One man’s sickness is another man’s healthy chance – at least during practice.
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya has the flu, which allowed backup Malik Rosier to take most of the snaps during Thursday’s spring practice session.
Rosier, in turn, impressed his coaches, who are no doubt pleased that he will miss the baseball team’s Atlantic Coast Conference road series this weekend at Wake Forest to instead play Saturday in Miami’s second closed scrimmage.
“I thought Malik went in there and really looked good,” UM offensive coordinator James Coley said. “There are errors that go in practice that everybody makes, but he bounced back. He took charge. He made some real big plays with his legs and a couple real good throws. He’s [got] a strong arm. He’s a gifted athlete. He cares about the game.”
Rosier, who will be a redshirt freshman, is expected to get playing time, though the starting job is firmly in Kaaya’s possession.
When asked if having the No. 1 quarterback out can be a blessing in disguise, Coley said, “Of course. … A lot of the stuff we have in tailors to whoever’s the starter. Malik can do a lot of things that Brad can do, but he also brings another element to the game that Brad doesn’t bring and you get to work on that a little bit at practice.”
Coley described Rosier as being “not just mobile but being explosive while being mobile. There’s a big difference.”
Also doing well, according to coach Al Golden, was recent walk-on transfer Vincent Testaverde.
“They really responded,” Golden said. “Malik I thought ran it today with a lot of poise and precision.”
Rosier, a center fielder in baseball, has played sparingly in four games this season but has pounded the ball. He is hitting .600 with three hits, including a three-run homer, in five at-bats.
In injury news, Golden said linebacker Tyriq McCord (knee) is getting closer to being cleared for practice, which ends with the spring game at noon March 28 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s the bursa sac,” Golden said. “It ruptured [and] put some fluid in the knee. Our guys have done a great job getting it out of there. They didn’t want to put a needle in there, so they’re working it out of there and icing it down. His mobility is coming back, and his flexibility.”
Left tackle Jahair Jones, a 6-4, 335-pound junior-college transfer, was flattened in a one-on-one drill by defensive end Demetrius Jackson, a 6-5, 250-pound soon-to-be redshirt freshman out of Miami Booker T. Washington High.
Tailback Joe Yearby is still soft-spoken on the field, but has become louder, tougher and more aggressive on it. Yearby, who will be a sophomore, smacked an offensive guard to “get him going” in practice.
“I think he missed a block or made a wrong block or something,” he said, noting that Duke Johnson’s departure to the NFL Draft has required him to take on a leadership role. “I talk aggressive just to get everybody [going] so they can know what they’ve got to do. Duke was the voice of the offense. I have to be the voice of the offense now that he’s gone.”