At the height of their recent power in the early 2000’s, the Miami Hurricanes were led by several players, but one player’s voice seemed louder than the rest, and it was quarterback Ken Dorsey. At the most important times, his voice was the most vocal. He held guys in check, and while he didn’t do it alone, you always knew you could count on Dorsey.
Coming this January, it will mark 16 years since Miami last played in a National Championship game, and when you look back at the quarterbacks that have come through this program since Dorsey left, it’s pretty clear to see that one of the glaring problems is at the quarterback position.
This program, that proudly boasts five national championships and plenty of other things, hasn’t had a title-caliber quarterback since #11 took the field. Whether it was Brock Berlin, Kyle Wright (vomit), Kirby Freeman, Jacory Harris or even Malik Rosier (double-vomit), nobody under-center has been able to take the Canes back to where they belong.
The thing is, we’re not even demanding 400-yard and four-touchdown performances by said-quarterback, but we need accountability, we need leadership, we need a leader. Hell, Dorsey wasn’t nearly as talented as guys like Gino Toretta, Bernie Kosar, maybe even Brad Kaaya, but leadership isn’t shown in completion percentage or arm strength.
Who Ken Dorsey who went 38-2 at Miami and was robbed of 2 National Titles? pic.twitter.com/f2bLk4Hsgt— Taylorgang26 (@jackgirard2) July 31, 2018
Even when we thought that maybe, just maybe, Rosier could be the guy to lead the Hurricanes to national prominence once again, he failed, and succumb to the misleading and disappointing progression of the Miami offensive coaching staff, and his own lack of confidence.
Miami has too much talent in their QB room for Richt to repeatedly trot out Malik Rosier with a straight face and believe that the fan base will still be on board. That was embarrassing yesterday.— Mike McDaniel (@MikeMcDanielCFB) December 28, 2018
In my honest opinion, I believe that 2019 is the most crucial off-season at the University of Miami in many years. A main reason for that is because Richt is at a crossroads, particularly at the most important position in the game, the quarterback.
I continue to believe, as well as others do, that N’Kosi Perry could honestly be that guy, but let’s be real, it’s been a very bumpy road since he signed his letter of intent to the U almost two years ago. Plenty of issues have arose, resulting in coach Mark Richt’s hesitancy to make Perry “THE” guy at quarterback for the Hurricanes.
On one hand you have Perry, who has shown glimpses of greatness. Leading the largest comeback in the history of the UM-FSU rivalry, and even his play against teams like UNC, FIU and Virginia Tech, reminded us why he ranked as a top-20 quarterback coming out of high school as well as one of the best dual-threat QB’s in the nation.
Highest TD% of QBs with at least 75 pass attempts:— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) October 10, 2018
1. Tua Tagovailoa: 16.8
2. Kyler Murray: 15.6
3. N’Kosi Perry: 13.3
4. Dwayne Haskins: 12.6
5. Will Grier: 11.9
via @SportsInfo_SIS pic.twitter.com/jU9XMpVCPX
Then on the other hand, you have his immaturity issues that has risen throughout the 2018 season. I’m one of the biggest supporters of Perry, and that’s why it’s disheartening to see what has surfaced in the past three months. Whether it was the video with all of the money, the sexually explicit video, Perry hasn’t conducted himself as the starting quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes off the field.
You also have Jarren Williams, the one who many have thought could be the guy to help bring glory back to the University of Miami program. Extremely talented coming out of high school, and still is, he just hasn’t been given the chance.
Richt says Jarren Williams was going to play at the very end of the game. Said N’Kosi didn’t deserve to start, but he was second team. #UM— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) December 28, 2018
The problem with Williams is the on-going question, when are we going to see him play? At several points during the year, we were certain that the debut of #15 would come, and then we were shortchanged. It all came full-circle last week, when Williams announced that he would be transferring from the program. Then, the next day it came out that he would stay at Miami. To make matters worse, with Rosier struggling with three interceptions in the Pinstripe Bowl, Richt continued not to be play Williams, who sat cold and ready on the sideline.
So Jarren Williams' dad tells 247sports, which originally reported that Jarren would transfer, that Jarren has been convinced by Mark and Jon Richt to stay. Was unhappy he didn't play more, told he can compete in 2019— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 21, 2018
If you aren’t already sad at reading this article, or even reminiscing about the good ole’ days, the Hurricanes currently have zero quarterbacks signed in the 2019 recruiting class. They had a chance to land Clemson-transfer Kelly Bryant, a quarterback who had an outstanding resume during his time under Dabo Swinney, although it fell through due to several reasons.
“When Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant set his Miami official, there were a couple of Tweets sent out from Cane players (Lingard and Williams) expressing that the Canes didn't need QB help.”— miami aficionado (@MiamiJunkie) November 20, 2018
“According to source close to Kelly, those tweets are the reason Bryant canceled his visit”
More recently, Justin Fields is looking to transfer from Georgia, however it’s still unlikely if he’ll be wearing the green and orange anytime soon, even though Canes fans would do nearly anything for him to sport the U. Besides these two, there are still several quarterbacks in the college football market looking to transfer.
Anyway you look at it, the QB situation is still very much up in the air at Miami. Recruiting is over in several weeks, and though Perry, Williams and even Cade Weldon are options, you’re not expanding your choices if you don't land another prospect. It also adds insult to injury that Mark Richt is over the offense, and Jon Richt is the quarterback coach, with small chances of that changing anytime soon.
In the last two seasons, quarterbacks for Miami have averaged just a 52.2 completion percentage, and in 2018, the Canes dropped to throwing for an average of only 167.3 yards per game.
The Hurricanes have a championship-caliber defense, and it showed that this season, and even with Manny Diaz gone as coordinator, Miami will still have stellar players on that side of the ball for several years. You have receivers like Mike Harley, Mark Pope, Lawrence Cager (hopefully), Jeremiah Payton and also an All-American caliber tight-end in Brevin Jordan, you MUST figure out the quarterback situation.
2019 is going to be do-or-die for Richt, the former quarterback at Miami, and whether that QB is to be found in recruiting/grad transfer, or on the team already, finding the next great signal-caller for the Hurricanes is one of the things that coach Richt will have to do if he is to continue his tenure in Coral Gables.