Cumberland Times-News

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June 7, 2014

Frankfort quarterback commits to Maryland

COLLEGE PARK — Frankfort senior quarterback Gage Shaffer, a two-time West Virginia Class AA All-State selection, received and has accepted an offer for a full scholarship to play football for the University of Maryland Terrapins. Shaffer delivered his verbal commitment to Maryland head coach Randy Edsall Saturday afternoon in College Park not long after setting foot there for the first time.

Shaffer, who was measured Saturday by the Maryland staff at 6-feet, 7-inches, 211 pounds, was a second-team All-State quarterback as a sophomore and special mention All-State as a junior when he completed 70 of 127 passes for 1,070 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions in leading the Falcons to an 8-3 record and the West Virginia state playoffs.

“I went to Maryland and ran through a camp they had (on Saturday) and about like a quarter of the way through it Coach Edsall was giving me snaps,” said Shaffer. “Then he told me he would like Coach Whiteman’s number. He called Coach Whiteman and told him they were going to offer me, then he talked to my dad and said he was going to offer me a full ride.

“I was really excited and was not expecting it all. But, obviously, it’s really good news and just a weight off my shoulders, really.”

How much was Shaffer not expecting an offer on Saturday from the Terps, who will begin their first season in the Big Ten this fall?

“I had never been there before,” he said when asked what he liked about Maryland. “But when I got there I thought (Byrd Stadium) was really nice. That’s all I saw. Then when they offered me they took me to their facilities and everything is really nice. They have a great weight room, a nice film room. The staff is really friendly and the players that were there embraced me and made me feel like I was a teammate already.”

Shaffer said Edsall told him, “They liked my size and frame, and that I had a really strong arm, and was really accurate.”

Shaffer said he is very appreciative of the time and effort Frankfort head coach Kevin Whiteman has provided for him since he arrived at Frankfort.

“I can’t thank Coach Whiteman enough,” he said. “He has helped me through this process from the beginning. So has Coach (Kevin) Watson and all of our coaches. I want to thank my parents as well, Ryan and Angie Shaffer.”

Whiteman received the news from Edsall at 2 o’clock on Saturday.

“Coach Edsall said they were offering Gage and that he accepted,” said Whiteman. “I think it’s exciting for Gage and for his family. To be offered by a Division I team like Maryland is great for him and a bonus for our program.

“Gage is a good boy, but he has to remain focused for his senior year at Frankfort. He can’t let this get into his head. He has to be focused, do his best job and get better every day for Frankfort and for his future. But it’s nice for a coach to see a kid in our program and make him an offer to a Division I school. I’ve never had that before as a head coach, and it’s a pretty good feeling.”

Shaffer, who said Penn State and West Virginia were the only “big schools” he had interest in until Saturday, promised he would be focused for his senior year.

“I’m looking for another successful season,” he said. “I want to go deeper in the playoffs and lead my team to more wins — that’s it. We have a really good group of kids coming this fall. We’re really close and we play well together. We’ve been together for a long time and we’re like family.”

Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at mburke@times-news.com.

 

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