2018 Miami Hurricanes Camp Preview: Anybody ready to push Malik Rosier for starting quarterback job?

The Hurricanes are back on Greentree on Saturday for the start of camp. This week, we will take a look at the biggest questions surrounding the Hurricanes entering the first day of practice. Today we begin our series with this question: Are any of the underclassman quarterbacks ready to push Malik Rosier for the starting job?

N’Kosi Perry (left) is entering his redshirt freshman season. (Matt Porter/The Palm Beach Post)

The Hurricanes’ starting quarterback for the season opener looks to be set — Malik Rosier. But it’s what’s behind him on the quarterback depth chart that has created excitement surrounding the position entering fall camp.

While Rosier will very likely be the starter when Miami opens the season against LSU on Sept. 2 in Arlington, Texas, the added depth at the position is the only reason there’s even a slight sense of uncertainty. The quarterbacks behind Rosier are redshirt freshmen N’Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon, and true freshman Jarren Williams. Continue reading “2018 Miami Hurricanes Camp Preview: Anybody ready to push Malik Rosier for starting quarterback job?”

Hurricanes coach Mark Richt on quarterback situation: ‘Malik is the starter’

Malik Rosier #12 of the Miami Hurricanes looks on before the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl against the Wisconsin Badgers at Hard Rock Stadium on December 30, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After spending the spring insisting the quarterback race had not been decided yet, coach Mark Richt arrived to the ACC’s annual kickoff event and made it clear that redshirt senior Malik Rosier is the starter. Continue reading “Hurricanes coach Mark Richt on quarterback situation: ‘Malik is the starter’”

Malik Rosier isn’t ready to give up his job and has fought through shoulder pain to prove it

Malik Rosier, who has won 11 of 13 career starts as Miami’s quarterback, leads the Hurricanes against Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl Saturday night. Good stuff, right?

Malik Rosier of the Miami Hurricanes rushes against the Pittsburgh Panthers on November 24, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Not good enough for many fans who were over the moon about Miami’s 10-0 start and are now seeking someone to blame for those consecutive losses to Pittsburgh and Clemson to end the regular season.

Let’s begin by blaming Clemson for being the No. 1 team in the nation and the defending national champion. Proven power like that has a tendency to rend the sturdiest game plan.

The Pittsburgh clunker is harder to swallow, a 24-14 road loss during which Rosier was briefly benched in favor of backup Evan Shirreffs. That day would have been N’Kosi Perry’s time to shine if he weren’t in the final stages of a true freshman season that has been all about learning and redshirting. Next summer, coach Mark Richt will have his choice of Perry or new signee Jarren Williams or, what, more of Malik?

My advice is don’t count Rosier out so quickly. He’ll fight like a demon to keep his job in 2018, even though his comments on the matter during a Thursday Orange Bowl media session were borderline angelic.

“If N’Kosi or Jarren come in and beat me, then my cap’s off to them,” Rosier said. “I’ll support them the whole way. I’ll help them in any way I can…You can ask N’Kosi himself. I want him to be as great as he can be because if there’s no competition I won’t get any better. The only way I can grow is if someone pushes me to be better.”

That’s the voice of a leader, protecting against division within the team and projecting a little, too. If you want to be starter for Miami at any position, prove that there’s no better option. If you want to suit up for Miami, period, prove that you belong.

Expect Rosier to do just that on Saturday night, taking on the No. 6 Badgers with an eye toward firming up his relationship with Richt. The coach chose him last summer based on the fullest grasp of Miami’s offense system. Now, with a bruised throwing shoulder refreshed by three weeks free of continued pounding, it’s time for Rosier to demonstrate his full grasp on Miami’s future, too.

Don’t bet against it. This guy has been hurting since the North Carolina game on Oct. 28, when he briefly left a tense 24-19 road victory so that the possibility of a broken collarbone or some other disaster could be ruled out.

“They said ‘If you can throw, throw, and if you can’t, just let us know,’ ” said Rosier, who popped a couple of Aleve and returned to complete a career-best passing day of 356 yards.

