- The Washington Times - Friday, August 3, 2001

The Maryland football program may have found its quarterback of the future. Pennsylvania's Sam Hollenbach has verbally committed to the Terrapins, beginning with next season.

Hollenbach is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound senior at Pennridge High School outside Philadelphia. He selected Maryland over Pittsburgh, Illinois and Michigan State and is the first quarterback to accept a scholarship since celebrated offensive coach Ralph Friedgen took over as the Terps' head man.

"The offense he is running is a perfect match," said Hollenbach, who completed 57 percent of his passes last season for 1,510 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. "I'm a dropback quarterback who can sprint out. I was looking for a pro-style offense like Friedgen's."

Hollenbach was named all-region in Southeast Pennsylvania after leading his team to a 10-3 record and the region semifinals in the state's largest school classification. At Pennridge, he plays for his father Jeff, a quarterback at Illinois in the 1970s. Jeff Hollenbach said they were impressed that Maryland was the first school to recruit his son, when Terps receivers coach James Franklin visited Pennridge in January.

"Sam started feeling more confident with the situation and that Coach Friedgen really has a chance to turn the program around," the elder Hollenbach said. "Sam is a dropback quarterback with a good presence in the pocket. He's willing to take a hit. He has a strong arm and understands defenses well."

The NCAA does not allow college coaches to comment on recruits until they sign a binding letter of intent. Hollenbach should make the commitment official during the fall signing period.

Hollenbach should have a good chance to play early in his career. The Terps have just three quarterbacks on scholarship this season, and only Latrez Harrison and Chris Kelley are underclassmen. Kelley, a redshirt freshman who underwent knee surgery Wednesday and could be out for the season, had been expected to battle redshirt sophomore Harrison for the No. 2 spot behind senior Shaun Hill.

Besides Hollenbach, Maryland also will bring in a premier prep tailback in Florida's J.P. Humber, considered among the nation's top 25 running backs. The 6-foot-1, 203-pound senior at Lakeland (Fla.) Jenkins High rushed for 980 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He also had 320 yards receiving with two touchdowns and returned a kickoff for a score.

Humber said he received scholarship offers from Alabama and Arkansas and likely would have gone to Miami if then-coach Butch Davis hadn't left for the Cleveland Browns. Humber, who was recruited by Terps running back coach Mike Locksley, has seen Friedgen's offense at work. That favorable impression plus having family in the Washington area made it easy for him to select College Park.

"I feel that Friedgen [then Georgia Tech offensive coordinator] knows how to beat Florida State because he should have beat them back to back the last two seasons," said Humber, whose interest in the Seminoles was not reciprocated. "I want to be part of a team that can beat Florida State. I think Maryland is heading in the right direction."

Like Hollenbach, Humber said the chance to play early at Maryland was a significant selling point.

"I feel I can play right away," Humber said. "I have the size and the speed to do that."

Notes The Terps also have a verbal commitment for 2002 from punter Adam Podlesh out of New York… . First-year players report to camp Monday and begin practice Tuesday. Veterans report Thursday, with two-a-day practices starting Aug. 11… . The season opens Sept. 1 against North Carolina at Byrd Stadium.

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