Some of the top quarterbacks in the history of college football and the NFL have graced the sidelines in College Park.
Maryland’s quarterback legacy includes All-American and Heisman Trophy runner-up Jack Scarbath, All-Pros Boomer Esiason and Neil O’Donnell, as well as Frank Reich, Scott Zolak and Shaun Hill.
Esiason (1988), Reich (1990-93), O’Donnell (1995, 2000) and Zolak (1996) have all appeared in the Super Bowl.
The top quarterbacks in school history include:
Jack Scarbath (1950-52)
Maryland’s spit-T quarterback was runner-up to Billy Vessels for the 1952 Heisman Trophy and a unanimous All-America selection. In three seasons, the Terps were 24-4-1 with Scarbath under center, including 10-0 in 1951.
Dick Shiner (1961-63)
An honorable mention All-America selection in 1962 and a two-time first team All-ACC choice.
Bob Avellini (1972-74)
Set school record marks at the time for single-game total offense (312 yards) and passing yards (314) while completing 21 of 31 passes in his first career start his sophomore year vs. Duke. He went on to have a 10-year NFL career.
Boomer Esiason (1981-83)
A two-time All-American who set 17 school records, Esiason led the Terps to the 1983 ACC championship and a berth in the Tangerine Bowl. Arguably the most prolific left-handed quarterback in NFL history, Esiason was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and league MVP in 1988.
Frank Reich (1983-84)
Best known for leading the Buffalo Bills back from a 32-point deficit in the 1992 NFL playoffs against Houston, Reich also commanded the second-greatest comeback in the college game as well, rallying the Terps from a 31-0 halftime deficit against No. 6 Miami (Fla.). Maryland pulled off the miracle upset 42-40, and Reich finished the season as one of the top-rated passers in the country. He appeared in four Super Bowls.
Stan Gelbaugh (1984-85)
Played behind Esiasson and Reich before moving into the Terps’ starting lineup in 1984 when Reich went down to injury. Gelbaugh stepped in to lead Maryland to four wins and a one-point road loss to Penn State. The following season, the Terps went on to win the ACC title and a secure a Cherry Bowl championship.
Neil O’Donnell (1987-89)
A two-year starter in college, he ended his career in the in the top five of most major Terp passing charts. Drafted by the Steelers in 1960, O’Donnell became the team’s franchise player during his six seasons, making a Pro Bowl appearance in only his second year and leading Pittsburgh to a trip to Super Bowl XXX.
Scott Zolak (1989-90)
Despite starting just one season, he finished his collegiate career among Terps leaders in passing yards (3,124) and completions (270). His 2,539 passing yards in 1990 ranked as the fifth-highest single-season total in school history and helped earn him honorable mention All-America recognition from Football News. He was taken in the fourth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots and played nine seasons professionally.
Scott Milanovich (1993-95)
Left campus as one of the most decorated Terrapin QBs ever. In fact, Milanovich still owns most Maryland passing records, including career standards for yards (7,301), TDs (49) and completions (650). He is currently assistant head coach and offensive coordinator with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.
Shaun Hill (2000-01)
Sparked the Terrapins to the 2001 ACC championship and earned team MVP honors, throwing for 13 touchdowns and rushing for seven more. Originally picked up by the Minnesota Vikings where he spent four seasons, Hill is currently with the Detroit Lions. He has been in the NFL for 10 seasons.
Scott McBrien (2002-03)
Southpaw transfer from West Virginia who led the Terrapins to 21 wins in his two years as a starter–most by any Terps QB in two years–and was named MVP of the Peach and Gator Bowls. McBrien went on to play in the CFL.