He’s been letting the Miami training staff know pretty much every day since with a steady discipline of early-morning treatments on his sore shoulder, sometimes calling him out of bed at 5:20 a.m., followed by class and practice and often two more hours of treatment in the evening.

Richt surely couldn’t spare Rosier with games against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame coming on consecutive weeks in November. Already the Hurricanes had lost leading rusher Mark Walton to season-ending injury and eventually they would lose prime receiving targets Ahmmon Richards and Chris Herndon, too.

“Everyone says that the body follows what your mind says,” Rosier said. “It was one of those things where I was going to have to suck it up and play or I was going to just have to give the job up. I’m not ready to give the job up.

“That Sunday and Tuesday practice before the Virginia Tech game I could barely pick up a ball, my shoulder was so sore and, like, damaged.”

Makes sense, then, that Rosier’s passing night against the Hokies was nothing special, with three balls caught by Virginia Tech defenders and only 10 by his teammates. The answers came in different ways, however, with the quarterback rushing for 84 yards and one touchdown in Miami’s 28-10 victory. Matter of fact, Rosier caught a gadget pass from Braxton Berrios for 17 yards, too.

This guy’s not backing off. Wisconsin’s players certainly expect a strong performance from him. Badgers linebacker T.J. Edwards compares Rosier to Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, the only quarterback to beat Wisconsin this year, with the distinction that Rosier is “a little more dynamic” as a running threat.

Encouraging, but Rosier is more excited about the zip he says has returned to his passing since the hard contact of the regular season ended.

“You can tell (in Orange Bowl practices) that my arm is feeling better,” Rosier said. “Some of the throws that I was underthrowing, now I’m hitting the guys in stride.”

So says the man with 25 touchdown passes and just 11 interceptions this season. Good stuff, but there’s always the notion that Perry’s arm, described by Berrios as “by far the strongest on the team,” would be greater.

Can’t kill all that with a win over Wisconsin, but it would keep the talk going and, fair or not, that’s probably the best Rosier can ever hope for around here.

Can’t say that ACC title game disaster was a total dead end, not when Miami clearly is on the right route

CHARLOTTE, NC -Braxton Berrios of the Miami Hurricanes looks on against the Clemson Tigers in the second quarter during the ACC Football Championship at Bank of America Stadium on December 2, 2017. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – You’ve got to be in it to win it. That’s what Miami will take out of Saturday night’s 38-3 collapse in the ACC Championship game, a stage no other Hurricanes team had reached.

There’s no need to think much more about it. Some teams, like Clemson, are built to win national championships, and maybe even to string a few of them together. They start out good and get better as the season goes along, a product of talent and depth and consistent coaching.

Miami should get there soon, if the 10-2 season still in progress counts for more than a shiny new Turnover Chain tradition. I think it does, because of all the fearless freshmen and sophomores out there making plays, and because Mark Richt, a landslide winner in the ACC Coach of the Year voting, is only two years into this project himself.

“I don’t think we’re a team that can line up and just impose our will,” Richt said, as he’s been saying all along. “We’re not there yet. We’ve got some more recruiting to do. We’ve got some more development to do. We’ve got some guys that can play against anybody in America but I don’t know that we’ve got enough of those guys yet.

“In time we’ll catch up to the measuring stick.”

He’s talking about Clemson, which put on Richt the worst postseason drubbing of his career. While the Hurricanes are proud, and rightfully so, of the 15-game win streak they built at the zenith of this season, the Tigers have beaten 11 Top-25 opponents in a row. That’s carrying a big stick, all right, and whoever draws Clemson in the national semifinals will feel it.

So chalk this humiliating loss up to experience, the kind that Florida State and Florida didn’t get this year. They’re starting over with new coaches at both of those places. Meanwhile, the worst you can say for Miami is that the Hurricanes are playing in the Orange Bowl and will open next season in the AP Top Ten.

