University of Miami

UM’s Richt says why he’s leaning toward not letting QBs get hit

UM coach Mark Richt talks scrimmage

UM coach Mark Richt said he's undecided about whether to allow QBs to be hit in first scrimmage of fall camp on August 12, 2017.
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UM coach Mark Richt said he's undecided about whether to allow QBs to be hit in first scrimmage of fall camp on August 12, 2017.

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt said Friday he hasn’t decided whether to let his quarterbacks get tackled in the first fall scrimmage on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.

Richt said he’s leaning toward not letting the quarterbacks go live.

The four quarterbacks — redshirt junior Malik Rosier, redshirt sophomore Evan Shirreffs and freshmen N’Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon — are battling to see who emerges as the program’s starting quarterback to replace UM passing-yardage record-holder Brad Kaaya.

In the spring, when Richt allowed quarterbacks to be tackled in the first scrimmage, redshirt freshman Jack Allison got pounded in that scrimmage and hurt his shoulder. Allison subsequently transferred to West Virginia.

“I can’t tell you if the QBs are live or not, because I’m not sure yet,’’ Richt said Friday. “I’ll decide tonight. I may have a dream — I don’t know.”

What’s going to go into that decision?

“Whether I think I should or not,’’ he said. “I don’t know. Sometimes it’s a gut thing.”

Has he seen enough from these quarterbacks at this point? Richt was asked. Are you lacking in information from them?

Middle linebacker Shaq Quarterman reflects on upcoming scrimmage and talks about his teammates on Aug. 11, 2017.

Richt’s reply: “The only thing I can see if we scrimmage is if they pull on a zone read will they actually tackle or not. If it looks like a guy might sack him and maybe not – did he sack him, did he not? It makes your scrimmage cleaner, but not at the risk of the contact.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to line up and see what they’re about. But I’ve got a good feeling about these guys as far as their bravery and their physical and mental toughness. I’m leaning toward not, but we’ll see what happens.”

One thing Richt knows for sure: If the quarterbacks don’t go live Saturday, they will not be allowed to be tackled for the second and third scrimmages as well.

“If I don’t do it here I won’t do it at all,’’ Richt said.

Middle linebacker Shaq Quarterman sounded surprised when told what his coach said about quarterback contact. But he seemed excited about the prospect regardless.

“It’s still competition day,’’ Quarterman said. “At the end of the day whether they’re not live or live, when they try to pull that ball we’re going to step on their toes. The objective is to get them on the ground. Even if we can’t, we want to show our coaches that we were there to get them on the ground. So if they’re not live or live, we’re going to do what we were supposed to do.”

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