Friday, April 18, 2014 7:30 PM
Published on: Friday, November 09, 2012
By Brandy L. Simms
Maryland true freshman quarterback Shawn Petty will lead the Terrapins into Death Valley this weekend seeking to upset the 10th-ranked Clemson Tigers.
Maryland (4-5, 2-3) is also looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
In last weekend’s loss to Georgia Tech, Petty, an Eleanor Roosevelt High product, became the fourth player and the third freshman to start at quarterback for Maryland this season.
Petty, a scout team linebacker who played quarterback in high school, was forced into active duty after injuries to three signal-callers left the Terrapins without any scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.
During his senior campaign at Eleanor Roosevelt, Petty passed for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also ran for 550 yards and 10 scores while leading the Raiders to a 10-1 record.
The Greenbelt resident said he noticed a difference in competing at the quarterback position in high school versus the college game.
“You just have to get used to the speed of the game,” Petty said. “That’s the biggest difference. Playing my first college game when I was playing linebacker before this, the speed of the game was much faster so it took me a while to get up to speed.”
Petty, a three-year starter in high school, finished 9-of-18 for 115 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns passes to freshman wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
The first Petty-to-Diggs touchdown came late in the third quarter when the Eleanor Roosevelt graduate connected with the Good Counsel product for a 16-yard score. The pair later connected on a 23-yard score on the game’s final play.
Clemson (8-1, 5-1) will not be an easy opponent, but Petty’s supporters are hoping he can weather the storm in a hostile environment.
“He’s a freshman, it’s his first opportunity to play in an environment like that, and that’s where sometimes youth serves you well,” Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said. “You really don’t know and it’s not a big deal whereas a guy that’s played in that situation has some preconceived thoughts of how it may be."