That may not equal the mountaintop moment of a College Football Playoff appearance, but injuries to touchdown makers like Mark Walton and Ahmmon Richards and Chris Herndon would have made it difficult to make any noise there anyway. Malik Rosier needed those guys on Saturday night the way a sailboat needs a breeze.

He and Miami were dead in the water instead on Saturday, with 64 yards in total offense by halftime and almost as many punts overall (9) as first downs (10).

Clemson’s defense was too powerful. Dabo Swinney’s head start on Richt in stacking and developing of championship players at every position was too great. Four Clemson players rushed for touchdowns, for example. Miami hasn’t had anybody rush for a touchdown in the last two games, including that streak-breaking surprise of a loss at Pittsburgh.

Still, a sizable crowd of UM fans stayed at Bank of America Stadium to see it through. More than 20,000 Hurricanes fans reportedly bought tickets in South Florida to see this game, contributing to a sellout of 74,372 that ranked second in the history of this championship game.

They stomped around uptown Charlotte like they owned the place, which is what every committed fan base for every major program does at title time.

This, too, is a significant development, a sign of real investment and not just an occasional dip into the old Hurricanes memorabilia drawer for a big-game party or two.

Think of Howard Schnellenberger’s original construction project at Miami. That first national championship season was five years in the making, and even then it began with a demoralizing 28-3 loss to Florida.

The celebration of this season lies in the fact that the Hurricanes kept that lightning in the bottle for as long as they did. They got past Virginia Tech and Notre Dame without cracking. They won the close games that too often had slipped away. They beat FSU, for crying out loud, and won the Coastal Division, finally scratching an itch that never should have lasted through this many coaching regimes.

“This season has still been a success,” linebacker Shaq Quarterman said. “You’ve seen what’s happening. Year One. Year Two. It’s only gonna get better.”

Not exactly smack talk, but straight talk. The Hurricanes need to keep that going or else it all becomes fool’s gold, like the 10-1 start that Jim McElwain had at Florida and the three-game losing streak that ended that season.

This is tricky business, and that’s why you can forgive Richt for passing on a late fourth-and-inches and taking a short field goal to avoid the first shutout in ACC championship game history. Three points is all that Kent State and the Citadel managed against Clemson in a couple of cupcake games this season. Recruits need to know that Miami, a team that means to win the ACC next year, is at least that competitive when their best players are going against Dabo’s best.

If there’s a gnawing question from this night that will echo throughout the offseason, it’s what Richt will do with his quarterback position. Rosier, who completed 14 of 29 passes with two interceptions and four sacks, ran out of gas at season’s end, but so did the rest of his unit. If Richt believes that N’Kosi Perry can bring more spark to the offense, he’ll make the switch in 2018.

Neither one is up to the level of Clemson’s Kelly Bryant, who completed his first 15 passes on Saturday and left the game early with 252 passing yards, but Bryant learned behind Deshaun Watson, who’s starting in the NFL these days, and Watson learned behind Tajh Boyd, who is second all-time in ACC career passing yards behind Philip Rivers.

Again, these things don’t happen overnight. Miami fans are never going to want to hear that, not after five national titles in no time flat and about a million first-round draft picks graduated to the NFL, but it’s so, and there is no shame in acknowledging it.

“We are the first team to win the Coastal and get to the ACC Championship game,” said defensive end  Chad Thomas, who was around for the miserable 58-0 loss to Clemson that cost Al Golden his job in 2015. “So we know what it feels like to be here and it won’t be a surprise when we are back. We just have to win. We have to dominate, play like ‘The U.’ “

Playing like Clemson, a defending national champion with a taste for more, might be the better template now, for Miami and for everybody else.

 

 

 

Hurricanes can’t be lower than No. 4 after blasting Notre Dame 41-8

The least Miami can do now is to play for their first-ever ACC championship, which in the grand scheme of things is major progress.

And what’s the most that the 9-0 Hurricanes can do?

