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Early returns strong for Miami Hurricanes QB N’Kosi Perry

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He’s finally taken over the QB1 job, and he’s showing why many (like myself) were so high on his talent

North Carolina v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Ever since he signed with Miami back in 2017, QB N’Kosi Perry has been the heir apparent for the Canes at the game’s most important position.

After sitting out and redshirting as a freshman in 2017, Perry finally overtook Malik Rosier for the starting QB job when he came in during the 3rd series of the FIU game. A 17/25 performance with 3 TDs and 1 INT were enough to seal the deal, and fully vault the talented youngster to the top of the QB room.

While Perry is just beginning to show his talent in games, he’s flashed elite ability before. In addition to re-writing the record books at Ocala (FL) Vanguard HS, the school where Daunte Culpepper once starred, Perry showed his prodigious talents during Canes Camp 2017 after enrolling in May. Plays like this one hinted at the ability that would be seen once Perry finally found his way onto the field:

But raw talent and game-ready skill are two different things. Perry showed the former from the moment he set foot on campus, but the latter he’s just showing now, but MAN, it looks great.

Now that he’s QB1, Perry has shown himself to have great athletic traits and strong performance, too. He’s already helped Miami beat Florida State, throwing 4 TDs vs 0 INTs in the process. And, his talent is just DIFFERENT than his predecessor, Malik Rosier.

Some gifs and vids:

So yeah, from the plays above it’s easy to see why there’s plenty of excitement around Perry.

After 3 “full” games — Perry came in after Malik Rosier played 2 series vs FIU and then exited during garbage time before playing every snap vs UNC and FSU — Perry’s stat line is impressive. He’s 47/83 passing (56.6%, a number that was much higher before the FSU game), for 646 yards, 11 TDs and 3 INTs. And, most importantly, an unblemished team record (though wins are not a QB stat, but that’s a discussion for another day).

Obviously, taking over for an incumbent starter 4 games into the year has Perry’s raw numbers for completions, attempts, and yards lower than most FBS starting QBs at this time, his TD rate is ELITE. Don’t believe me? Fine. Let’s look at the numbers:

That’s right, friends: N’Kosi Perry’s TD rate is trailing only Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) and Kyler Murray (Oklahoma), two consensus Heisman Trophy candidates, and is ahead of two others in Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State) and Steroids McGee, uh, Will Grier (West Virginia). Not even all-world freshman Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), prospective 1st round NFL Draft Pick Justin Herbert (Oregon), or Jake Fromm (Georgia) can claim the TD rate success that Perry has shown so far.

Like I said: Perry’s showing elite skills to go along with his physical talents.

Perry is also 2nd in the ACC in pass efficiency (passer rating), trailing only Lawrence

Perry is also tied for 2nd in the conference in TDs (11), and 6th in yards per attempt (7.8). For a player who has only started 2 games (and played in a couple others), that’s pretty good if you ask me. Perry is also 9th among qualified QBs in completion percentage at 56.6%, but even with that number having decreased after a tough game against FSU, that is STILL improvement of nearly 3% over Miami’s former starting QB, Malik Rosier. And, I fully expect that number to get above 60% in short order (the low number of throws Perry has attempted in games allows for wide variance in this stat early on).

Perry has played extensively (more than 4 drives of action) in 4 games this season: Savannah State, FIU, North Carolina, and Florida State. The only game in which he threw less than 3 TDs was the UNC game, and that was because the Canes only ran 46 offensive plays and scored 3 defensive TDs on the day.

So, Perry has thrown 3+ TDs in 75% of games in which he’s seen significant action.

That’s good. Damn good.

Yes, the FSU game, a game in which Perry went 13-32 passing, could have gone better for Miami’s young signal caller. Even still, Perry had 4 TDs and 0 INTs vs the Noles — that’s nearly 33% of his completions for TDs — so there’s lots to like, even with the completion percentage being low.

Every week, Perry looks more composed, and continues to showcase his immense talents. Whether it’s throwing for 3+ TDs or dodging defender in the backfield or firing pinpoint passes down the seam — seriously, how awesome was that throw to Jeff Thomas from the FSU game?! — Perry is proving to be the elite player he was billed to be as a recruit.

After waiting a season and a half to get his chance, N’Kosi Perry is proving his worth week in and week out. And not a moment too soon if you’re a Miami fan.

Go Canes