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Maryland QB Kasim Hill announces he's exploring a transfer by putting his name in NCAA portal

Maryland QB Kasim Hill announces he's exploring a transfer by putting his name in NCAA portal
Maryland quarterback Kasim Hill grimaces as he is examined by team trainers after an apparent injury during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Indiana, in Bloomington, Ind. (Doug McSchooler / AP)

Maryland quarterback Kasim Hill, whose promising college career was derailed by torn ACLs in each of his first two seasons with the Terps, announced Friday night on Twitter that he has put his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal.

It doesn’t mean the former four-star prospect is leaving College Park, but the late addition of another four-star prospect, Lance LeGendre, to new coach Michael Locksley’s first recruiting is an indication that Hill might depart.

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“After plenty of reflection the past few months, I have entered my name in the NCAA transfer portal,” Hill tweeted. “In my first 18 months at the University of Maryland, I have personally experienced many good moments but also some very challenging ones.

“Exploring a transfer will help me make an informed decision about whether a change in venue could benefit my overall recovery, well-being and development. I am working incredibly hard at rehabbing my injury and becoming the best student-athlete I can be.”

Hill said that he is expected to make a full recovery, adding, “I have no doubt that I will.”

Hill, who missed most of his freshman season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in his second career start against Central Florida, is not expected to be ready for the beginning of the 2019 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee at Indiana on Nov. 10.

Players who put their name into the portal, which is used to tell other schools of their interest in transferring, can withdraw their names, as both redshirt sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome and redshirt junior Max Bortenschlager did after Locksley was hired in December.

Hill, who played his first three high school seasons at Gilman before transferring to St. John’s College High School in Washington, showed tremendous potential before the first knee injury but struggled for much of last season before the second.

After Pigrome suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the third quarter of the 2017 season-opening upset at then-No. 23 Texas, Hill came on to help preserve what was a 51-41 win. Hill completed three straight passes, including a 40-yard throw to DJ Moore on third-and-long, and then scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run.

Hill started the next week in a 63-17 home romp over Towson, completing 13 of 16 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. The following game, Hill was injured as he tried to spin away from two Central Florida defenders. He was hit in the upper body by one and around the right knee by the other, his body twisted in different directions.

Those familiar with Hill’s recovery from that injury said the 6-foot-2, 234-pound quarterback could have taken snaps in spring practice. After waiting for summer workouts and then beating out Pigrome for the starting job, Hill returned for a rematch against the then-No. 23 Longhorns at FedEx Field.

In the Terps’ 34-29 victory, Hill completed 17 of 29 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown. It turned out to be one of his best performances in an otherwise disappointing season that ended when Hill was sacked trying scramble against the Hoosiers on Nov. 10.

In 10 starts, Hill completed just 84 of 170 passes (49.4 percent) for 1,083 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Hill played well against some of the lower-tier Big Ten teams, throwing for a career-high 265 yards and three touchdowns in a 63-33 win over Illinois. But he looked tentative against many of the better teams in the league.

With the timetable for his recovery from last season’s injury making it unlikely he’ll be back for the start of the 2019 season — increasing the possibility he would get another medical redshirt — Locksley and new offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery pursued other quarterback prospects, both incoming freshmen and graduate transfers.

LeGendre, a former Kansas commit who was reportedly leaning toward Florida State, signed Wednesday with 10 other prospects that currently make up Maryland’s 17-player class. The Terps had been considered a long shot since LeGendre had not even received an offer until Jan. 26.

"I think it was the best opportunity for me to get on the field early and play for a good program and coaching staff," LeGendre said Wednesday at a news conference at his New Orleans high school. “Coach Locksley and Montgomery have good backgrounds, so I just felt home there."

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Hill said he and his family have met with Locksley and members of his coaching staff, as well as well as with former interim coach Matt Canada before Locksley was hired.

“They have expressed a desire in coaching me," Hill tweeted. “We have discussed on multiple occasions the possibility of my exploring [a] transfer with both the previous and new staff. I have not made any final decisions on leaving Maryland. My decision to enter the portal is not a criticism of the university or of the staff.”

Hill said he made the news public on social media after reports seeped out earlier Friday about his name being in the portal.

“I did not want this news or my decision about entering the portal to interfere with Coach Lock’s efforts to build the 2019 recruiting class,” Hill tweeted. “For some reason, names that get entered into the NCAA transfer portal become public, so I am only sharing this information to try to prevent speculation and rumors from spreading about this decision.”

Locksley, who was not available for comment, had previously tried to convince former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts to join him at Maryland. The two had developed a strong relationship the past three years in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Hurts transferred to Oklahoma instead.

It isn’t known whether Locksley is still pursuing a graduate transfer quarterback now that LeGendre has signed, but with the history of injuries at that position at Maryland, it seems likely.

As Maryland’s offensive coordinator under Randy Edsall in 2012, Locksley used four different quarterbacks because of injuries — most of them torn ACLs — and finished the season with Shawn Petty, a converted linebacker who had played quarterback in high school.

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