Well, they could dominate Clemson on Dec. 2 the way they did No. 3 Notre Dame on Saturday night, and then they could plow through the College Football Playoff field in the same overpowering fashion and then they could rule college football with an iron fist or a gold Turnover Chain or anything else that suits them.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL -Braxton Berrios of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates a touchdown during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Hard Rock Stadium on November 11, 2017. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

None of this stuff seemed worth saying or even picturing until Miami stretched its best-in-the-nation winning streak to 14 games and, in doing so, stretched the bounds of the wildest imagination.

How could the CFP committee place the Hurricanes anywhere lower than No. 4, within the potential brackets of the playoff field, with next Tuesday’s vote? What more could they want to see?

This wasn’t a last-minute squeaker against Georgia Tech. It was a 41-8 manhandling of the No. 3 team in the CFP rankings. The last time Miami did anything like this to the Irish it was a 58-7 humiliation of Gerry Faust’s final team, a lackluster 5-6 crew, in 1985.

[RELATED: Exclusive images from our talented photographers]

Saturday was supposed to be a battle of equals, of playoff contenders, and maybe it would have been a little closer if the game was played somewhere else. Hard Rock Stadium, however, is the place where another supposedly great Notre Dame got steamrolled by Alabama in the 2013 BCS title game, and it’s the place where Miami suddenly can do no wrong under second-year coach Mark Richt.

“We do have some quickness for sure,” Richt said after his guys limited Notre Dame star Josh Adams to 2.5 yards per carry, “but we’ve got some pretty big boys in there, too.”

That’s a combination that Virginia and Pittsburgh really shouldn’t be able to budge the next few weeks in the final regular-season challenges for Miami’s Coastal Division champions. It took a while longer than expected to wear that title, but everything is coming so fast now that it’s almost difficult to process it all.

What ABC’s national broadcast captured Saturday was a blast from Miami’s past and an overpowering whiff of the program’s rejuvenated future.

There will be waves and waves of great defensive players wanting to come to Coral Gables now to change prime-time games in the way this one was, with a 65-yard Trajan Bandy interception return for a touchdown and two more Miami picks converted into 10 additional points and a fumble recovery setting up one last touchdown in garbage time.

There will be fleet running backs, too, who want to be like Oxbridge Academy’s Travis Homer (146 yards on 18 carries against the Irish) and quarterbacks who want to want to step right into the lineup and win their first 10 starts like Malik Rosier has, and receivers who know that fourth down is as good a time as any for a pass to come their way once the Hurricanes get rolling.

That’s how it went in the third quarter of Saturday’s blowout, with Richt leaving the offense on the field on fourth-and-9 at the Notre Dame 36-yard line.

The score already was 27-0. The deed clearly was done. Rosier was cleared to throw for more, however, and Lawrence Cager is most definitely programmed to receive, so the two of them hooked up for a 28-yard gain on a floating pass and a leaping catch that stung like a bee.

Plays like that, and the 90-yard touchdown drive that it advanced, tell the rest of America what it doesn’t want to hear, that Miami will do whatever it wants whenever it wants.

Within the rules this time, for the Hurricanes were penalized just once for 5 yards against Notre Dame. Without further delay, too, for this is merely Richt’s 22nd game coaching at his alma mater.

Kelly, by contrast, has worked the Notre Dame sidelines for 100 games now, reaching a landmark that only Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz have hit before him. All those others won national titles for the Irish. Kelly was pushed off that path by Miami on Saturday and with cruel efficiency.

Can Clemson expect anything less than a frightening pulse of momentum from Miami in the ACC Championship game?

The Tigers are defending national champions, of course, and do not anticipate the Hurricanes or anyone else making them look foolish. There are no programs, however, more confident in their own traditions and talents than the Fighting Irish, who showed up at Hard Rock in helmets so boldly gold that it seemed they had been coated in Turtle Wax.

The Hurricanes bring the bling instead, with Hurricanes legend Ed Reed flashing a national championship ring for the cameras as honorary captain and the Turnover Chain being passed around like treasure among buccaneers as the game progressed.

