University of Miami

UM quarterbacks coach reveals details regarding position battle

UM quarterbacks address the media

University of Miami freshman QB N'Kosi Perry and junior QB Malik Rosier talk to the media on Aug. 13, 2017.
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University of Miami freshman QB N'Kosi Perry and junior QB Malik Rosier talk to the media on Aug. 13, 2017.

On a day in which University of Miami football coach Mark Richt said veteran quarterbacks Malik Rosier and Evan Shirreffs are leading in the race to become the starter, Richt’s son, Jon, the quarterbacks coach, gave some revealing insight into the situation.

Jon Richt was told his father had just told us that Malik Rosier and Evan Shirreffs were leading in the QB race.

Is it a big gap?

“I don’t know if it’s a big gap because you have to take into consideration those other guys are still learning,’’ Jon Richt said. “And then you take their physical attributes and you compare them and you say, ‘What can be?’ So right now there’s a little bit more of a projection as to what is going to happen. But as far as day to day, if we had to start right now, yeah, those two older guys are ready. They’ve been in the system for a year and a half.”

Here’s some really interesting stuff from Jon Richt on Rosier:

“Malik has done a good job of just coming out and taking control a little bit and understanding... But Malik is a guy who has got to kind of get out of his own head and kind of just do what we ask him to do over and over again. When he does that he’s really, really, really good.

“That’s every quarterback. No quarterback is going to be perfect.”

He’s still challenged with that?

UM freshman quarterback N'Kosi Perry spoke to the media for the first time Mon., Aug.14, 2017.

“Well, yeah,’’ Richt said. “Everybody is. It’s not something that one guy is more than another, but that’s one of his deals that he is going to have to work on more than others.”

What about Evan Shirreffs’ arm strength? He’s had balls batted down and in the past his arm strength has appeared to be a deterrent.

Jon Richt: Really, balls batted down are going to happen in a game, especially with a great D-line like ours. They get their hands up. They get their hands in the way. We’ve got to attack them in the run game to get their hands down. But as far as throwing, his arm, if his fundamentals are great and he’s on rhythm and he’s doing everything right, it’s more than adequate of enough arm. But when he gets off balance and all this kind of stuff, he can’t recover as much as some of these other guys who have stronger arms.

“He’s definitely a guy, who, because he’s smart, he’s able to be on time, be on rhythm. When he’s clicking, he’s clicking. But when he’s having to move around it’s a little tougher for him.”

Jon Richt said freshman N’Kosi Perry still has got to learn the playbook and “understand the offense, understand what we’re trying to do and then be able to move from there...’’

Richt said Perry “is very calm’’ and “collected’’ at the line of scrimmage. He said he’s smart and has digested a lot so far, but there’s still much for him to learn.

“Some of our older guys are already making those decisions probably a split second faster than he is,’’ Richt told me. “He’s getting there. He’s understanding it. He’s got an unbelievable talent base as far as physical attributes -- being able to throw the ball. He’s got one of the strongest arms on the team. And he’s also a really good athlete. If we can get him to carry the ball securely and have some good ball security we’ll be alright.”

University of Miami quarterbacks Evan Shirreffs, Cade Weldon and N'Kosi Perry take part in passing drills during morning practice on Monday, Aug. 18, 2017.

Here’s more on Perry’s ball protection challenges: “It’s great to see him be able to break down and run. But the ball gets a little wide and he doesn’t protect it as much as some of the older guys who have been trained over and over and over to do the same thing. So we’re trying to get that out of him right now and move him forward.

What about Cade Weldon? His numbers also weren’t great in the scrimmage.

“Well, that goes with going against one of the best defenses in the country. Nobody’s numbers were great. And there were some plays that went his way and some plays that really didn’t go his way, and like I said with N’Kosi, same thing. They might have dropped N’Kosi’s pass whereas they picked off Cade. And so there are still things that are happening out there that the numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Both those guys are doing a good job competing and starting to understand.

“Cade probably is a little bit faster than N’Kosi understanding stuff but that’s because he’s been here. Those guys are doing a great job competing.”

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