Sabelhaus exits Fla., looks at Maryland Gators grant release

QB starts shopping

August 27, 1996|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Bobby Sabelhaus has been released from his scholarship at the University of Florida and will try to enroll at another NCAA Division I-A institution for the fall semester. Sabelhaus placed Maryland high on his list of possible destinations, but he visited Boston College last week, and will contact Colorado, Ohio State and Virginia.

Sabelhaus, 6 feet 5 and 235 pounds, was a Parade All-American quarterback in 1994 at McDonogh School, where he set state records for yards and touchdowns. He was red-shirted by Florida last season, and, after struggling during spring practice, was dropped to fourth on the depth chart.

Sabelhaus spent the summer in Baltimore, working on what Gators coach Steve Spurrier told him were problems with his throwing motion. Spurrier gave him several weeks to consider his plans, and last week he was released from his scholarship. Sabelhaus needed the release to contact other schools, who cannot comment on him, since he is again a prospective student-athlete.

In order to play for another I-A team in 1997, Sabelhaus must spend the upcoming fall semester at the school and sit out this season. He would then have three years of eligibility remaining.

"If I want to do that, I've pretty much got to have my mind made up by next week," Sabelhaus said. "I know it's late to be doing this, but in some ways this is a bigger decision than the one I made to attend Florida. This has got to be the place where I'm going to spend the next four years."

Colorado and Virginia did not actively recruit Sabelhaus when he was at McDonogh. Sabelhaus didn't use one of his official visits on Maryland then, but coach Mark Duffner did visit his home, and the 20-year-old said the Terps rank high on his list.

"I'd like to make Maryland work," Sabelhaus said. "That seems like my best option right now. I want to call Coach Duffner, because they're real high on my list."

Brian Cummings is expected to start through next season for Maryland. The Terps' No. 2 quarterback, Keon Russell, is a sophomore, and the team has a pair of redshirt freshmen, Trey Evans and Ken Mastrole, who are in Sabelhaus' class.

"Who knows who's going to want me?" Sabelhaus added. "As much as I don't want to go through the recruiting process again, I may get some calls from schools I haven't thought about."

Sabelhaus accompanied his mother on a trip to Boston last week, and spoke with Boston College coach Dan Henning.

"At this point, that [Boston College] is not real serious," Sabelhaus said. "I was in Boston, so why not stop by?"

Prospective schools will inquire about Sabelhaus's problems at Florida, which lost to Nebraska in the national-championship game last season. The Gators will again be under the direction of Heisman Trophy candidate Danny Wuerffel, but Sabelhaus was touted as his likely successor when he arrived in Gainesville.

"When I went down there, there was a lot of enthusiasm," Sabelhaus said. "Along the way, I lost my drive. I'm not sure why that happened. I wasn't homesick. I was playing for a top-five team. I came home to get my confidence and enthusiasm back. I wasn't going to go back to Gainesville and be the person I was when I left in the spring."

Sabelhaus said he would not rule out dropping down to Division I-AA, where he would be eligible to play this year.

"If I don't find someone in I-A, I'll have to talk with my parents about I-AA," Sabelhaus said. "That wouldn't be a blow to my ego."

Pub Date: 8/27/96

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