“I knew this week it was gonna be magical,” said linebacker Shaq Quarterman, and a big part of that was the howling crowd of 65,303, a season high at home.

For hours on Saturday afternoon that mass of Miami fans filled the tailgate lots with charcoal smoke and champagne dreams. Afterwards they honked horns and slapped fives. They feel that “The U” is back, or at least that it’s almost there.

“We’ve got to get a ring first,” Quarterman said when asked for his view on that. “The standard is to get a ring.”

That last happened for Miami in 2001, when 6-foot-7 offensive tackle Kc McDermott was a kindergartner.

“This isn’t something that’s been just a one-year thing,” said McDermott, from Palm Beach Central High School. “it’s something that has taken years and blood, sweat and tears out of multiple classes of recruits.”

Richt and his staff have found the right guys and pushed the right buttons to finally stop the tears.

There will be blood, though. This Miami resurgence is just getting serious now, and with No. 1 Georgia going down and the rankings in shuffle mode, the search begins in earnest now to find someone who can stop it.

Yes, Malik Rosier, you really are the Miami Hurricanes’ starting QB

Malik Rosier meets with the media for the first time after being named UM starting quarterback. (Matt Porter/The Palm Beach Post)

[Practice notes: WR Richards remains out]

[Video: Recap Wednesday’s live Canes chat]

[UM looking for RB, LB, TE depth]

CORAL GABLES — The quarterback competition at the University of Miami went on for so long that even when it was over, it took time to believe it.

So when the Hurricanes stepped onto the practice field for the first time since Malik Rosier was named the starter, Rosier popped a question to quarterbacks coach Jon Richt that everyone could look back on and laugh about.

“Coach, what’s the rotation for quarterbacks?” Rosier recalled Wednesday.

“He was like, ‘Malik, you’re with the 1s.’ I was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ ”

Rosier had been notified he’s No. 1 earlier Tuesday when head coach Mark Richt informed each candidate individually of his decision.

Following Wednesday morning’s practice, Rosier said he still hadn’t had a moment to process the news.

“We’ve been going to class, so I’ve been busy,” Rosier said. “As soon as I got home, I ate and literally crashed, I was so exhausted from practice. So I haven’t really got the chance to sit down and be like, ‘Wow, I’m actually the starting quarterback for the University of Miami.’

“But it’ll probably come sometime today. I’ve got a little freer day today, so I’ll probably relax and talk to my mom about it, so it’ll be nice.”

Rosier beat out Evan Shirreffs, Cade Weldon and N’Kosi Perry for the job.

“The first person who told me congratulations was Evan Shirreffs, which means so much to me,” Rosier said.

Rosier also received congratulations from key figures in Hurricanes history, including the QB he’s succeeding, Brad Kaaya, plus Gino Torretta and Edgerrin James.

The magnitude of the task at hand isn’t lost on Rosier. His reward for winning the job is justifying his name being next to Jim Kelly’s. Steve Walsh’s. Vinny Testaverde’s. Bernie Kosar’s. The list seems endless.

Quarterback U, and now it’s up to U, Malik.

“It’s just huge to follow up this legacy of great quarterbacks,” Rosier said.

Mark Richt took his time naming a starter in part because to have a look at incoming freshman Perry. Ultimately, Richt decided that although Perry is a promising athlete, he needs time.

Meanwhile, there was Rosier, the redshirt junior who appeared in six games last season, primarily in reserve.

“For me and even the coaches, they just want to see consistency,” Rosier said. “They didn’t want to see me play one way one week and then another week play another way. I think that was the biggest thing for them, is just to see whichever quarterback they want to put in, to consistently grow and consistently get better and I think that’s one thing that I’ve proved throughout these last three weeks.”

Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said that consistency was stressed when the staff met to choose the starter. Brown cited ball security by Rosier, who in the past had been labeled a gunslinger. And Brown likes what he sees in Rosier’s leadership.

