Raise your hand if before the season began you thought University of Miami quarterback Malik Rosier would be a candidate for the Maxwell Award — a coveted prize that has gone to “the outstanding collegiate football player in America’’ since 1937.
Probably not many hands up — but few are doubting Rosier now.
The redshirt junior quarterback was one of four players on Wednesday added to the Maxwell Award watch list. The original list, according to the Maxwell Football Club, was based on the performances of players during the 2016 season.
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson won the Maxwell in 2016.
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Rosier? He’s pure 2017.
Named the UM starter this season, Rosier is the first UM quarterback to start his career 7-0 since Brock Berlin did it in 2003. Though the No. 8 Canes are 6-0 this season, Rosier had one start in 2015 when former quarterback Brad Kaaya had a concussion.
Rosier is coming off a career-high 344-yard performance against Syracuse. He has led game-winning or -saving drives late during the past three victories against Florida State, Georgia Tech and Syracuse.
“I’ll just say this about Malik,’’ UM coach Mark Richt, a quarterbacks guru, said Wednesday before the Maxwell Award news was released, “Malik has for me, from the very first day I started working with him...’’ The coach paused. “What he’s doing right now is pretty darned good.”
Rosier is also a threat on the ground and ranks third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in total offense, with an average of 317.7 yards a game. He is completing 59.3 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,715 yards and 14 touchdowns, with three interceptions.
“These guys keep fighting,’’ Rosier said Saturday after UM’s 27-19 victory over the Orange, deflecting the attention off himself.
Rosier was recently added to the watch list for the Manning Award, which goes to the nation’s top quarterback.