University of Miami

Here’s why Jack Allison chose to leave the Miami Hurricanes

Mark Richt talks about the Hurricanes' final scrimmage

Miami Hurricanes head football coach Mark Richt spoke to the media after the team's final spring scrimmage at Boca Raton high school on Saturday, April 22, 2017.
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Miami Hurricanes head football coach Mark Richt spoke to the media after the team's final spring scrimmage at Boca Raton high school on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

University of Miami redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Allison, who left the Hurricanes football program Tuesday morning, loves Miami, his father, Sean Allison, said, but he also loves to play football and didn’t think the future held that for him if he remained a Hurricane.

Sean Allison told the Miami Herald late Tuesday morning, about two hours after the younger Allison met with UM coach Mark Richt to tell him his decision, that his son “is a pocket passer, just like Mark said,’’ but that he believes the Hurricanes are heading to a more dual-threat, running-type quarterback system.

“He loves Miami. We all love Miami, but the whole direction of the program is they want a running quarterback – a dual-threat quarterback,’’ Allison’s father said. “They want a different wrinkle in their offense.

“Jack works really hard and he wants to get on the field as soon as possible, so he’s going to go some place where he can play football. Within the last hour, several schools have expressed interest.

“Right now, Jack’s focus is finishing the semester, making sure his grades are good and saying goodbye to his teammate. And we’ll sit down as a family and look at other opportunities after that.’’

Indeed, high school senior N’Kosi Perry, from Ocala Vanguard High, will be arriving in Coral Gables next month and is one of the nation’s highest rated dual-threat quarterbacks. Richt told WQAM-560 radio as recently as Monday that everyone, including Perry, would be part of the quarterback competition to replace NFL-bound Brad Kaaya.

Rosier, the backup to Brad Kaaya last season, is a fight this fall with Evan Shirreffs, Vincent Testaverde and Jack Allison for the backup job. Aug. 5, 2016. Video by Manny Navarro

“I’m not saying N’Kosi is going to be the guy,’’ Richt told WQAM. “But we’re dang sure going to find out what he can do.’’

Allison sat out last year to learn the offensive system under Richt while studying under NFL-bound quarterback Brad Kaaya.

“Jack approached me and indicated that he felt like he would have more opportunities for playing time at another program,’’ Richt said in a written statement. “We wish him all the best in his future plans.”

A former four-star recruit out of Parrish, Fla., Allison was listed at 6-5 and 200 pounds. He had a big arm that many believed would eventually lead to a starting spot at Miami.

But it was clear that he was not leading the quarterback race to replace Kaaya, as Richt said redshirt sophomore Evan Shirreffs and redshirt junior Malik Rosier are the co-No. 1s going into fall camp.

Also still competing for the job are true freshman Cade Weldon, an early enrollee, and walk-on redshirt junior Vincent Testaverde.

Rosier, like Perry, is more of a dual-threat quarterback than the others.

Miami Hurricanes quarterbacks Jack Allison, Vincent Testaverde and freshman Cade Weldon on Day One of spring drills 3-21-17

Allison sprained his shoulder April 8 in the first spring scrimmage, Sean Allison confirmed, when Richt allowed the quarterbacks to be tackled.

This past Saturday, when UM had its final scrimmage/game of the spring practice session (no tackling of quarterbacks allowed), Allison played with the second-team offense. He had the most power behind his throws and finished with the best percentage completion: 11 of 15 for 100 yards and a 6-yard touchdown to Darrell Langham. But he also threw an interception.

Sean Allison told the Herald that going into the scrimmage, “for two weeks he didn’t have one real snap at practice in team drills or seven-on-sevens…He goes to the training room three times a day.”

When Richt was asked what Allison needed to do to approach the leaders in the quarterback race, Richt said, “It is just making good decisions, throwing to the right guy for the right reason. Putting them on target, putting it on the money if he has the opportunity to have the protection and field of vision.

“He’s certainly a guy who is going to make his career as a pocket passer. That is what he is – and a very talented pocket passer. So, when he gets opportunities, he has to stand there and rip it and put it on the money.’’

On Monday, Richt mentioned during an interview on WQAM-560 that Allison, as well as the other quarterback candidates, could “have a great summer and move up’’ on the depth chart.

Sean Allison said his son said Richt “was very supportive and very gracious and understanding and treated his decision very respectfully.’’

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