- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maryland quarterback Chris Turner said he’ll likely decide by the end of the day whether he will transfer from the school.

The junior, who started the Terrapins’ final eight games last season, was informed Monday he would be the backup to begin the season behind senior Jordan Steffy.

“To be honest, I’m not sure,” Turner said after Maryland’s morning practice. “Right now, I have a lot of support from my family. It doesn’t matter if people say I should stay or if I should go or this or that. I want to stay. I would never want to leave, but given the circumstances it’s something I had to consider. I’m leaning toward staying.”

Turner said he would discuss the matter with his parents and coach Ralph Friedgen and plans to come to a decision by this afternoon. Maryland has a late-afternoon practice scheduled.

Turner began last season as the backup, but was thrust into a starting gig when Steffy suffered a concussion just before halftime at Rutgers, Maryland’s fifth game. He helped rally the Terps to a victory that afternoon, then engineered an upset of Boston College later in the season.

But Friedgen said Steffy had outperformed Turner in practice when making his decision earlier this week. Friedgen said today he is unsure what Turner will ultimately decide, but that he is impressed with his work this week.

“I think the world of the kid,” Friedgen said. “Since this decision, he’s had his best practices, which kind of shows me something about the kid. If he was going to go in the tank, he would have.”

Friedgen has said repeatedly - both before and since naming a starter - that Steffy, Turner and junior Josh Portis would all play. Portis is expected to play in certain situations that would capitalize upon his athleticism.

For now, anyway, Turner understands what would be required of him if he remains in College Park.

“As the backup, my role is to prepare as the starter in case the starter goes down,” Turner said. “If that’s my role, so be it. Like I said last year, I knew at some point I was going to go in. It would be wrong for me to sit here and say I’m staying because I think someone will get hurt or someone is going play poorly, but the chances of a backup playing in a 13-game season are pretty high.”

Friedgen said Turner’s practice numbers have improved demonstrably in the last few days, completing more than 70 percent of his passes since learning he would be a backup.

But that isn’t necessarily a sign Turner will or will not remain with the Terps.

“It’s a tough situation,” Turner said. “I don’t want my teammates to think I’m a quitter or I’m bailing on them or anything like that. Talk to anybody who knows me, I love going here more than anyone else. They know that.”

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