Coach Mark Richt had just told the young man who grew up loving the Miami Hurricanes that he would be their next starting quarterback.
The reality, however, hadn’t caught up with the moment.
“It was kind of weird,’’ Malik Rosier said Wednesday, “because I even asked, ‘Coach, what’s the rotation for quarterbacks?’ and he was like, ‘Malik, you’re with the ones.’
“I was like, ‘Oh, OK Coach.’
Yes, Malik, dreams do come true.
The redshirt junior met the media for the first time as the Hurricanes starter, and as usual, he was all smiles.
“I just felt camaraderie,’’ Rosier said of his first day at practice Tuesday knowing he was the guy. “The guys, they just stayed with me, stayed around me, and they helped me out through the whole day. It was nice.’’
Rosier said the support he got from his fellow quarterbacks, including backup Evan Shirreffs and highly rated freshman N’Kosi Perry, was heartening.
“N’Kosi gave me a shoutout on Instagram – that was huge love,’’ Rosier said. “The first person to actually tell me congratulations was Evan Shirreffs, which means so much to me…’’
He noted that “the biggest congratulations,’’ besides that from UM record-holder and predecessor Brad Kaaya, still one of his best friends, was former star running back Edgerrin James.
“He actually hit me up, telling me congratulations and that he’ll see me and talk to me soon,’’ Rosier said of James.
UM’s 1992 Heisman Trophy winner Gino Toretta congratulated Rosier on Twitter.
“He told me…if I have any questions that he would help me out as well. So just some of the older guys coming back and helping me out. That means the world to me, that they’re still here to support us.”
Hurricanes offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said Wednesday that Rosier’s strength this year, starting with spring practice, was consistency.
“He put our offense in the best spot to be successful and also take care of the football. He did a great job of that.
“He’s a really good leader. The guys respond to him well. He has a great personality. He speaks up and is vocal in the huddle.’’
Said starting right tackle Tyree St. Louis: “I’m happy that we finally have somebody settled for quarterback. [Malik] is a very big team player. He’s not a lazy person. He doesn’t let anyone slack on or off the [field]. He tries to hold everyone accountable.’’
And this, from linebacker Shaq Quarterman: “I’m proud of him, happy for him. With him, we’re going in the right direction.’’
Rosier was asked if there was one specific moment when it dawned on him that he was the starter.
“Not really,’’ he said. “I’ve been busy with classes. As soon as I got home, I ate and crashed, I was so exhausted from practice. I haven’t really got the chance to sit down and say, ‘Wow, I’m the starting quarterback for the University of Miami.’
“It will probably come sometime today. I got a little freer today. I’ll probably relax and talk to my mom about it. It’ll be nice.”
Finally, Rosier told the media what it was like hearing his teammates chant “Malik! Malik! Malik!’’ repeatedly at practice Tuesday.
“That’s just love,’’ he said. “Whether it was Evan or it was me, or it was N’Kosi or it was Cade [Weldon], they would have said the same thing for any of the quarterbacks. Everyone is happy.
“It’s just one big family…’’
BURNS FULL GO
▪ Freshman running back Robert Burns, who underwent shoulder surgery after he was injured on the first day of spring contact, is cleared for full contact, Brown said. “He’s got a lot of ground to make up as far as the mental aspect of it, and also physical as well. We’ll see how he does over the next week or so.’’
▪ Left tackle Kc McDermott (foot) was back at practice...Starting defensive tackle Kendrick Norton was on a conditioning bike during the media viewing of practice.