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What if Kaaya Stayed for His Senior Year?

Malik Rosier led the Canes to their most successful season in a decade, but would he have started if Kaaya didn’t leave early?

NCAA Football: Duke at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Two seasons ago, Brad Kaaya declared for the NFL draft following a 9-win Junior campaign.

During his tenure as starting quarterback, he experienced a massive coaching staff change, learning a new offensive system, and multiple frustrating games. Despite Mark Richt and his staff helping him achieve his most successful season as a Cane, Kaaya decided that leaving early was the best decision.

Kaaya’s decision came as a surprise to most, and another year may have helped him reach his full potential. However, the past is the past, and Kaaya did what he thought was best for him, regardless of the doubters.

If he didn’t leave however, the what-if scenario of last season is quite peculiar.

As we know, Malik Rosier brings much needed running ability, but lacks in throwing consistency. With Kaaya having the answers in terms of throwing, both of them seem to have components for running the offense; but neither are a ‘perfect’ fit.

If we were to build a quarterback for the Richt offensive scheme, a combination of Rosier and Kaaya would be excellent. In reality, of course we can’t achieve this, but is the answer already on the roster?

N’Kosi Perry has impressed the staff and fans, Cade Weldon has developed well, and Jarren Williams, although raw, possesses the potential to be the lead man. The quarterback battle next season will be fierce, as all candidates offer their own specialties.

However, if Kaaya had stayed for his Senior year, there wouldn’t be nearly as much of an experience bias favoring Rosier, heading into the 2018-19 season. Theoretically, this could’ve pushed Perry into the starting job over Malik.

For example, against Pittsburgh last season, the Canes’ offense could never get started because of Rosier’s inaccuracy. With Kaaya at the helm, the Canes may have come out on top. With that in mind though, there were games where Malik’s running ability helped us win... something that Kaaya couldn’t of done.

In the end, Kaaya leaving may not have been a bad thing for the Canes, but his throwing ability would be a major benefit. If Rosier can deliver consistently, he can bridge the accuracy gap between his passing game and Kaaya’s, and become a quarterback remembered for leading the Canes to greatness.