Maryland Terrapins won't announce whether Taulia Tagovailoa or Lance LeGendre will start at quarterback

Maryland football coach Mike Locksley has finally decided on his starting quarterback for Saturday's opener against Northwestern.

But he's keeping it a secret.

Locksley said Tuesday that he won't announce whether Alabama transfer Taulia Tagovailoa or redshirt freshman Lance LeGendre will lead the offense against the Wildcats. The two competed for the starting job throughout the fall, and Locksley kept the competition open before arriving at a decision this week.

"I'm just not ready to announce to the public who it is," Locksley said. "We do know who our quarterback will be. We've had the conversations with the players that are involved, but from a competitive advantage standpoint, it really doesn't (do us) any good to announce our starting quarterback today."

Neither quarterback brings much experience into the season.

Tagovailoa threw 12 passes as a freshman last year with the Crimson Tide, and LeGendre saw action in three games with Maryland, throwing only three passes in mop-up duty. The competition opened up after Josh Jackson, who started nine games last year, opted out because of the COVID-19 pandemic and second-stringer Tyrrell Pigrome transferred to Western Kentucky.

Locksley hopes to have more consistency at the position than last season, when Jackson and Pigrome alternated time because of injuries and ineffectiveness. The theory is, whoever gets the job this season will keep the job.

"As I told the guys when we met, the starter doesn't have to look over his shoulder. We're not looking to create this controversy that I know so many people love to have," Locksley said. "But they are also well aware that this is a production-based business, and they need to compete and do their job."

He did not rule out the possibility of occasionally bringing in the second-string quarterback to run plays that are designed for his particular skills.

Senior running back Jake Funk said he has no preference on who runs the offense.

"I have great confidence in both," Funk said. "They've both done a great job throughout camp."

Because COVID-19 remains an unyielding threat and knowing that the Terps have experienced difficulty keeping their quarterbacks healthy, Funk stressed that the backup can't afford to let up in practice.

"There are a lot of things that can happen," Funk said. "So both of them need to be ready when their number is called."