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Miami Hurricanes Football: 8/23 Fall Camp Wrap-up

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Malik Rosier gives first interview as Miami’s starting QB, plus plenty of news and notes following Wednesday’s practice.

Malik Rosier speaking about being named first team QB after practice.
State of the U/Stefan Adams

Rosier gives thoughts on being named starter

It hasn’t really seemed to sink in yet for Malik Rosier that he is the starting quarterback of the Miami Hurricanes. It probably really won’t until he steps out on the field for the opening snap against Bethune-Cookman on September 2nd.

Until then, though, there’s still fall practice to finish up. After he was named starter yesterday, it was time for the team to go through drills. As the Canes have been rotating QB’s, usually, the coaches tell the QB’s on the spot who would start out the day with the ones and Rosier was hesitant to walk out onto the field without first asking.

“Coach, what’s the rotation for quarterbacks?” Rosier asked QB coach Jon Richt. “He was like, ‘Malik, you’re with the ones!’ and I was like, ‘Oh, okay coach,’” Rosier said. “It was one of those things we kind of joked about.”

“I haven’t really got the chance to sit down and say, ‘Wow, I’m the starting quarterback for the University of Miami,’” Rosier said. “It will probably come sometime soon. I got a little freer today. I’ll probably relax and talk to my mom about it. It’ll be nice.”

At the end of the day though, Rosier was relieved to finally put the internal competition behind him so the team could really start to come together, rally behind him, and focus on their goals for the upcoming season.

“It’s one of those things where sometimes you stress out and it’s like, ‘Man, am I going to be the guy?’ Some days, when you watch film, N’Kosi is (throwing) great balls, Cade is throwing great, Evan is throwing great. At any time, any quarterback can come in and step in and lead this team. That was the big thing for me, to just play relaxed and just be myself every day.”

Malik Rosier.
State of the U/Stefan Adams

“Consistency” seemed to be the big word of the day that was “consistently” being thrown around, and Rosier felt that bringing his A-game everyday led him to the starting role.

“For me, and even for the coaches, they just want to see consistency,” Rosier said. “They don’t want to see me play one way one week and then another week, play another way. I think that was the biggest thing for them, just to see the quarterback they want consistently grow and consistently get better. That’s one of the things I think that I proved throughout these last few weeks.”

Rosier then went through the process of how head coach Mark Richt named him starter yesterday. Richt entered the QB meeting room before practice and gathered all the QB’s around.

“(Richt) was just like, ‘Malik, I’m naming you my starter,’” Rosier said, ‘Evan (Shirreffs), you’re my second string.’ He told Cade (Weldon) and N’Kosi (Perry) to keep battling, keep learning and keep doing what they’ve been doing the whole camp. For me, it was a very energizing feeling to know that Coach Richt has enough trust in me to name me the starter for Week 1.”

When the news broke, Rosier received congratulations from all around Canes nation, including his competition, current and former teammates, and even Edgerrin James and Gino Torretta.

“The big thing I want to say is thanks to (my teammates),” Rosier said. “N’Kosi gave me a shoutout on Instagram, that was huge love. The first person to actually tell me congratulations was Evan Shirreffs, which means so much to me, and Mark (Walton) and Braxton (Berrios). All the guys came around me and that’s the big thing – making sure whosever in there at quarterback, that the guys supported him. I think the biggest congratulations besides Brad (Kaaya) was Edgerrin James. He actually hit me up, telling me congratulations and that he’ll see me and talk to me soon. I also had Gino Torretta hit me up on Twitter, he told me congratulations and that if I have any questions, that he would help me out as well. So just some of the older guys coming back and helping me out. That means the world to me, that they’re still here to support us.”

Kelly. Kosar. Testaverde. Walsh. Erickson. Torretta. Dorsey. Rosier is aware of the tradition at “Quarterback U” and hopes to add his name amongst the greats.

“It’s a great history,” Rosier said. “Me and Brad still communicate every day. That’s one of my best friends, him and David (Njoku). We still talk. We talk about NFL stuff, we talk about college. He’s still helping me out. It’s different going from being a back-up behind Brad to actually starting now. He’s still helping me out. It’s huge to follow the legacy of great quarterbacks.”

Brown breaks down QB decision, rest of offense

OC/RB coach Thomas Brown.
State of the U/Stefan Adams

OC/RB coach Thomas Brown was obviously a part of the decision making process to choose the starting QB. Brown and the other offensive coaches had a tough decision to make, so just what was it that made them feel comfortable going with Rosier? In a word, “Consistency.”

“He was able to be the same guy every single day, put the offense in the best spot to be successful,” Brown said. “Malik did a really good job of being consistent. Also taking care of the football: he did a great job with that.”

