2019 Spring Preview: QB

2019 Spring Preview: QB

Roman Marciante
Additions: Tate Martell (Ohio State Transfer)

Departures: Malik Rosier (Graduation)

Miami quarterbacks finished 113th in the country and all combined for a 51.1% completion rate last year. That percentage was only higher than triple option-oriented Georgia Tech in the ACC. Add the fact that three out of the four scholarship quarterbacks were suspended last year, and it's safe to say the quarterback room was often times in complete and utter disarray.

New Miami offensive coordinator Dan Enos has been installing a new offense since his arrival and Canes' fans should be excited. I recently sat down with Malik Rosier on an "Orange Bowl Boys" episode and he recounted sitting in on a QB meeting with Enos. He said that the motions and shifts were impressive and that one play in particular had four options just for the wide receiver alone based on coverage. This offense is gravitating to a much needed "pro-centric" scheme that is diversified. This is going to be a key for the quarterbacks this spring moving forward. Who will master this offense first? That will be the question that whichever quarterback answers quickest will have the inside track to become the starter in 2019.

N'Kosi Perry played in 11 games last year and posted a 4-2 record as a starter. He was the leading passer on the team with 1,091 passing yards and finished with 13 touchdowns vs. six interceptions. Although he saw the most action out of any remaining scholarship player on the roster, it is natural to maintain some trepidation about his potential to reclaim the starting spot in 2019. Perry found himself suspended last year and ultimately lost his starting job back to the redshirt senior Rosier after a poor performance vs. Virginia. Richt at one point was also vocal about Perry and his purported lack of diligence with the playbook. Undoubted and unquestionable was the fact that Perry was the number one recruit on Richt's board. Unfortunately, he was not the number one recruit on Enos'.

Tate Martell was at Ohio State for the first two years of his career and had a redshirt year as a freshman. He had limited stats the following year sitting behind Dwayne Haskins and threw for only 23-28 with 269 passing yards, including two rushing touchdowns. InSight did a "From the Perch" article on Martell and he obviously brings a unique skill set to the Gables. He is a fast-twitch, dual-threat, hybrid, quick-draw gunslinger who has the moxie Hurricane fans have been clamoring for. There is only one little issue here: As of this moment, the NCAA still has NOT cleared his waiver and his playing future next year is unknown. InSight will obviously keep you up to date as news unfolds with Martell's status.

Jarren Williams was a consensus top 10 quarterback by all major recruiting services out of high school, but saw limited action last year in a redshirt capacity. Williams only competed vs. Savannah State and he completed only one pass while adding a rushing touchdown on the ground in that contest. Williams actually at one point was rumored to transfer and seemed destined to find harbor elsewhere. #15 has recently slimmed down (actually had a bet with former QB coach Jon Richt of who could lose more weight) and has reached out to former Hurricanes' quarterbacks consistently to help him in his development. Now reengaged and motivated seeing a potential starting spot up for grabs, Williams looks to stake a claim in 2019.

Cade Weldon, like Williams, made his collegiate debut vs. Savannah State. And like Williams (and Perry) last season, he found himself suspended too. A redshirt sophomore who only has 2 career pass attempts and one rushing touchdown to his credit, Weldon realistically will spend his career as a backup unless major catastrophic injury happens to the quarterbacks ahead of him (we do not wish this in any capacity). A son of a former NFL quarterback should not be this badly neglected, but the off the field issues need to resolve before any reconsideration of the stance should be entertained.

Peyton Matocha will not participate in the race this spring, but will arrive this summer from Texas as a 2019 signee to begin learning the playbook and adjusting to the college game.

Bottom Line

The stage is set and this spring will be crucial for all the quarterbacks on the roster. An Enos offense will challenge them. Typically, any new system does. There will be new verbiage, concepts, motions, shifts, plays, options etc., so this is no time for any quarterback to fall asleep behind the wheel. Ultimately the diversification Miami so desperately needed along the offensive side of the ball comes with a cost. The cost is being forced to adapt and learn at a breakneck pace that is typically customary in any true pro-style offense. Game plans change week-to-week and prior to that, the installs take months.

Richt hampered this offense last year. Period. I had the distinct pleasure to interview two former quarterbacks in that system. And when you ask, "True or False: The game plan couldn't have changed more than 6% from week to week", and the quarterback replies, "True", or when you ask a former quarterback, "Who's offense was more complicated, your high school's or Miami's under Richt?", and the quarterback replies, "About the same," you can now sense my concern about going from simplicity with Richt to complexity under Enos.

