UM quarterback N’Kosi Perry talks about WR Jeff Thomas
While the University of Miami awaits what quarterback it will get Feb. 6 on National Signing Day, new Canes offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Enos is starting the process of getting to know his Hurricanes signal-callers so he can equip them with what they need to excel.
On Monday, during his interview with WQAM radio, Enos was asked if he thinks transferring Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who would have one more immediate season of eligibility as a graduate transfer and was coached by Enos this past season, likes Miami enough to sign with the Canes.
Hurts visited the Coral Gables campus Sunday and was taken to dinner at the Miami Beach hotspot Prime 112. He is believed to be choosing between Oklahoma, Maryland and Miami.
This past season, Hurts, a backup to Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua Tagovailoa, completed 51 of 70 passes (72.9 percent) for 765 yards and eight touchdowns, with only two interceptions. He added 167 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries.
His career passing numbers: 445 of 707 (62.9) for 5,626 yards and 48 touchdowns, with 12 interceptions. As a true freshman in 2016, he was SEC Player of the Year. In three years he gained 1,976 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns on 381 carries (5.2 yards a carry).
“I gotta be honest with you,’’ Enos responded. “I don’t even think I can comment on that because he’s a recruit right now. So, I think I have to stay away from that one right now publicly. All I can say is I know Coach [Manny] Diaz is trying to make this football better in all aspects, and if we can go out and find guys that can come in and really have an impact we’re going to certainly do our best to try and add pieces to this football team.”
Then, Enos was asked what he sees with current Miami quarterbacks Jarren Williams and N’Kosi Perry, as well as Cade Weldon.
Williams will be a redshirt freshman next season and Perry and Weldon will be redshirt sophomores.
Perry started six games and finished 97 of 191 (50.8) for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns, with six interceptions. He added 169 yards and one touchdown on 61 carries.
Weldon played sparingly in four games, completing two of three passes for 14 yards. He scored one touchdown rushing.
Williams, a highly touted four-star recruit out of Central Gwinnett High in Georgia, only played in one game, completing one of three passes for 17 yards. He had two carries, one of them for a 1-yard touchdown.
Said Enos of the current Canes QBs: “I don’t know a whole lot about them yet. I got a chance to meet them yesterday for the first time and obviously we’ll continue that today.
“The first thing is I just want to get to know them as people. I wasn’t obviously here to recruit them. When you don’t get to recruit somebody you kind of miss out on the background things – you don’t get to know their families, you don’t get to talk to their high school coaches. So, I want to try and get to know them as people and establish a relationship with them here.
“Obviously after signing day when we’re back in the office full-time we’ll certainly start to implement our offense and start talking to them. You know, with the rules the way they are, I won’t be able to get out there and work with them with the football until spring practice. Certainly, I will really, really look forward to that.
“That’s kind of what happened last year at Alabama. After the spring was over, we went through with each player and we did a throwing motion analysis, a drop analysis after that and were able to really, really pinpoint some areas of improvements that could take place between that end of spring practice and the start of fall camp.
“My job then as a coach is to give them the drills and things necessary to make improvements in those areas. But they are the ones they have to go out there and do the work and physically do it and change it. We saw some good stuff with all the guys last year and from some of the other places that I have been. I would expect the same type of improvement here. We just gotta get in, find out what they need to work on. But then it ultimately comes down to those guys. They gotta do the work.
“If they want to get better and they want to improve and they want to be a great player, they gotta put in the time on their own.”
As for Enos’ former gems Hurts and Heisman Trophy runner-up Tagovailoa, he did discuss what it was like having both in his quarterbacks room last year.
“Those guys are both extremely talented, hard working, competitive guys,’’ Enos said. “That’s the biggest thing, the competitive part of it, I think that gets lost in the translation a little big. I think they both do such a good job of carrying themselves when they do speak to the media. But behind those smiles and those nice answers and all that are two fiercely competive young men.
“...I think those two guys complement each other well. And what I mean by that is that I saw up close and first hand the old cliché that competition makes us all better. I know that’s a cliché but I saw it, because Tua made Jalen better and Jalen made Tua better.
“Those two guys going in there every day with the mindset that they were going to win the job initially, and then obviously after Tua became the starter... Jalen, I give him a lot of credit. He just kept practicing and getting better and pushing. ...They made each other better.”