As we all know, Brad Kaaya is a stud.
Potential future first round draft pick, check.
Heisman candidate, check.
Face of the program, legit college star, leader of the team... check, check, check.
Coach Richt was allusive in naming anyone on the roster a starter across the board during Spring Ball, with the obvious exception of Kaaya.
So the 'Canes are set with their starting QB.
But the Hurricanes also need an insurance policy.
And no clear cut #2 has emerged.
But their are some pretty decent potential players to step up and fill the role.
In August the smoke will clear, and hopefully one of these guys will step up and make their presence felt as the back-up and potential future starter when Kaaya departs.
Today we look at the candidates.
Malik Rosier - 6'1 218 RS So.
Rosier has a very difficult spring, by all accounts. And the Spring Game was certainly not his finest hour.
Wait.....so every quarterback completed a pass today EXCEPT MALIK ROSIER?!?!?!?!?— Cam Underwood (@UnderwoodSports) April 9, 2016
However, he is the incumbent.
And lost in the euphoria of the 'Canes 8 lateral, last second win over Duke last season, was that Rosier was a sterling 20-29 for 272 and 2 TDs in Durham.
UM is not even in that game if not for Rosier.
The redshirt sophomore proved he can step in in a pinch and perform.
His strengths include his mobility and a strong downfield arm, not to mention said experience above.
However his accuracy remains in question, and he may not be a fit for the Richt offense that favors quick releases over scrambling.
If Rosier is the favorite, it is just by a thread.
The Favorite, Part II
Evan Shirreffs - 6'5 200 RS Fr.
Shirreffs clearly gained some ground during the spring:
However...... he did not exactly play lights out in the Spring Game:
Halftime at Lockhart stadium. Evan Shirreffs ended the half with an awful lobbed pass that Jaquan Johnson promptly intercepted #Canes— Darrell Wilkinson (@DarrellW_Sports) April 16, 2016
In fairness, the second team O line was pretty atrocious that day as well.
Shireffs was deadly accurate in H.S. and has the ideal size for the position.
His upside is apparent, as CI's Pete Ariz illustrates below:
Evan Shirreffs is a good athlete. Doesn't have strongest arm, but makes quick decisions and has size. Working a lot with 2nd team, I'm told— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) April 3, 2016
In order to overcome Rosier and emerge as the #2, he will need to work on his consistency and be an outstanding decision maker this fall.
His progress will be interesting to monitor.
The Dark Horse:
Jack Allison - 6'5 193 Fr.
Despite being an early enrollee Allison would likely be most valuable to the program if he redshirts this season and gains valuable experience watching Kaaya and learning the playbook inside and out.
But during the spring Richt would not 100% commit to the idea that the former 4 star prospect was not going to see the field this season.
And the reason why is apparent... talent.
Brad Kaaya today had some high praise for EE QB Jack Allison. Said he thinks Allison has the strongest arm of all the Miami QBs.— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) April 7, 2016
In an ideal world Allison does RS, puts some weight on his frame, and emerges as the heir apparent to Kaaya in a year or two.
But if something happens to the franchise, and he is the best option to help the team win, don't be surprised if Allison sees the field earlier than anticipated.
It all depends on what he shows between the ears, because of all the players on the this list, he has by far the best upside.
The Emergency Policy:
Vincent Testaverde - 6'2 195 RS So.
Testaverde has some game action from his days at Texas Tech, making him the second most experienced player vying for the #2 QB spot.
But he is a walk on for a reason.
And he too struggled in the Spring Game:
Vincent Testaverde picked off by Robert "Ra-Ra" Knowles in the endzone #CanesScrimmage— J.T. Wilcox (@JTWilcoxSports) April 9, 2016
He's a legacy who adds depth to the position, but it is hard to foresee any scenario where he plays this season.
You can never have enough options at QB, even when your starter is as good as Brad Kaaya.
The Hurricanes really need one of the players above to step up and separate themselves from the rest.
In a break glass scenario, you need a confident player to lead the team.
Unfortunately for Miami, the fact we are having this very discussion means that a lot is still left to be desired at this spot.
For my money, I expect that Rosier initially gets the nod, on experience alone.
But as the season progresses, whether via working with the scout team or through absorbing info in practice, I think Allison's mental game catches up to his talent and springs him up the ladder.
Hopefully all 4 players spend the season holding clipboards, and watching Kaaya have a signature season.
However they must prepare as if they will be called on at any given moment.
Right now things look murky in that catastrophic instance.
Hopefully things improve this fall.