I was very vocal about the quarterback race for the Miami Hurricanes throughout the off-season. I watched every throw that N’Kosi Perry made last year, and every piece of tape on Tate Martell that I could find. At first I thought Perry would win, then I switched to Martell, and I'll be honest, I didn’t think Jarren Williams had a shot to win the starting job. Then when he did win, I was admittedly a little skeptical.
However, Williams proved me wrong against the Florida Gators on Saturday night, even in a 24-20 loss, and I believe he’s the right quarterback moving forward for this team, and so does his teammates and coaching staff.
One of the best examples of this is when Williams drove the Hurricanes on a 12-play 90-yard drive at the end of the first half. On a 3rd-and-15 on their own 26-yard line, and when they hadn’t converted a 3rd-down yet in the game, instead of being conservative they trusted in Jarren, who hit Jeff Thomas for a first down.
One of my favorite throws by Jarren all night. 3rd and 15, Williams steps up and hits Jeff. pic.twitter.com/I4fxmKJyl3— Jarren Williams Fan Club (@hurricanesmarsh) August 26, 2019
There were several times on this drive where Miami could've just ran it and been conservative (3rd and 15, 2nd and 19, 1st and 20) but they didn't, they trusted in Jarren and were aggressive. Love it https://t.co/BBMdNGEN2V— Jarren Williams Fan Club (@hurricanesmarsh) August 26, 2019
That’s the trust and confidence that people have in Williams. During the 2018 season, could the Hurricanes have pulled off a drive like that? I highly doubt it. I’ll take it even further than that, not too many times since Ken Dorsey left could a Miami offense make that drive happen and end up in the end zone with a touchdown.
Even just today on social media, Kosi posted a picture on Instagram of him and Williams, encouraging him. Though a lot of people will brush that off and say it’s nothing, I see much more.
It’s also clear that Jarren can run the Dan Enos offense for Miami as well. Let’s take a look at three plays from the first drive that I believe will be a staple for the Hurricanes throughout this whole season.
First off, sophomore tight end Brevin Jordan is going to be a problem all season for defenses, as I believe he’s the best in the country at his position.
2nd play of the season, and I love this call to Brevin Jordan. Also great blocking by Thomas and DeeJay pic.twitter.com/5wpVystbH2— Jarren Williams Fan Club (@hurricanesmarsh) August 26, 2019
Second, another quick pass, this time to receiver K.J. Osborn on the screen.
Still first drive, another quick screen this time to K.J. Osborn (who I love) and another good block by a Miami receiver (Mike Harley) pic.twitter.com/LUUWXt1X35— Jarren Williams Fan Club (@hurricanesmarsh) August 26, 2019
Then in Gators territory, the play-action tight end screen to Jordan, which is a call that I absolutely love.
First drive still, play action tight end screen to Brevin Jordan. Love love the play call. pic.twitter.com/ZDtVawCSex— Jarren Williams Fan Club (@hurricanesmarsh) August 26, 2019
Even though I predicted Martell to start at QB, myself and so many others have always believed that Williams was best equipped to run the Enos offense. Kosi can launch the ball downfield better than Jarren, yes. Martell is definitely more elusive when it comes to scrambling. But in the pure Enos offense and how it’s supposed to look, Williams is the right guy.
Like here in the second half, this slant to Thomas looks routine, but it’s a throw that is the bread and butter of Enos’ offense.
This is what I want to see. Throw on 1st down, slant to Jeff Thomas. pic.twitter.com/394SE7RP1K— Jarren Williams Fan Club (@hurricanesmarsh) August 26, 2019
Miami scored 20 points, and that’s after Bubba Baxa missing a chip shot field goal, and twice the Hurricanes not scoring anything even though they were twice within the UF 35-yard line.
Now, did he struggle at times? Absolutely. Williams definitely has to learn that sometimes it’s just easier to take the sack instead of trying to keep the play alive, which very rarely will work, but more often than not you’re just creating an even more dangerous situation and will wind up losing more yards.
Then there were far too many times when Williams didn’t get the play off in time and it resulted in a delay of game. As a starting quarterback, that cannot happen, and it shouldn't happen. However, that and also what I mentioned above with taking the sack, all that comes down to inexperience, which will not be the case for long.
Though he never felt sorry for himself, which may be easy to do when your offensive line gives up 10 sacks. Just listen to this interview after the game, Jarren takes the blame for most of the sacks, that shows me everything I need to know as far as his leadership skills.
I know it’s early but the fact that as a freshman Jarren Williams is rallying and stepping up in the pocket despite the less than stellar play up front tells me all I need about his future. Gonna be a dawg when it’s all said and done. As long as the coaches can nurture his mental— Tajh Boyd (@TajhB10) August 25, 2019
Just like I said previously, Jarren will improve, and if you couldn't see his obvious talent displayed on Saturday night, then you don't know much about the game of football. It was his first start against the 8th-ranked team in the country, and he nearly led his team to an upset victory. So everyone, relax. We have the right head coach, finally we have the right offensive coordinator and play-caller, and we have our quarterback.