BOSTON -- Thursday night, when Kevin Foley kicks back in his dorm room at Boston University to watch the Maryland-Georgia Tech game on ESPN, he'll envision the following fantasy:
It is July 19, and Foley is still at Maryland. Scott Milanovich, faced with a four-game gambling suspension, concedes the quarterback job to Foley and decides to apply for the NFL's supplemental draft. Foley, not Brian Cummings, leads the Terps to a 4-0 start and a No. 17 national ranking. There is no quarterback controversy in College Park, no guessing game regarding coach Mark Duffner's decision on who will start against Georgia Tech. It is Foley's team, Foley's night on national television.
Stop. Rewind to reality.
Foley is the quarterback of a nationally ranked team, but Boston University resides in Division I-AA, a Green Line afterthought in between Fenway Park and Boston College.
"It's always in the back of my mind," Foley said last week as he considered what might have happened had he not left Maryland after last season.
"It would have been a good opportunity, but you can't look into the future," Foley said. "You think about it a little bit, but I never knew all that stuff was going to happen. That, coupled with the fact that I'm very happy here and that we're also winning, I've got no regrets."
There was plenty of hurt and confusion last October, after Foley had a brief fling as Maryland's starter.
Foley was one of the big names in the first recruiting class Duffner had a full year to work on. They played the run-and-shoot at Cherry Hill East (N.J.) High, and there was also home education: Foley's father, Ed, was quarterback at Boston College in 1964 and '65, and Kevin's older brother Glenn, who's now with the New York Jets, did the same from 1990 to 1993.
Kevin Foley got in five Maryland games as a redshirt freshman in 1993, but Milanovich, a year older, was entrenched as the starter. Before the 1994 season, Foley said he was willing to wait until 1996 to start. But his timetable was altered when Milanovich faltered in the third week of the 1994 season, at West Virginia.
"Once I got in there and realized I could do the job, I felt I had nothing left to prove," Foley said.
He rallied the Terps from a 10-0 deficit to a 24-13 win, and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Back of the Week. Foley started and alternated with Milanovich in a 31-7 whipping of Wake Forest, but the offense chafed under that platoon and mustered just 229 yards in a 13-0 loss at Clemson.
Maryland was off the following week, and the starter was an issue for 13 days, until Duffner named Milanovich as the team was departing for North Carolina. Milanovich was superb in the last six games. Foley threw just five more passes, all in a homecoming rout of Tulane.
Every one was completed.
"I was angry," Foley said. "Unless something serious happened, I knew I was leaving, but I didn't want to do anything to disrupt the team."
Both of Foley's parents have deep roots in Boston. He didn't want to sit out this season, so Boston College or any other I-A was out of the question. There was a link at Boston University, since coach Dan Allen had worked with Duffner at Holy Cross.
"I visit Maryland every spring, to watch them practice and visit with some old friends," Allen said. "What I remember of Kevin from those trips was a very solid, poised player, one who seemed to be having fun out there. When Kevin contacted us to see if we were interested, I said absolutely."
After a week of spring practice, Foley was the BU starter. He outpassed another former Terp, Tom Marchese, in a season-opening 21-16 comeback win at Villanova. No. 21 Boston University lost to Delaware, 41-29, last week, despite 439 yards passing by Foley.
He has returned to College Park just once, during the school's internal gambling investigation.
He has happier Maryland memories, of three cocky kids responsible for quarterback coach Rob Spence's prematurely gray hair.
"No one could understand it," Foley said, "but Scott and I really still are friends. I'm not surprised the team is unbeaten. Cummings has ice water in his veins. That was a classic trio, me, Milanovich and Cummings out on the practice field. A lot of good times."
QB decision due
Who will be Maryland's starting quarterback? Coach Mark Duffner is expected to announce his decision today at his weekly news conference. Sophomore Brian Cummings has led the Terps to a 4-0 start, but he could be replaced by senior Scott Milanovich, coming off a four-game suspension.
Year Team .. .. .. .. Com. .. Att. .. .. Yds. .. TD .. Int.
1993 Maryland . .. ... 22 ... . 40 .. .. 304 .. . 0 .. . 2
1994 Maryland . .. ... 62 ... . 95 .. .. 643 .. . 3 .. . 4
1995 Boston Univ. . .. 88 .. . 139 .. .. 961 .. . 5 .. . 2