Miami Hurricanes’ Al Golden says QB battle far from a done deal

04/24/2014 12:01 AM

04/24/2014 12:54 AM

Not surprisingly, University of Miami football coach Al Golden said Wednesday that the Hurricanes “always have our eyes open” when it comes to senior transfers, who, per NCAA rules, are allowed to play immediately without sitting out a season.

That, he said, includes quarterbacks.

Speaking on the Atlantic Coast Conference teleconference that wrapped up spring practice for most of the teams, Golden reiterated that redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Olsen was leading the position competition.

But as Golden did immediately after the spring game, he left the door open for incoming freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier to join the quarterback battle when they arrive next month — or any other newcomers the staff deems worthy enough.

Ryan Williams, who was expected to start this season, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a scrimmage April 4 and underwent surgery April 9.

“This time of year we always have our eyes open and are looking for guys that can help improve our team,” Golden said.

“In terms of certain guys that have already decided they are coming here, until they’re ours and are registered I’m not allowed to comment on them.”

Does that include quarterbacks?

“Again,” he said, “I just think in general if there’s a young man out there that is leaving a program for whatever reason and has interest in us, we’re going to examine him, just like we would do for any position. So the quarterback is no different.”

Golden said there were no changes in the roster at this time.

“In terms of if a guy is going to leave or another guy wants to come in, until that actually happens it’s impossible for me to comment on it,” he said.

Golden said Williams, heading into his fifth-year senior season, was doing well in his rehabilitation.

Williams’ mother has said he vows to play again sometime next season, preferably for the Nebraska game on Sept. 20.

“Everything they’re telling me, everything is going really well,” Golden said.

“He hasn’t had any setbacks yet, which is great. Again, it’s clearly going to be the doctor’s call. But his rehabilitation is going really well right now, and knock on wood it will continue to do that.”

Golden said that Kaaya and Rosier are “busy completing all the things that they have to do to graduate and make the transition, which is never easy for anybody. … Once they get here, then we’ll start talking about football.

“Both young men are bright. They both take care of business off the field, which allows them to have complete focus on what they need to do.

“We’re excited for them to get here. I think it will help move our program forward and create the competition that we need at that spot.”

When asked if Olsen is “the guy” right now, Golden said: “Yeah. Kevin finished ahead of Gray Crow coming out of the spring, and whoever is at the helm for us on Labor Day night [against Louisville], we’ll have confidence in and we’ve got to rally around.”

He said his confidence level was still “high” about the quarterback position.

“We’re not going to change what we do,’’ Golden said.

“We need to do a really good job of establishing the running game and keeping it simple and doing the things that we do best — getting into more third-and-manageables. We had way too many third-and-longs last year to possess the ball and convert.

“Clearly, the two young men that we have here on campus right now can do it, and the two that are coming in will also have an opportunity to compete.”

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