What does Brad Kaaya think of his backup quarterbacks?

CORAL GABLES — He says every job is open — even his. That may be true, but it’s highly unlikely anyone will beat out Brad Kaaya to be the starting quarterback of the Hurricanes.

Essentially, it’s Kaaya keeping a promise to his coaches to work hard. When the team scrimmages at Oxbridge Academy on Saturday, Kaaya will take the first snap, just as he will Sept. 3 against Florida A&M.

In this still from a UM-produced video, quarterbacks Evan Shirreffs (left) and Brad Kaaya perform a drill. (YouTube)

In this still from a UM-produced video, quarterbacks Evan Shirreffs (left) and Brad Kaaya perform a drill. (YouTube)

The job behind him, however, is open. As in, unclaimed.

Thursday, Kaaya was asked for his assessment of those in the running: redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier, who held the role last year; redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, true freshman Jack Allison and redshirt sophomore Vincent Testaverde. While Kaaya runs the first-string offense, the four have been taking equal snaps behind him as Mark Richt tries to see who’s more capable.

“It seems like they’re all picking up the offense really well,” Kaaya said. “I think Evan’s doing a good job with his footwork — he’s the guy in the room, out of all the quarterbacks, even me, he has the best footwork right now and best attention to details.

“Malik’s gotten better. Jack’s pretty good. A few things to learn, but I think he has a strong arm. I think Jack has the strongest arm out of all of us. Vincent’s also doing a good job, too.”

UM would like to redshirt Allison, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound former four-star recruit who enrolled in January. The candidates most likely to win the job appear to be Shirreffs (6-5, 210) and Rosier (6-1, 212). While Shirreffs, from Jefferson, Ga., performed well on the scout team last season, Rosier played in seven games last year and went 29-for-59 for 338 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His best work came in his lone start, when he subbed for a concussed Kaaya in Miami’s thrilling win over Duke (20-for-29 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and one interception).

Neither distinguished themselves in last Saturday’s scrimmage. Rosier went 3-for-7 for 66 yards and two interceptions (one of which, Richt said, stemmed from a faulty decision; the other was a tipped ball). Shirreffs went 4-for-7 for 33 yards. Kaaya set the standard, throwing for 186 yards and four touchdowns on 12-for-21 passing.

Testaverde (6-1, 195) was 1-for-3 for 39 yards and a touchdown. Allison went 0-for-1.

Kaaya, who looks every bit his listed size of 6-4 and 210 pounds, said Richt’s offense demands a quarterback “dedicate some time to it, spend extra hours, and I think all the guys in the QB room have been doing that. … It’s been going good. I like some of the stuff we’re doing.”

Asked about his own improvement, he said he “can’t really tell you guys that yet. The season’s so far away. We’ll know come Week 1 and 2 when live bullets are flying.

“I feel older, of course. I feel more mature. A few months stronger, a few months older, a few months bigger.”

Reader Comments 0