The possible quarterback of the future, N’Kosi Perry, had his first day of college practice Tuesday at the University of Miami.
And judging by coach Mark Richt’s reaction, he did pretty well -- despite some fumbled center exchanges here and there. Can’t help but think that Perry’s future will be big in Coral Gables.
“He’s got very good passing fundamentals, which is what I thought,’’ Richt said. “I’ve seen him throw in camp and I’ve seen him throw in a seven-on-seven we had over here. But in the context of what we’re asking him to do, he really does have good quarterback passing fundamentals – not a lot of wasted motion, got some nice zip on the ball. He does understand touch. He’s a passer. He’s not just a thrower, like some guys are. I’d say maybe 50 percent he’s getting right now, which is probably pretty good for the first day, at the pace that we’re going. That’s why you practice, that’s why you study film and correct things. We’ll install at a pace that’s faster than comfortable for him, but he’ll catch up.”
Redshirt junior Malik Rosier and redshirt sophomore Evan Shirreffs went with the first team on Tuesday. “We’ll probably do that for a good bit,’’ Richt said. “What I’ve done is gone Malik and Evan with the ones and N’Kosi and Cade [Weldon] with the twos and threes. I may or may not do it, but in the spring, I had veterans go with the ones and twos and we had the other guys go with the threes. I’m not sure how we’ll do that. We may continue the same rotation afterwards. I’m not sure.”
Richt wasn’t surprised at Perry’s early struggles with the center exchange.
“He really hasn’t had a lot of quarterback-center exchange,’’ he said. “That’s the one thing we can’t do in the summer. If we could have a ball out there two months ago, or a month ago, we wouldn’t be going through this. But it’s pretty typical. What happens is a quarterback, if he’s not getting the snap under center, he wants to dig further and further in there and really that’s the worst thing to do. We want him to get his hand further out so the center can reach through and pop the ball to his top hand.
“If he pushes further, it starts hitting the bottom hand, and that’s not what we want. He has to learn to trust where the ball is going to end up.”
Said tight end Chris Herndon, who takes over for the departed David Njoku: “They all looked pretty fluent today. They were making their progressions, reading their reads and making whatever pass they thought was safe or sometimes taking chances and those plays were made today. It was good to see them do it. N’Kosi looked pretty good today. He had a few fumbles from under center but this was just the first day. We have a whole camp ahead of us.”
And this from receiver Braxton Berrios: “He did well. Like I said, a few first-day mistakes is always across the board. That’s N’Kosi, that’s Malik, that’s Evan, that’s all the quarterbacks. But you know, you can tell he’s excited. He knows what to do. It’s just the point of doing it and making the right decisions. But he looked good.”