The Miami Hurricanes kick off Spring Practice next week. This will be the first spring under the direction of Mark Richt and his staff. There's lots to look forward to, but we'll start by breaking down the most important position on the team: Quarterback
|Backup||Malik Rosier OR|
Miami has very good talent and depth at the Quarterback position. That list is, of course, headlined by rising junior QB Brad Kaaya.
Kaaya's already had 2 very good seasons for the Canes, and could reasonably end up atop the leaderboard of most, if not all, Miami Hurricanes passing records by the end of the 2016 season. When you consider the incredible list of talent that has played QB for the Hurricanes over the course of the last 30 years, that would be a monumental feat for Kaaya.
After Kaaya, the unquestioned leader of the offense and this team, you have some very good talent. Backup Malik Rosier returns, and will look to make a leap forward in 2016. Rosier struggled in the Clemson game (who didn't?!!) after Kaaya left with a concussion, and was very good in the WIN AT DUKE too. A 2-sport star in HS, Rosier played both Baseball and Football his Freshman year. In an effort to develop his game on the gridiron further, Rosier quit the Canes baseball team to focus solely on football. With the high level talent pushing him at this position for the future, that is a wise idea in regard to his football career. I, however, think Rosier may be better served following David Thompson's route and eschewing football in favor of baseball.
Evan Shirreffs, a tall 6'6" athlete from Jefferson, GA, was the QB in the 2015 class. I still say he was, arguably, the most accurate HS QB I've ever seen, and he's reportedly added velocity to his throws through his redshirt year. While some saw Shirreffs, a severely under recruited player, as just filler, I think he has the skills and intellect to be a factor in the QB race in future years.
Vincent Testaverde, son of former UM QB Vinny Testaverde, is a walk-on with some talent. He's probably not going to be more than a depth player here at Miami, but he's probably one of the best walk-ons in America, non-Baker Mayfield division.
Lastly, 2016 early enrollee Jack Allison rounds out the QB group. He, like Shirreffs before him, is a tall and rail thin player who is going to be headed directly for a redshirt year. Allison is 6'5"-6'6" with a big arm, but needs to add finesse and variety to his repertoire of throws. Working with noted QB guru Mark Richt will be a big help for his development.
In 2016, Brad Kaaya will take his game to yet another level of excellence. Something in the range of 3,300 yards and 30 TDs is not out of the realm of possibilities. Kaaya will use his improved game to lead Miami to key victories, re-write the Hurricanes' passing record books, and set himself up for early entrance to the NFL draft.
Looking forward to 2017, I Evan Shirreffs and Jack Allison will separate themselves from the pack and have a tight battle for the starting QB spot. Either player could succeed as the starter taking over for an NFL departed Kaaya, and the extra year learning from Richt and Richt (father and son) will be big.
That's it for the QB preview. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and vote in the poll below.
More previews coming as Spring Practice nears.