For those wondering why redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry hasn’t mounted a more serious challenge to senior Malik Rosier for the starting quarterback job, UM cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph offered some interesting insight in a phone conversation this summer.
“N’Kosi has tremendous arm strength and likes to throw the ball long [but] he has to learn to see our defense a little bit better,” Rumph said. “He has to see not only the coverages but move around in the pocket. The quarterbacks who are really good in our eyes can move in the pocket. N’Kosi has to do it a lot better, moving in the pocket.
“When you are covering Jeff Thomas and N’Kosi is in the game, you know it’s going to be a deep ball. That was Gil Frierson’s interception in the spring game.”
Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said Perry must be “able to process the entire offense. He’s got phenomenal arm talent and a really good skill set; the more you have confidence what you’re doing, the better off you’re going to be.”
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The game experience and knowledge of the offense obviously give Rosier an edge over Perry. But Perry’s intriguing skills, which need polishing, haven’t been enough for him to seriously push Rosier - at least not to this point.
As for Rosier, Rumph and safeties coach Ephraim Banda said the offseason improvement has been obvious.
“Malik doesn’t get enough credit,” Rumph said. “We give him some looks and disguise really well in practice and he picks up what we’re doing, did a darn good job against our defense. He’s gotten a lot better, was more consistent with accuracy this spring.”
Banda put it this way about Rosier: “I see a different person. His desire to lead the offense the way coaches [Mark Richt and Jon Richt] want - he is growing into a leader role. He threw great balls and you saw some big time throws [this past spring]. I love what I saw.”
If you missed it, Mark Richt said recently: “Malik is the starter. And if something changes I’ll let you know....Malik is without a doubt the No. 1 quarterback going into fall camp. Right this minute, I’m not sure anybody is going to be able to unseat him, at least going into Game One. I will have an open mind and we’ll give reps and we’ll compete.”
And what’s the word on freshman Jarren Williams?
“He has a lot of potential for a young guy,” Rumph said. “He spins the ball well. What I was impressed with is he moved in the pocket a good amount. He throws a check down to the back and I’m wondering how he saw it. He has tremendous vision. Some throws from the far hash to the other side of the field were impressive. His arm strength and maneuverability in the pocket, I like what I saw. He made some mistakes but had good decisions, too.”
Cade Weldon has improved but appears an unlikely starting option, at least this year.
▪ Williams was better than Perry at times in the spring, but the problem with giving Williams the backup job – even if he earns it – is it would presumably displease Perry and could make him rethink his future here.
One UM football staffer (not any of these defensive coaches) cautioned that Perry usually was competing against better defensive players than Williams faced this spring, and that was a mitigating factor.
Five-star Georgia-based Jadon Haselwood, rated by Rivals as the No. 2 receiver and No. 6 player overall in the 2019 class, remains committed to Georgia but indicated to Rivals’ Chad Simmons that he’s considering UM after attending Paradise Camp last week. That was his second visit to UM’s campus and he’s planning an official visit there later this year.
“It went real well, especially for my parents,” Haselwood told Simmons. “My mom did not know what it was like down there. She was thinking it was like it was years ago when Sean Taylor and guys like that were there, but it is different. It is a lot better environment now, so she really liked it…
“I wanted to go down there and work with coach [Ron] Dugans and see what he was like as a coach and as a person. Miami is a school I am looking at, so I went down there for a couple of days, did some individual work with coach Dugans, spent time with some players and just checked things out.
“I have been to Georgia a lot. This was only my second visit to Miami, so I needed to get back. “ But he said, “Right now, I’m still with Georgia.”
▪ UM suffered something of a setback Wednesday night when four-star dual threat quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. – its prime quarterback target for 2019 – orally committed to Penn State.
UM had spent a lot of money on its recruitment of Johnson, with assistant coaches (primarily quarterbacks coach Jon Richt) flying to Oregon reportedly a half dozen times to recruit Johnson or meet with his coaches.
UM, FSU, North Carolina State and Oregon State reportedly were his other finalists. Johnson, who visited UM in June, told Rivals that he was drawn to Penn State by coach James Franklin “and the family atmosphere there. The offense really fits my skill set.”
▪ With Urban Meyer’s future at Ohio State uncertain after being placed on paid leave this week, keep an eye on St. Thomas Aquinas three-star safety Jordan Battle, an Ohio State oral commitment.
He told Canesport’s Matt Shodell this week that the investigation into the staff’s level of awareness of domestic abuse allegations by the former wide receiver coach’s ex-wife “has to play out, then I’ll see where I want to go after that.”
He said UM is second on his list after Ohio State and there’s “not that big of a gap” between the two.
For the first three parts of this four-part series on UM’s offensive personnel - and my two in-depth Dolphins training camp posts today - please click here.