Entering Miami in the spring of 2016, Jack Allison had high expectations, saying there was not a throw he couldn’t make.
“No, haven’t found one yet,” Allison said with a smile on National Signing Day in 2016. “I’ll let you know though.”
But after that interview concluded and spring football began, not much was heard of Allison due to the fact that he was backing up a three year starter in Brad Kaaya.
Throughout the season, Allison learned at the hands of Kaaya and was redshirted while performing on the scout team.
“Jack is getting a little bit of reps here and there in 7 on 7 drills,” head coach Mark Richt said in November. “Gets work on scout team, is also in meetings with quarterbacks getting a chance to learn everything. He’s been traveling most every game. All those experiences we think are important for his growth.”
Allison was a valuable player for the scout team by the end of the season, and developed with a year under Richt and Kaaya.
“When you have older guys in front of you like a Brad Kaaya to learn from, it's a great tool for the young guys to learn,” co-offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said. “Especially at the quarterback spot. You get some mental reps so you make less mistakes when you get your opportunity.”
And after Miami’s Russell Athletic Bowl victory, the training wheels came off once Brad Kaaya announced that he would be forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
Now, with Miami announcing the start of spring practice in late March, Allison must use what he learned if he wants to win what Mark Richt has called a wide-open quarterback competition. Allison must fend off veterans such as Malik Rosier and newcomers such as Cade Weldon and N’Kosi Perry to win the job. Most importantly, however, Allison must bring the potential coaches saw in him out of high school to life.
Allison was an Under Armour All-American coming out of high school, and was named to the Opening Elite 11 semifinals, an honor only 30 quarterbacks throughout the nation attained.
Out of Palmetto High School, Allison has always been a strong armed quarterback. One of the most impressive parts about his development year, however, may come off the practice field and in the weight room. As a high school recruit on ESPN.com, Allison was listed at 6’5” 195 lbs.
Once he got to Miami his strength and conditioning program was taken to another level, and Allison added muscle to his frame. Allison still stands at a tall 6’5”, and gained five pounds to move up to 200 lbs before the 2016 season even started.
After all, one year of strength and conditioning will give Allison an advantage, as he now weighs about 20 pounds more than one of his main competitors, N’Kosi Perry.
Perry and early enrollee Cade Weldon will come in with all the flash and attention at camp for the quarterback battle, but the advantage Allison has over them is experience. Although Malik Rosier brings even more experience to the table, they each have a year of football under Mark Richt’s system.
With spring football just around the corner, not even Mark Richt knows who will be the quarterback. Richt said he was looking for someone to separate themselves from the rest of the pack as Miami’s number two quarterback last season, but that did not happen.
Now, as Miami continues mat drills, the pack has grown, and Allison must draw back on the experience he gained in 2016 to enter Hard Rock Stadium as the starting quarterback.