“I think the guys respond to him well,” Brown said. “I think he has a great personality. I think he speaks up and is vocal in the huddle and the guys respond to him well.”

Linebacker Shaq Quarterman said he was happy for Rosier — but also happy for the team to finally have the burning question answered.

“I was happy to have a verdict, a quarterback named for the roster,” Quarterman said.

Added offensive lineman Tyree St. Louis: “We finally have somebody settling in.”

[Q&A on how Mark Richt reached his decision]

[Richt doesn’t expect QB transfers]

[Practice notes: WR Richards remains out]

NFL draft weekend will tell if Brad Kaaya left UM too soon

What a shame it would be if Brad Kaaya doesn’t go high in the NFL draft after skipping what would have been his senior season at Miami.

Sure, it would be tough on Brad, the Hurricanes’ all-time leader in passing yards and completions, but consider the continued indecision about his replacement in Coral Gables.

Mark Richt can’t name a starter coming out of the spring practice sessions and both Malik Rosier and Evan Shirreffs have been around long enough to show what they can do. Meanhwhile, top recruit N’Kosi Perry, a beanpole at 6-feet-4 and 178 pounds, doesn’t arrive on campus until next month.

MIAMI GARDENS – Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt with former Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (15) and wide receiver Stacy Coley (3) at Hard Rock Stadium on September 1, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Kaaya may not have had the kind of blockbuster junior season that would have catapulted him into obvious first-round draft territory but he did throw 27 touchdown passes with just seven interceptions. That’s high efficiency, and it figures that he and Richt would have gotten more comfortable with each other if given another season to work together.

As it was, Kaaya got sacked way too much (25 times) which was partly the fault of Miami’s offensive line and partly his own. His footwork and his decision-making need to speed up before some NFL team is going to go crazy over him.

Depending on what you read in the pre-draft speculation chatter, Kaaya could slip all the way to the third-day developmental class, or some team might want to take him as high as the second or third round to school behind a certain starter.

Never that easy figuring out who should go and should stay. NFL scouts aren’t as adamant as they used to be about looking for quarterbacks from a pro-style offense, which diminishes any supposed bonus points that Kaaya might have earned at Miami. Also, there’s a drive to start first-round quarterbacks right away as NFL rookies, another relatively new trend, and Kaaya isn’t ready for that.

Overall, would staying with the Hurricanes for his senior season have gained Miami a few more victories in 2017 and pushed Kaaya significantly higher in next year’s NFL draft?

I’ll say yes to the first question and no to the second.

[Check this list if you think Dolphins have gone too long between titles]

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[Reliving Wilt’s 100-point night, with two Palm Beach County eyewitnesses]

 

Miami Hurricanes wrap up spring with no clarity in QB race

BOCA RATON — Mark Richt took a step back in time on a day when he wanted to take a step forward in his search for a quarterback.

Richt brought his University of Miami Hurricanes to his alma mater, Boca Raton High, for the final scrimmage of the spring.

Quarterback Malik Rosier (12) warms up before the Miami Hurricanes spring scrimmage in Boca Raton on April 22, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

 

NCAA puts brakes on some Boca High welcoming plans for Richt

[Recruiting: Top TE Jordan commits to Canes]

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He gave Malik Rosier a good look.

He gave Evan Shirreffs a good look.

And a few others.

And despite however much Richt may have squinted, he could not spot anyone taking a stranglehold on the job. He didn’t even find anyone with a slight edge.

“I did not expect to have a clear leader when it was done but I would have been OK with it,” Richt said. “But I think we’re right about where we thought we were. If I had to say how I’d pick ‘em right now, it’s just like I’ve got them going into this spring game, kind of a co-No. 1 thing and the rest of them are kind of co-No. 3s, just fighting for that No. 3 spot.”

For what it’s worth, the White team, which included the first-team defense, won the scrimmage 24-16 over the Orange, which included the first-team offense.

