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Terps quarterback recruit Gage Shaffer 'certainly passes the eye test,' Joe Theismann says

Joe Theismann made the drive last week, traveling to Frankfort High School in West Virginia to get a closer look at Maryland quarterback commit Gage Shaffer.

The former Washington Redskins quarterback became familiar with Shaffer during the summer, when he watched YouTube clips of the quarterback's junior season and of the 6-foot-7, 205-pound Shaffer performing at a camp.

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Last week was Theismann's first opportunity to see Shaffer in person. After Frankfort coach Kevin Whiteman invited him to the school, he looked on from the sideline as Shaffer and Frankfort practiced.

What Theismann saw reinforced what he had seen on those YouTube videos.

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"I was as impressed with him in person as when I watched him on film," Theismann said in a telephone interview. "His ability to move around in the pocket, his ability to roll left and right and throw the football was very impressive. He spins it really well. And he's young. So some of the things we talked about, we worked on a little bit — his footwork, which I know [Maryland coach Randy Edsall] will work with him on, and to throw the football as a catchable football instead of a rocket ship all the time.

"It's all the little things like that that I saw. But what I also liked about him is that when we talked about something, he processed it very well. … He takes instruction very well, and he's an extremely athletic kid. He moves very well for a guy that's 6-7."

Theismann likened Shaffer's skill set to that of former Arkansas star and current Houston Texans starting quarterback Ryan Mallett, another strong-armed, 6-foot-7 right-hander.

ESPN rates Shaffer as a high-end three-star prospect.

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Led by Shaffer, Frankfort is 11-0 and coming off of a 39-0 win in the first round of the West Virginia Class AA playoffs.

"I think Randy's made an excellent choice, and so has Gage to make the decision to go to the University of Maryland," Theismann said. "He's just a first-class kid and a good student. He is a very receptive learner, and his athletic skills speak volumes. …

"I think in Gage's case, when you have a chance to watch him in person like I did, he certainly passes the eye test. And then you get to meet him, and you say this is a really special kid."

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