There is an adage in football that says that as far as the quarterback goes, so goes the rest of the team. The same could not ring more true for the 2015 Hurricane football squad. The success or failure of the team will rest in the powerful right arm of sophomore-to-be Brad Kaaya.
Kaaya threw for 26 touchdowns last season as a true freshman, versus only 12 interceptions. Several of those picks were late in games when he tried to force the ball into deep coverage when the Canes were trailing and needed a miracle to get back into the game. He also amassed 3198 yards and rewrote the freshman passing record book for Miami.
Aside from winning the ACC Freshman of the Year and collecting many accolades from national and conference media, Kid Kaaya demonstrated that despite his young age, he can lead this team to victory. Bovada has Kaaya at 33-1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy. By mid-season, those odds should be dramatically better.
Kaaya has also become a leader when it comes to recruiting players to Miami. He is an integral part of the team's official visits and players are looking at Miami so that they can have the opportunity to play with Kaaya. Kaaya embodies the true essence of what it takes to be a Hurricane and he will enjoy greater success down the road.
Playing behind Kaaya is where it gets a little "iffy". Redshirt freshman Malik Rosier will prove to be a fine backup and perhaps he might see the field in certain situations and with special packages that call for a dual-threat quarterback, such as the Wildcat. The depth was such a problem last season that Miami had to sign Jake Heaps, who proved that he could not lead any of his two previous programs when he left BYU and Kansas. Heaps was signed after Ryan Williams tore his ACL and Olsen was horrible in the spring game.
The Canes also have Gary Crow as an emergency quarterback on the roster. Crow did not see any action last season, but did play well in 2013 when he got reps against Savannah State and in other non-crucial situations. He started the season as an H-back, but moved back to quarterback when Olsen was removed from the squad. Crow will not likely see any reps of any importance, but does remain an option if Al Golden is looking for someone to finish a game without too much disruption. Canes fans can only hope that it never gets to the point where Gray is forced to see the field. That would mean that disaster struck Miami and that Armageddon is to follow.
Miami also recently hosted Boynton Beach quarterback Lamar Jackson and 5-star quarterback Torrence Gibson from American Heritage, who is currently a verbal commit to Ohio State where they have an abundance of talent at the quarterback position. Miami needs to land one of the two to enjoy further depth at the position in the event that devastation hits Coral Gables. If Miami does not sign one of the two on Wednesday, look for them to turn to Evan Shirreffs, a signal-caller from Jefferson County, Georgia. They are not offering Shirreffs as they are waiting on the other two to make a decision. Shirreffs has said that he might not sign on National Signing Day and might wait to see what happens at Miami as that is where he wants to attend school and play football.