Steffy gets 1st nod at QB

The Baltimore Sun

PINEHURST, N.C. -- Jordan Steffy is listed as Maryland's starting quarterback in the first preseason depth chart, followed by Josh Portis and Chris Turner.

Whether it stays that way is uncertain, but two of Steffy's teammates yesterday agreed that so far the junior has shown the best combination of knowledge and skill.

"That is a great asset to Steffy. That's why he's seen as the heir apparent," senior guard Andrew Crummey said at the Atlantic Coast Conference's Football Kickoff media day.

"It doesn't guarantee anything, but it definitely gives him a huge lead in the fact he understands the system probably the best."

"[The difference is] noticeable because Portis is young, so the system is new to him," said safety Christian Varner, who faced both quarterbacks in practice. "Jordan has played in some games as a freshman and he's been in the system so long he doesn't think about things, he just makes decisions, whereas Portis might hold the ball a little bit longer because he's not processing it as fast as Jordan, but that's about it."

Virginia Tech update

University officials at Virginia Tech haven't decided what they will do at the home season opener Sept. 1 in memory of the victims of the April 16 shootings. The players, who will be wearing a student-inspired tribute logo on their jerseys, seem well aware they will be playing for something larger than a win.

"Our fans support us 110 percent," said Duane Brown, a senior offensive tackle. "We're playing for ourselves as well as them. We know a lot of them are still feeling the ill effects of April 16. We're tying to put that behind us as much as possible. We think that having a successful season - especially at home - will rejoice their lives."

Coach Frank Beamer canceled the final week of spring practice after the tragedy. He also was forced to cut two-a-days this year because a change in summer school classes caused a conflict.

No hard feelings

Boston College hasn't seen the last of former coach Tom O'Brien.

O'Brien, who defected to North Carolina State, will take the Wolfpack to Chestnut Hill, Mass., on Sept. 8, the Eagles' second home game of the season.

Not that there are hard feelings in the Boston College locker room.

"Coach O'Brien thought it was the best decision for him and his family to come to N.C. State, and I respect that," Eagles senior quarterback Matt Ryan said.

"There's no hard feelings on my part toward Tom and his staff. I wish them the best for 11 games out of the year."

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