Now that a starting quarterback has been chosen for the Hurricanes, what better time to preview these gun-slingers as they head into the 2019 season for Miami.
Before we even dive into the QB’s for this year, it’s important to understand the trouble Miami has had at this position for over the last decade. After Ken Dorsey left following the 2002 season, the Hurricanes have been trying to find the next guy, but have failed to do so. Talented guys like Brad Kaaya and Stephen Morris have come through the program, but they just didn’t win enough, as Miami has won the ACC Coastal only once (2017) since joining the conference in 2004.
Nearly no point was lower for the Miami passing game than in 2018, when UM ranked 112th nationally as they averaged just 167.3 YPG through the air.
However, there’s great reason to believe that 2019 is the turning point. One of the first things new head coach Manny Diaz did after he was hired was bringing on Dan Enos as the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. With a history of developing QB’s, Enos spent last season with the Alabama Crimson Tide as their QB coach, helping Tua Tagovailoa throw for 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns, including a rating of 199.4 and completion percentage of 69%. UM fans are hoping that Enos can wave his magic wand again, this time in South Florida.
On Monday, Williams was named the starter at QB for UM, after a long off-season competing with N’Kosi Perry and Tate Martell. The Georgia native and once commit to the Kentucky Wildcats, the redshirt freshman has come a long way from almost leaving the program in December of 2018.
Miami’s QB1, Jarren Williams, at Media Day. pic.twitter.com/n5K9rjDUDc— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) August 13, 2019
He saw action in only game last year, but with the help of Dan Enos, Williams lack of experience hasn’t slowed him down as he pushed to be the starter. Standing at a tall 6’2 (seems taller in person), Jarren has great size and throws the prettiest pass out of all the quarterbacks. Throughout fall camp, Williams has been the most consistent passer, and has showcased that in each of Miami’s two scrimmages recently.
DeeJay Dallas on how good new starting QB Jarren Williams looked after Miami’s 2nd scrimmage. Lots of confidence in the new starter. pic.twitter.com/bvxuwXtNqE— Will Manso (@WillMansoWPLG) August 13, 2019
Williams also shed some body fat over the summer working out with coach David Feeley, and has improved on his accuracy passing the football. Improving in his footwork and mechanics were also a main point of emphasis for Jarren.
When did Miami know Jarren Williams was QB1? @CanesFootball offensive coordinator Dan Enos sheds insight on the decision to naming the redshirt freshman as the Hurricanes’ starting quarterback. pic.twitter.com/jFMeMGpBBH— Josh White (@_JoshRWhite) August 13, 2019
While he has limited game experience, I think that the Hurricanes have the starting quarterback in Williams who is going to make Miami’s offense efficient once again.
So at least on Tuesday, Kosi was the second string quarterback at practice, though it hasn’t been decided who will back up Williams when it comes time to play Florida on 8/24.
1. Jarren— Beat UF (@hurricanesmarsh) August 13, 2019
QB depth chart today
The redshirt sophomore has experienced a bumpy road since coming to Miami, but his talent is undeniable. Perry arguably has the strongest arm out of the Canes QB’s, and was solid when he started six games in 2018, throwing for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns and going 4-2.
Rewatching Miami vs Va Tech last year. This was one of the best plays N’Kosi Perry made all season. 3rd and 11, DB comes untouched and rocks Kosi, but he delivers a strike to Cager for the first down. pic.twitter.com/XBPvMOAvhC— Beat UF (@hurricanesmarsh) July 17, 2019
However, the one thing that has plagued Perry this fall camp has been the turnovers. Most notably, Kosi threw an interception and also fumbled the ball during the scrimmage this past Saturday. Accuracy has also continued to hinder Perry’s progression, completing only 50% of his passes last year, he’s still showing inconsistency in that regards now.
N’Kosi Perry with the completion to Jeff Thomas. pic.twitter.com/ZVYY6HBfrE— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) August 3, 2019
At the end of the day though, Kosi still is a very valuable source at QB. He proved that several times in 2018, and has continued to do so throughout the offseason. At 6’4, Perry is the tallest of the Miami quarterbacks, and has flashed his dual-threat abilities. The Hurricanes have to feel very comfortable with Kosi as one of their backups.
Finally we have Tate, the Las Vegas product who transferred from the Ohio State Buckeyes earlier this year. From awaiting the approval from the NCAA to play this season, to not being named the starter, Martell has endured a wild 2019 thus far.
While he was the favorite at first to win the job, it proved tougher than expected to adapt to the Dan Enos offense, especially becoming an under-center quarterback. For Martell, inconsistency proved to be his Achilles heel, and his inaccuracy was an issue.
Video from #Canes practice. Tate Martell overthrows a receiver and hears it from Dan Enos immediately. Jarren Williams (15) does it the right way moments later. FYI, it is another hot day out here. 98 degrees on the heat index pic.twitter.com/CCcML7XXBn— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) August 8, 2019
Still, in my opinion, Tate is the most athletic of the three quarterbacks and is a great football player, he may not be the best drop-back passer, but he’s a great football player. Martell’s skillset could be very beneficial for the Hurricanes in 2019, and he can still help put points on the board.
When it’s all said and done, the Hurricanes are at a good place with their QB’s. Williams is a solid starter, and both Perry and Martell are solid backups who can win games for Miami if their number is called. This has been the most plagued position at UM for over 15 seasons, is 2019 the year that the quarterback turns it around?