2003 Outlook: QB

There are four quarterbacks competing for the starting job after Ken Dorsey's departure; Brock Berlin, Derrick Crudup, Marc Guillon, and Kyle Wright. Whoever steps in will have big shoes to fill. Dorsey went 38-2 as the starting quarterback and never finished lower than 2nd in the polls. He is one of the best quarterbacks ever to play at Miami and his leadership will be missed.

After spring practices concluded, the starting quarterback competition has been narrowed down to two guys; Brock Berlin and Derrick Crudup. They have just one collegiate start between them.

Brock Berlin was a highly touted recruit from Shreveport, Louisiana and was named USA Today's 1999 Offensive Player of the Year. He completed his prep career 45-0 as a starting quarterback. Berlin went to the University of Florida for two years playing in 12 games while backing up Rex Grossman. For his career, he passed for 653 yards completing 61% of his passes while throwing for 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. His only start at Florida was his last game as a Gator. He started the 2002 FedEx Orange Bowl against Maryland, completing 11 of 19 pass attempts for 196 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

Berlin has looked good at times this spring and he has struggled as well. He is a pocket passer with good arm strength and accuracy. His 8 for 16 performance in the spring game was nothing spectacular but he made a good throw to the back of the end zone to Darnell Jenkins for a 36-yard touchdown. At times, he looks to be forcing plays as opposed to relaxing and relying on his quarterback instincts. Berlin has a lot to prove still. He needs to prove to people that he is worthy of all of the hype he received out of high school. Even with the mediocre spring, I would be surprised if Berlin was not the starting quarterback for the opener at Louisiana Tech.

Derrick Crudup is a versatile athlete with good quarterback skills. He has improved each year since arriving at Miami in 2000. Crudup is from Deerfield Beach and was a USA Today Honorable Mention All-American. He was considered to be one of the top athletic passing quarterbacks in the nation. In his final two years as a starting quarterback, he passed for 2,508 yards, 35 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing TDs. His team went 17-3 as the starting quarterback. Crudup has been Ken Dorsey's backup the previous two seasons. He has played in 14 games, passing for 318 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Crudup has had a solid spring especially during the spring game. He completed his first seven passes including a nice 39-yard completion to Kellen Winslow. The defensive line flushed Crudup out of the pocket, he rolled left and the right-handed quarterback put it right on target to Winslow. Kevin Everett completed the scoring drive with a nice 4-yard pass from Crudup. Crudup has improved his throwing ability since arriving at UM. His improvement makes him a viable option at starting quarterback.

Marc Guillon is a redshirt freshman Orinda High School in Miramonte, California which is the same high school that Ken Dorsey attended. He was rated the number 24 quarterback prospect in the nation by TheInsiders.com. Guillon passed for 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in his senior year while guiding his team to a 13-0 record. He is a smart player with good accuracy. Guillon played in one game last year before receiving a medical redshirt by the NCAA. In the spring game, he went 3-7 with 25 passing yards. He had a nice 18-yard completion to Buck Ortega and showed off his agility with a nice 16-yard scramble.

True freshman Kyle Wright was rated the top prep quarterback in the country last season. He graduated from Monte Vista high school in Danville, California after the fall semester and enrolled at Miami in January. Adjusting to college life and participating in spring practices have benefited his development as a college quarterback. Wright finished his senior season by leading Monte Vista to its second consecutive sectional championship. He threw for 2,825 yards and 37 touchdowns while completing 61-percent of his passes and only four interceptions.

Wright entered the spring practices with an opportunity to be the starting quarterback. He did not have a great spring, but it is nothing to worry about. Kyle Wright should be a star at Miami in the future. He has great arm strength and is extremely accurate in his passes. His maturity and leadership ability are great intangibles for a starting quarterback. Wright looks to be the best prospect out of the four quarterbacks. It will just take some time for him to develop into a big-time college quarterback. He struggled a bit with his throws in the spring game. Wright completed just one pass in five attempts for only two yards.

Miami has four solid quarterbacks, but no definite player stands out as the starting quarterback. A problem many programs in the country would like to have. The decision between Berlin and Crudup will be a hard one. Head coach Larry Coker feels they will be able to win with either on the field. Spring practices are finished and a starter has yet to be named. It would be good for the players if a decision was made soon, but the decision is likely to be made in the fall. Regardless of who gets the nod at quarterback, the other must be ready to play.

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