Mark Richt on finding a new Hurricanes QB: ‘It may take a minute’

Mark Richt leads a practice in Aug. 2016. (Miami Herald)

Mark Richt leads a practice in Aug. 2016. (Miami Herald)

[Sweaty games, sleepless nights for Larranaga]

If you think Malik Rosier has a leg up on the Hurricanes’ quarterback race by virtue of his game experience, think again.

Entering spring drills — which begin after UM spring break ends next month — Mark Richt doesn’t think Rosier, who has played in seven games and started one in his three years on campus, or any of Brad Kaaya’s returning backups are any better than the other.

And even if Rosier beats out the other five quarterbacks competing for the starting job this fall, there’s no guarantee he’ll remain the starter. Jack Allison could take it, or Evan Shirreffs, the two talented recruits on the way or even walk-on Vincent Testaverde, in a stunner.

This sort of thing is on Richt’s mind often. His mind would be clearer, though, had someone put on a QB-in-waiting performance in practice.

“I think about it a lot,” he said on WQAM on Thursday. “I told all the guys that were behind Kaaya – we all knew Kaaya was going to start. It was pretty evident. I would have liked to see somebody try to beat him out, but nobody thought much of that.

“But it was like, this second-team position is huge. I mean, somebody could have been in the catbird seat, waiting to be the guy, No. 1 going into spring. That never happened. I never saw one guy separate himself from the group.

“Now does that mean it’s a bad thing? Not necessarily. You might have three, four guys that are pretty darn good and I can’t tell which one’s which. But the bottom line is, I think it could have been more settled if somebody would have truly established themselves as the No. 2 last year.”

With freshman Cade Weldon on campus and ready to play this spring, and highly touted freshman N’Kosi Perry arriving “probably May 22,” Richt said, the coach expects he won’t know a starter until the second scrimmage of fall practices, or around Aug. 19 or so. But the starter Sept. 2 against Bethune-Cookman may not be in there when Miami visits Florida State on Sept. 16.

“Whoever starts, hopefully they take off,” Richt said. “Sometimes they don’t, and another guy might get his chance. It may take a minute. They’re all at least anxious to do right.”

More from Richt on WQAM:

What excites him most about who’s coming back?

“It’s hard not to get excited about the front seven on defense,” he said, “and I don’t want to brag too much about them because that just sets everybody up for expectations that are too high, but – we have a solid group of guys that can play.”

On recruiting:

“I can promise you over half” of Miami’s 24 signees will play, Richt said, and “maybe a few of them will end up starting.”

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