Miami’s QB Battle Takes Center Stage At Start Of Spring Football

    Miami lost Brad Kaaya early to the NFL Draft. So Mark Richt's main priority this spring is zeroing in on a new starting quarterback.

    March 22, 2017

    Miami lost Brad Kaaya early to the NFL Draft. So Mark Richt’s main priority this spring is zeroing in on a new starting quarterback.

    Miami opened up spring football practice on Tuesday without Brad Kaaya entrenched as the team’s No. 1 quarterback for the first time in three seasons. The three-year starter under center decided to pursue greener pastures after his junior season, as he declared for the 2017 NFL Draft. Thus, second-year head coach Mark Richt and his offensive staff are trying to determine which player on the roster is best-equipped to take over and run the offense in the fall.

    There are five candidates to replace Kaaya, with the first day of spring practice in Coral Gables being the start of a derby that should be highly contested. The five signal-callers that are vying for the No. 1 job are: 6-foot-1, 216-pound redshirt junior Malik Rosier; 6-foot-5, 216-pound redshirt sophomore Evan Shirreffs; 6-foot-5, 200-pound redshirt freshman Jack Allison; 6-foot-2, 205-pound redshirt junior Vincent Testaverde; and 6-foot-3, 212-pound freshman early enrollee Cade Weldon. Walk-on freshman Augie DiBiase does not figure to be a real player in the competition.

    This summer, 4-star dual-threat quarterback N’Kosi Perry will join the fold. He is a 6-foot-4, 185-pounder from Ocala, FL. Digesting the playbook and becoming familiar with fellow offensive personnel will be a tough task for the true freshman without partaking in spring ball.

    Richt said that while he will likely have a pecking order in mind at the position after the 15 spring practices are completed, a final decision will likely come at some point during fall camp after a few scrimmages.

    Allison brings ideal size and throwing ability to the table, but Rosier has the edge in game experience. Shirreffs is expected to push, while the younger players face an uphill climb. This battle will likely come down to Rosier vs. Allison.

    There is undoubtedly no shortage of talent across the QB depth chart, but the Hurricanes are going to struggle to replace the leadership of Kaaya, who has started since his true freshman season. Whoever earns the trust of his teammates more is going to wind up under center for the Hurricanes’ season opener against Bethune-Cookman at Hard Rock Stadium.

    MORE: Virginia Tech Hokies Spring Practice Preview, Storylines To Watch


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