If you did not grasp things then as a quarterback under Richt (on and off the field), I just don't see how you instantly are going to grasp things now. This is going from algebra 101 to advanced calculus without a calculator. So this issue will go way beyond simply involving a quarterback's skill; being able to spin it will only take you so far these days. Enos does not look like he will be a guy who will handcuff himself with mirrored concepts just because you cannot read the whole field. And Manny Diaz doesn't look like a head coach who will sit idly by and be complicit with suspension after suspension, especially from the most critical and most important position on the field.

In closing, someone in that quarterback room is going to have to take that job seriously at some point. Someone in that quarterback room is going to have to literally commit to the craft. Rosier, the former embattled and polarizing quarterback, said it best when he said, "I have been the starting quarterback for a winning season at Miami and I have been someone's back up. I can promise you there is no better feeling than being the starting quarterback of a winning season at Miami." That was the advice he wanted to pass on to the rest of the quarterback room and I would listen if I were them. Because smart men learn from their own mistakes. Wise men learn from the mistakes of others. Coaching aside, there was a lot of mistakes made by quarterbacks last year. And Miami simply cannot afford those mistakes any longer.

Comments (56)

Great read Roman, thanks for the write up mate. I will say that I agree, what concerns me is who will grasp the concepts and play calling that will be necessary for whoever starts at QB to be successful? The only one who has any experience in a modern offense at the collegiate level is Tate. Here’s hoping that the NCAA doesn’t ***** Miami yet again in their ruling over his eligibility. We should’ve heard by now what his status is for this season. The only other QB I have faith in is Jarren - per your article it seems the light switch flipped for him and that he’s now taking the grind of the position to heart. Here’s praying one of those 2 end up the Spring in the lead for the starting job.
We can’t write off Nkosi and you can’t blame him because Richt ran a simple offense. We’re upset that he isn’t studying the playbook but when he does and audibles the kid gets ridiculed and benched by Richt. The best man is going to win but let’s stop taking shots at Kosi. He was a top 10 QB coming out of HS nationally. If Tate beats him out, Tate wins but I’m not giving the job away.
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to two of the four listed above (disclaimer one was at a party and one was at school between classes so a very different environment and mental state). From the moment jarren opens his mouth you can tell you’re speaking to an intelligent dude. The second Kosi opens his mouth you feel like you’re talking to a brick. For that reason alone I’m putting my money on Jarren, however, assuming the waiver goes through, martell adds a very interesting twist
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Some lucky guy is about to become the next great QB from the U. Tate has the edge(pending waiver ) but Jarren is going to give him a run. I hate that I feel this way but I think Perry and Weldon will do something stupid to hurt their chances.
Please baby Jesus light a fire under JW to get him to wake up and take this opportunity seriously.
I will tell you what, that interview from malik was pure gold and he dropped some gems. I’m sure most have said stuff about malik on here but it’s clear his development at the position or lack thereof was beyond his control. Shout out to malik man, hope the guys at qb take his advice. Gained a new level of respect for him honestly after listening to that interview

Really excited about this competition, I truly Believe that martell and Williams will be the 2 to watch in this competition and I’m fine with either one of them starting
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We can’t write off Nkosi and you can’t blame him because Richt ran a simple offense. We’re upset that he isn’t studying the playbook but when he does and audibles the kid gets ridiculed and benched by Richt. The best man is going to win but let’s stop taking shots at Kosi. He was a top 10 QB coming out of HS nationally. If Tate beats him out, Tate wins but I’m not giving the job away.
Really, wtf, CMR did run a SIMPLE offense, guess who couldn’t grasp it, or was too lazy too. Top 10 Qb in HS, gets y’all in the door at a big D1, it remains to be seen if the kid can elevate that talent and evolve to be a top 10 CFB QB. Takes hard work and focus, something Kosi hasn’t displayed yet. Here’s hoping given a clean slate he will get it and justify that top 10 rank.
Tate, the rest can fight for the backup position.
Based off all that the job is Martell's to lose
I disagree. There's nothing that says this is Martell's job. No one even knows if he can read defenses any better than the other QBs. This is a competition. There are NO favorites!!!! Just fan favorites.

The guy that masters the offense and can make plays will win the starting job.

May the best man win!!!!