Quarterback Evan Shirreffs (16) warms up as Cade Weldon (17), Augie DeBaise (20) and Malik Rosier (12) look on before the Miami Hurricanes spring scrimmage in Boca Raton on April 22, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

With so much focus and emphasis on Rosier, Shirreffs and Jack Allison, the lack of clarity is best exemplified by their combined statistics: 26-of-50 (52 percent) for 344 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. Or the fact that after the scrimmage, UM opted not to make any QB available to the media. They each seemed to take one step forward and one or two steps back.

Rosier, on the Orange team, hit Christopher Herndon with a 23-yard scoring pass and threw a 72-yard TD bomb to Ahmmon Richards. But he threw two interceptions, including one returned 78 yards for a touchdown by Malek Young, a defensive standout with two interceptions. Rosier was 8-of-18 for 169 yards.

Shirreffs, also on the Orange team, broke a scoring drought on the fifth series of the day, leading a 82-yard drive for a field goal, but had the fewest yards of the three (75), on 7-of-17 passing, with one interception.

Allison, on the White team, had the best completion percentage (11-of-15) for 100 yards and a 6-yard TD to one of the offensive stars, Santaluces’ Darrell Langham (eight catches, 57 yards, two TDs).

Toss in a few fumbled snaps and a few sacks and you get the picture. Maybe Richt’s successor to Brad Kaaya was on the field somewhere; maybe he was in the stands, since incoming freshman N’Kosi Perry was said to be in attendance.

“I know you’re going to ask about quarterbacks and I don’t know what to say, other than I thought everybody competed well,” Richt said. “I thought there were bright moments really for all of them and there was probably a moment or two that they would like to take back.

“That’s typical — but you don’t want typical. You want somebody who will make good decisions on a consistent basis.”

The defense showed no mercy. On one play, defensive back Amari Carter, of Palm Beach Gardens High, clotheslined Dayall Harris after a short reception over the middle. On another, running back Travis Homer’s short run abruptly ended when he was body-slammed by linebacker Shaq Quarterman.

“You’re just trying to make a statement — that we’re here,” said Young, who estimated he had five interceptions in three scrimmages, two of which were closed to the media.

The offense got that message, but whether it received all the messages from coaches is another matter.

“There’s a few things offensively as far as just getting lined up,” Richt said. “It’s young guys, but we’ve been doing this all spring, had to babysit them a little too much.”

Stacy Searels, the always-blunt offensive line coach, seemed peeved at the missed center-quarterback exchanges.

“The center’s got to get the ball to the quarterback,” Searels said. “If we can’t do that, we can’t do anything. One of our scrimmages was really, really bad and today we had a couple. Any of them’s bad. But it has improved.”

Which isn’t to say there weren’t bright spots, in addition to Young.

Running back Mark Walton, who complained last week about inactivity this spring, had 11 carries for 65 yards (a 5.9 average) and looked every bit like the offensive workhorse he’ll be. Walton was upstaged on the stat sheet by junior TJ Callan, who had eight carries for 79 yards, albeit primarily against backups.

Richards looked like Richards, with four catches for 112 yards, and Langham looked capable of taking some pressure off Richards this fall. Dayall Harris added six catches for 70 yards.

Defensively, Carter was a menace with 10 tackles, and Quarterman and Sheldrick Redwine added seven each.

Richt decided to hold the scrimmage at Boca High because the final phase of renovations at Hard Rock Stadium made it unavailable.

“It was very nice to be here at Boca Raton Community High School, home of the Fighting Bobcats,” he said. “I had some wonderful moments here as a player. I ran into about four or five teammates before the game today and we all look a little bit different but we’ve got the same smile, the same friendship, same bond, so that was a blessing to see all those guys.”

