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Why it was smart for Coach Diaz to name a starter now

Jarren Williams is the ‘Canes starting quarterback vs the Gators

Miami Spring Game Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Manny Diaz chose Monday, August 12th to announce that Jarren Williams will be the Hurricanes starting quarterback against the Florida Gators. The Miami-Florida rivalry is renewed on August 24th at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL. That means Coach Diaz could’ve held his cards until August 23rd but chose not to. He chose the bold route and gave Mr. Williams the nod only two mornings after the ‘Canes second scrimmage of fall camp.

Many fans wanted Coach Diaz to keep the announcement a secret. To keep the Gators shrouded in mystery about who will get the nod. However, Diaz has played the smart move- and for a variety of reasons.

It’s Williams’ time

As a brand new head football coach Manny Diaz is incurring a lot of stress he never had to as a coordinator. Diaz now has massive recruiting, booster, and media obligations. He has the eyes squarely upon himself for better or worse. Much like it’s Manny’s time to shine, it’s Jarren’s as well.

Jarren came to Miami as a highly touted prospect, possibly flirted with a transfer, and decided to stay. If Mark Richt is the one who flipped Williams from Kentucky, Coach Diaz flipped him from the transfer portal and that’s two wins for the ‘Canes. Williams has obviously done everything David Feeley, Manny Diaz and Dan Enos have wanted to get the starting nod over Tate Martell and N’Kosi Perry,

Rather than bury this news and make him stay quiet, let Williams embrace not only the 1st team reps, but also the spotlight that comes with being the leader of the Miami offense. That QB position room has been storied from NFL legends like Jim Kelly, to Heisman Trophy winners in Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torretta, and a slew of NFL draft picks and national champions like Ken Dorsey, Craig Erickson, Kosar, Torretta, and Steve Walsh.

It’s Jarren Williams’ time, let him embrace it.

Miami Spring Game Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

A dry run at the media

In the WWE, the heavy weight champion has typically (Brock Lesnar aside) been known for putting in grueling hours making every morning show, late show, autograph session, Make-A-Wish, and house show (live event, dammit) that the company has to offer. The champion has to be good on the mic both in the ring and on TV, radio, and in film.

The starting quarterback of an ACC football program has to share that same weight, and it’s better to give Williams the chance to navigate the media now, during camp, rather than say after a poor outing in a real game, or even worse, after a tough loss. Williams was a redshirt who only played sparing snaps in 2018 and hasn’t had to handle the media scrutiny up until this point.

It’s good for him to get the whirlwind out of his way now, with two weeks to go, rather than the day before the biggest game of his young career. Let Williams own it, embrace it, and acclimate to being “the man” of the Miami Hurricanes. The spotlight is on him, the fans and media will be scrutinizing every word and step, let him get used to that now.

Getting in front of the news

One way or another, the news was going to leak. College football coaches, like politicians, want to be out in front of the news. It would be cowardly to keep denying a quarterback has been chose when Tate Martell skips practice and transfers; and while rumors are leaked left and right. If you don’t think coaches gossip just use this old adage: telephone, telegram, tellacoach. They gossip, rumor monger, and leak information worse than a teenagers SnapChat.

For instance, I knew Martell had skipped practice before it broke to the news- from an ACC assistant at another school. Coaches love to gossip so as the head coach you could either let the media, Williams’ “private QB coach” or fans set the narrative; or the head football coach of the Hurricanes can set the narrative himself.