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Cockerille's move to quarterback boosts depth

Maryland quarterback Shane Cockerille (Gilman) is pictured during spring practice in 2015.
Maryland quarterback Shane Cockerille (Gilman) is pictured during spring practice in 2015.(Baltimore Sun)

Over the summer, redshirt sophomore Shane Cockerille approached former Maryland coach Randy Edsall about switching positions from quarterback in order to get on the field and contribute. In the past week, interim coach Mike Locksley asked Cockerille to switch from fullback back to quarterback to help give the team better depth behind starter Perry Hills.

With third-string quarterback Daxx Garman "a little banged up," Cockerille's second position switch in a matter of months gives Maryland insurance at a position it's struggled to find consistency at this season.

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"When you look at the hits that Perry took in the Ohio State game, I don't think that his mom will be really happy if we continue to let him get beat up like that," Locksley said Tuesday. "So [we're] moving a guy that has the similar skill set like Shane does."

Against Ohio State, Maryland installed a game plan tailored to Hills' strengths that included an emphasis on the quarterback running the ball. Hills gained a Maryland quarterback record 170 yards and scored twice on the ground in a 49-28 loss. But he took some big hits against the Buckeyes, and with Locksley planning to keep a similar offense moving forward, Cockerille's switch allows the Terps to keep a similar offense is something happens to Hills.

Garman and Caleb Rowe, who is listed as a co-backup with Cockerille, are more traditional dropback passers with less mobility. Cockerille was a three-star recruit out of Gilman who was rated as the No. 16 dual threat quarterback in the Class of 2013 by Rivals.

"He's a hard worker as well," right guard Andrew Zeller said. "He embraced the move to fullback and he never really had a problem with that and he's going to do anything he can to get on the field."

Cockerille has never appeared in a game at quarterback for Maryland. He's appeared in all six games this season at fullback, and last season, he appeared on special teams.

While Cockerille's move and Maryland's game plan against Ohio State seem to show that the offense will be run-heavy moving forward, Locksley wouldn't tip his hand on what the Terps have planned the rest of the way.

"Those guys are going to have to throw the football," Locksley said. "I doubt we'll just get lined up and get in the single wing and just run the ball every play. We're going to have to throw the ball at some point."

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