Coach Mark Richt at the Miami Hurricanes spring scrimmage in Boca Raton on April 22, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

UNOFFICIAL SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS

White 24, Orange 16

Scoring plays

Badgley 23-yard FG                                                                      Orange 3-0

Herndon 23-yard TD pass from Rosier (missed PAT)             Orange 9-0

Young 78-yard interception return (PAT good)                      Orange 9-7

Langham 6-yard TD pass from Allison (PAT good)  White 14-9

Baeza 25-yard FG                                                                         White 17-9

Langham 4-yard TD pass from Weldon (PAT good)   White 24-9

Richards 72-yard TD pass from Rosier (PAT good) White 24-16

 

Passing leaders

Allison (White): 11 for 15, 100 yards, 1 TDs, 1 INT

Rosier (Orange): 8 for 18, 169 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

Shirreffs (Orange): 7 for 17, 75 yards, 1 INT

 

Rushing leaders

Callan (White): 8-79, long of 24

Walton (Orange): 11-65, long of 17

Homer (Orange): 7-24, long of 12

 

Receiving leaders

Richards (Orange): 4-112, 1 TD, long of 72

Langham (White): 8-57, 2 TDs, long of 12

Harris (White): 6-70, long of 31

Herndon (Orange): 4-48, 1 TD, long of 23

 

Defensive leaders

Carter (Orange): 10 tackles

Quarterman (White): 7 tackles, 1 PBU

Redwine (White): 7 tackles

Bethel (Orange): 6 tackles, 1.5 sacks

Johnson (White): 5 tackles

Young (White): 5 tackles, 2 INTs

Norton (White): 4 tackles, 1 sack

Perry (Orange): 2 tackles, 1 INT

State of Miami Hurricanes’ QBs: ‘Definitely not a leader’ emerging yet

In this 2016 photo, Evan Shirreffs (16) sets up to pass during a drill. Malik Rosier (12) and quarterbacks coach Jon Richt are behind him. (Miami Herald)
In this 2016 photo, Evan Shirreffs (16) sets up to pass during a drill. Malik Rosier (12) and quarterbacks coach Jon Richt are behind him. (Miami Herald)

[Defense dominates again in Miami scrimmage]

[Video: Talking scrimmage No. 2, spring storylines]

[Recruiting: Top TE Jordan commits to Canes]

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The University of Miami Hurricanes enter their final spring scrimmage on Saturday still searching for someone to emerge at quarterback as junior Malik Rosier and sophomore Evan Shirreffs split first-team duties.

“There is definitely not a leader,” said Thomas Brown, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. ” … Part of it is because of them being able to retain information and knowing what to do and also being able to take command. But it is going to be a long process, like we said from Day 1. I know everybody gets antsy and wants an answer immediately. And I wish I could give you one.”

Brown said Rosier and Shirreffs are learning to be vocal, coming off a year in which “probably in the back of your mind believing I am going to be the backup to Brad (Kaaya). So it is still difficult to really go out and sell out on every single snap.”

Rosier said his most significant improvements have been in shortening his release and getting a better understanding of receivers’ responsibilities.

“Sometimes you’ll see confusion, so you have got to help them out in it,” Rosier said. “And a big thing for me is leading. Just showing the guys that when I am out there that I am the guy, that I can make every play, I can make every throw, make every read.”

Rosier was frank in his assessment of the overall performance of the QBs this spring, saying there have been times passers have unleashed an “amazing ball … and then there’s times to where we just completely busted.”

Which is what Shirreffs is focusing on.

“The main thing for me has been trying to show that I am consistent,” he said. “Everyone is going to have a bad play here and there, but you have to minimize those bad plays and come back the next play and just make up for it.”

In other items Thursday:

  • Brown said redshirt junior receiver Darrell Langham has “by far” made the biggest improvement at that position. At tight end, he praised Michael Irvin II.
  • Brown said he believes RB Mark Walton is handling inactivity this spring well. Walton this week said he didn’t like being “babied,” but Brown is OK with the situation. “You want guys who want the ball in their hands but also aren’t so selfish and go into panic mode and shut down when they don’t get the football,” Brown said. “And I think he is finding that correct balance.”
  • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said redshirt junior DL Demetrius Jackson has shown “flashes with his potential but there is so much more to it.”