to be. I think [offensive coordinator James] Franklin has some hopes for him, but to me, these next two scrimmages are going to be big or to me we start with two young kids and let’s go.”

That’s quite a threat, especially considering neither Turner nor Sam Hollenbach sniffed the field after their second season in the program. To be fully fair, neither had an extra spring to their credit like Robinson.

Still, it’s clear Friedgen had a message for his No. 2 quarterback.

“To me, he’s got to make more plays and he’s got to make some faster decisions,” Friedgen said. “He’s been here three years now. It’s time to start picking up.”

Just a guess here – and while it’s informed by the progress of past quarterbacks, it’s still only a guess – but the odds are good the two freshmen won’t make decisions quite as quickly as Friedgen would like, either.

Which leads to another guess, this one just a bit bolder: Robinson will start the season as Turner’s backup. Whether he stays there, though, is another question altogether.

Still, Robinson (or someone) remains a sprained ankle away from playing quarterback for the Terps. And without some improvement, Friedgen’s grumpiness on the matter is more than understandable.

Patrick Stevens

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