No question about it, the uncertainty that has ruled Hurricanes spring camp has been whether or not Malik Rosier will remain the starting quarterback.
After a month and a half of debating and practice, head coach Mark Richt has made it clear Rosier is still the starter.
With less than four months away until Miami meets LSU on September 2nd in Dallas, now is the perfect time to preview the Senior Quarterback, and highlight his pros and cons.
Rosier is coming off of a 2017 season which saw him lead Miami to a 10-3 record, their best season since 2003, a trip to their first-ever ACC Championship, and a spot in the Orange Bowl. Other accomplishments for Malik included defeating FSU, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.
During that time, Rosier set the school record for “touchdowns responsible for” with 31. Starting all 13 games in 2017, Rosier has now helped regain Miami’s winning reputation, something that hasn’t been at the program for over 10 years.
Above all, Rosier has had a tremendous spring. After an entire season being the starter, the Mobile native knows the offense, and is competing well against other Quarterbacks, including N’Kosi Perry, someone who fans have wanted to see for a long time.
Another plus for Rosier and the entire offense coming into the new season, is a talent group of receivers. Though losing weapons from 2017 to the NFL like Braxton Berrios and Tight-End Chris Herndon, Miami has been able to almost reload as opposed to rebuild at the Receiver position.
Ahmmon Richards is expected to be fully healthy by the time LSU rolls around in September, is by far Miami’s most talented Receiver, and a future player on Sunday’s. Speedy Sophomore Jeff Thomas has coaches reminiscing of Santana Moss, and is anticipating an outbreak season in 2018.
Lawrence Cager, along with new comers Mark Pope and Marquez Ezzard, round out an extremely talented receiver group. While on Tight-End, Miami has room for incredible potential. Returning is Michael Irvin II, who started the final two games of last season, and has had a great spring. Coming in the summer, are highly talked about new-comers Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory. Jordan is believed to the best recruit in the nation at the Tight End position.
Now to the side where Miami fans will be intrigued. Though winning 10 games last year, Miami lost its final three matchups, and Rosier didn’t exactly play spectacular. In those three losses to Pitt, Clemson and Wisconsin, Malik completed just 44.9 percent of his passes.
Though Clemson was clearly better than Miami, fans remember the losses to Pitt and Wisconsin for Rosier’s shortcomings. Against Pitt, Rosier continually missed receivers. Then in the Orange Bowl vs Wisconsin, he threw three costly interceptions, including a miserable throw in the end zone in the second half, just as Miami looked like they were about to take the lead.
So yes, accuracy is an issue, and a problem that even Mark Richt has addressed. Though, on the bright side, Rosier completed 64.3 percent of his passes during the Spring game several weeks ago.
Along with accuracy, interceptions played a role in Rosier’s streaky play, as he led the ACC with 14 picks thrown last year. Even in games where Miami won, like Virginia Tech, Rosier still threw three interceptions.
At the end of the day, what Malik Rosier brings to the table, and will most likely keep him the starter at seasons beginning, is his experience.
Something that Perry, and talented Freshman Jarren Williams don't have, is a 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive in Tallahassee to beat FSU for the first time in seven years.
So, Canes fans, take a deep breath, and believe in Rosier.