Miami Hurricanes Preview: Quarterbacks

No more worrying about Jacory Harris interceptions for Miami fans in 2012.  Harris and the rest of the 2008 Miami Northwestern recruiting class are gone, for better, or for worse.  Coach Al Golden, and Canes fans, are hoping to turn the page to bigger and better, and less frustration from the quarterback position.

Junior Stephen Morris is the favorite to land the starting gig this fall.  He started four games and appeared in six as a true freshman when Jacory Harris was hurt.  Last season he failed to take the job from Harris when the new coaching staff was hired and started just one game (at Maryland when Harris was suspended) while appearing in five games in mop-up duty.

Stephen Morris was injured (back surgery) and missed spring ball and a chance to solidify his claim to the starting job.  At 6’2″ and 214 lbs with a powerful arm he certainly looks the part.  Morris has some speed and even earned time as a “running” option for the Canes a year ago.  His decision-making is the biggest area of growth that needs to be seen.  His career 7-11 TD-INT ratio in two seasons is concerning.

The top competition for the quarterback job will come from Memphis transfer Ryan Williams (6’6″, 225).  In his freshman season with the Tigers Williams started 10 games throwing for over 2000 yards with 13 TD and 10 INT.  The Miami native (Pembroke Pines) decided to transfer back close to home and sat out last season.  He probably needed it to recover from the 31 sacks he took for the 1-11 Tigers.

Redshirt sophomore Ryan Williams got the majority of snaps in spring, but hardly took advantage.  Reviews were mixed at best, and his 0 TD-2 INT performance in the Orange and Green game hardly gave him momentum heading to the fall.

This will be a competition for the starting quarterback spot.  Both are considered on an even-footing right now, but it won’t take long to find a winner.

Golden reiterated that his goal is to name the starter either Aug. 13 or 19, both days following scrimmages.  He said he is not “a fan” of the two-quarterback system.

The other quarterbacks on the roster are Gray Crow and Preston Dewey.  Both are freshman and neither is expected to see the field this year.

Golden wouldn’t commit to redshirting Crow and/or Dewey, both of whom arrived in time for spring practice.  He did concede that he “would love to have symmetry at the quarterback position,” so it appears either Crow or Dewey will get tagged with a redshirt.

I may have been a bit hard on Jacory Harris to start, but the reality is that slide to mediocrity in Hurricanes football has coincided with mediocrity from the quarterback position in Coral Gables.  From the time Ken Dorsey graduated things have gone downhill.  Quarterback-U has been anything but for a decade now.  If that is going to change, it is most likely to from a breakout season for Stephen Morris.