When speaking of Rosier as a leader, Brown highlighted his personality, saying guys respond well to him. But what else does Rosier have to work on?

“Be consistent, continue to develop,” Brown said. “I think he has a long way to go along with the rest of our offense as well. He’s taken the lead, it’s kind of his job to lose. He’s done a good job so far.”

Head coach Mark Richt said yesterday that he was not looking to rotate QB’s back and forth and Brown agreed with that.

“You have continuity with the offense (to think about), one or two guys with different cadences or different mannerisms in the huddle,” Brown said. “It’s a lot easier to have one guy kind of manage it.”

Brown is high on second string RB Travis Homer and gave him extended reps with the ones last scrimmage to see how he responded.

“That was important,” Brown said. “Travis has been a very tough kid, reliable. … he had a couple of nice runs (in the scrimmage) in the open field, broke a couple of tackles, made a couple of guys miss.

Walk-ons look to be leading the way at fullback, and LB Mike Smith, who was previously said to be working at fullback part-time, went unmentioned in the competition.

“We’re trying a couple of different guys there,” Brown said. “It’ll be a long competition. We don’t have one on scholarship right now but we have four or five walk-ons competing for that spot, so we’ll see what happens.”

When asked about TE Michael Irvin II, Brown noted his improvement but still wants to see more from the young legacy.

“He can catch the ball well in space, is a pretty good route runner, does a good job at the point of attack when he’s focused, when his mind is in the right spot,” Brown said. “He should be doing it every day. He’s made progress.”

Quarterman, St. Louis, Langham react to QB news, talk upcoming season

LB Shaq Quarterman.
State of the U/Stefan Adams

For the players, they were ready to get the QB decision out of the way and focus on the season. And the team appears to have no shortage of confidence that Rosier can get the job done.

“I think with him we’re going in the right direction,” said starting MLB Shaq Quarterman. “I definitely have confidence in him. I was happy to have a verdict, but honestly I was just more focused on the defense.”

“(Rosier winning) the job, I feel he really pushed himself through the fall, spring,” said WR Darrell Langham.

Also, RT Tyree St. Louis said on Rosier: “Malik’s funny... he’s a team guy, not a lazy person, doesn’t let anyone slack off, holds guys accountable.”

The buzz is as high around the program as it’s been in years. The Hurricanes are chomping at the bit for the season to start and, in Quarterman’s words, “hit somebody else”.

“We’re definitely ready for the opener, ready for the entire season,” St. Louis said. “I’m really excited for this year. A lot of expectations come from last year: with a year under our belts we’ll be a lot better.”

“I feel everything I worked on in the spring has helped me out to what I’m doing right now,” Langham said. “If I keep pushing... play big... anything can happen... I feel like I’ll be a part of the receiver rotation (come the season).”

One of Miami’s goals this upcoming season is to win the ACC Championship. However, championship-level teams have depth throughout the roster; the Hurricanes seem to be coming along in that department and younger players are stepping up.

"If there's no drop-off (between the first and second team) then you're a very good team, and I feel as though at linebacker we're getting to that,” Quarterman said. “Everybody's getting better every day. With that, we're going to be a great defense."

“(Navaughn Donaldson’s) a truck, a moving house,” St. Louis said on the freshman offensive lineman. “He’s a young guy, really eager.”

Notes

  • The third and final scrimmage of fall camp will be held tomorrow, Thursday 8/24.

  • Ahmmon Richards is still being held out due to a tweaked hamstring. He is not expected to play in the scrimmage tomorrow.

  • True freshman RB Robert Burns has been cleared for full-contact coming off his shoulder injury, per coach Brown.

  • OL KC McDermott and LB Waynmon Steed were both back in action after being held out with undisclosed injuries yesterday.

  • In other undisclosed injury news, DT Kendrick Norton was held out today and was off to the side riding the exercise bikes along with OL Zalon’tae Hillery and WR Evidence Njoku (hyperextended knee). Doesn’t look to be anything significant with Norton; Njoku and Hillery are on “Redshirt Watch”.

  • Mike Smith got a look at first team WILL linebacker this morning, ahead of Mike Pinckney and Darrion Owens.

  • The 2nd-Team OL is rounding into form and looks to be as so: LT Kai-Leon Herbert, LG Corey Gaynor, C Hayden Mahoney, RG Jahair Jones, RT George Brown.

  • In receiver drills, Mike Harley and Jeff Thomas were looking as smooth as a baby’s bottom, effortlessly catching passes and gliding upfield.

  • Lightning delayed practice this morning for about a half an hour, the first time that’s happened all fall camp. The indoor practice facility can’t come soon enough.