Earlier this month, the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Shaffer showed up for a camp in College Park just hoping to gain some recognition – he left with his first scholarship offer firmly in place and college decision complete.
“He was just going over there to their one-day camp to work on his skills and just try to improve,” said Frankfort coach Kevin Whiteman. “If he was seen, that was good, but basically it was a day to go down and try to get better.”
But a couple of hours into the camp, Whiteman received a call from Maryland coach Randy Edsall.
“He said that he had my quarterback there and that he liked what he was seeing,” Whiteman said. “He just asked me some basic questions about Gage – what kind of person he was and what kind of family he came from. He said he would call me back with more questions later that night or the next day.
“But not even an hour-and-a-half went by and he called me back, telling me that he offered Gage a full-scholarship to Maryland,” Whiteman continued. “I talked to Gage and his father after that and I think they were still stunned about it. It was kind of a shock to all of us – not that Gage isn’t a good quarterback. We had just never talked to Maryland about him before.”
Shaffer’s height, arm-strength and accuracy stood out the most to Edsall – something that helped him grab Frankfort’s starting quarterback job halfway through his freshman year.
“He’s a competitor and if he makes a mistake, he wants the ball back in his hands immediately,” Whiteman said. “When he comes off of the sideline, he’s upset with himself, but doesn’t get flustered. He has an ability to stay calm and composed – he’s not one to bail. He’s back in there for the challenge.”
As far as other interest, Whiteman had received contacts on Shaffer from Shepherd and Yale.He threw for
“I knew he was going to get some type of an offer eventually, but I just didn’t know it would be this soon,” Whiteman said. “I thought maybe he would have to play his senior year out and then it would work. He’s been to camps at West Virginia, but I’ve never heard anything from them – which has kind of surprised me.”
Shaffer gives Whiteman and Frankfort a solid core piece to the upcoming season, alongside other key returnees in running backs Brady Watson and Noah Bible. As for Maryland, Shaffer is one of nine commitments in Maryland’s current 2015 recruiting class – he’s the only quarterback so far.