As the Miami Hurricanes prepare to hit the Greentree Practice Fields for Spring Practice, we’re back in action (never left, word to LaVar Ball) to preview the positions on the team. We’ve already previewed Defensive Tackles, Slot WRs (full WR preview to come), and Safeties. But today, we take a look at the most important position on the field.
Here are the names to know at this position:
RS Senior Malik Rosier
The only player at this position with starting experience (or any game experience, to be technically correct), Rosier has been intermittently good and bad in his time at Miami. With an 11-3 record as the Canes’ starter, and a record-setting season in terms of total TDs for a Miami QB — a position that has been manned by several Heisman Trophy Winners and NFL Hall of Famers in the past — the highs for Rosier are stratospheric.
But there are many things that the Mobile, AL native needs to improve. Rosier completed jut 54% of his passes in 2017, with that number dwindling to just 44% in the final 3 games of the season, all Miami losses. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I’m not the biggest Rosier fan, and wrote this piece detailing that stance
Despite my feelings, Mark Richt has said that the QB competition this spring starts where 2017 ended: with Rosier as the starter. There are others who look to take that spot (we’ll get to them in a minute), but heading into spring, Malik Rosier will still be QB1 in Miami’s drills. Which, in spite of my preferences, makes sense for a player who helped lead Miami to a 10-3 record in 2017.
RS Freshman N’Kosi Perry
A player with tons of athleticism and potential, Perry spent 2017 redshirting for the Canes. At 6’4” 185lbs, Perry has good height to go along with quick feet and a very strong arm. I wrote about him in depth at signing day 2017, and you can read that whole piece here:
With Rosier firmly entrenched as the starting QB last year, and with some rumors that he may not have picked up the offense quickly, Perry was relegated to yellow hat and clipboard brigade on the sidelines for the Canes. The question is: will that continue or will he take a big step forward?
Perry was Mark Richt’s hand picked QB for the 2017 recruiting class, and was a top-tier prep player. Obviously, there is a big, big difference between HSFB and college, and Perry needs to step his game up to have the success at Miami that he did at Ocala (FL) Vanguard HS.
The talent and athleticism are unquestionably there with Perry. Is the accuracy, comfort in the offense, and consistently high level of play? So far, the answer has been no, but this spring will be a chance for him to show the progression that should be hoped for and expected by a player of his pedigree.
RS Freshman Cade Weldon
Son of former FSU QB Casey Weldon, Cade spent the 2017 season redshirting along with Perry. At 6’3” 212lbs, Weldon also has very good size, a strong arm, and obvious pedigree for the position. I wrote a notebook on him, too, and you can see it right here:
Unlike his freshman brother Perry, Weldon enrolled early and was on campus this time a year ago for the Canes. So, he’s already got a spring, summer, and fall season under his belt heading into this, his 2nd spring practice.
Weldon should be well in control of the concepts of the offense, and able to make the proper reads. He has a strong enough arm to make all the throws, and was a dynamic player at the prep level. But, again, progression needs to be made to see the field and/or leapfrog Rosier for the starting spot.
Often overlooked in the conversation about the QB competition, Weldon is a nice player and solid depth at a minimum. If he takes steps forward, particularly in the area of accuracy, he might surprise people this spring.
Freshman Jarren Williams
A true freshman from Lawrenceville, GA, Williams was in high school just a few months ago. But, like many top-flight QBs in the current era of CFB, Williams graduated early and enrolled at Miami to start the spring semester. Here’s my notebook on him from the early signing period:
At 6’2” 208lbs, Williams ha good size and is well built for the position. Obviously, he’s undergoing a bit of body reshaping now that he’s in a collegiate nutrition and strength and conditioning program, but that’s to be expected.
Williams was a very productive player at the prep level. Having thrown for more than 7,000 yards with 68 TDs and another nearly 1300 yards and 22 TDs rushing, Williams impacted games in many ways during his HS career. A U.S. Army All-American for his efforts, Williams is among the most talented players at the QB position in the 2018 recruiting class.
In terms of his prospects at Miami, the key for Williams this spring is to grasp the offense and have the game slow down for him. The speed of the game picks up at every level, and CFB is a new beat for him to tame. IF he’s able to get a grasp on things and become comfortable (which would ostensibly allow him to play well), Williams has a chance to battle for the starting QB job. BUT, more talented players have struggled with their transition to college in the past, so nothing is a given.
Richt has said that Rosier enters the spring as QB1, so he’ll get the majority of first-team reps. The trio of Perry-Weldon-Williams will all need to use the spring to develop their game and shoe the staff they have the knowledge and ability to be a trusted and dynamic player at the position this season.
Reading between the lines of CMR’s statements, barring injury, Rosier is going to end the spring the way he starts it: as the starter for the Canes.
My personal hope is that a worthy challenger emerges so the QB battle continues into the fall. But, that’s up to one of the youngsters at the position stepping up.