Incoming Freshmen - Quarterbacks

The University of Miami coaching staff had a clear vision of the nation's best quarterback prospects early last season. In fact, they had a real good idea before the season had started since so many top flight prospects were on campus last summer for the two camps (NIKE and Butch Davis Camp).

The most impressive prospect at that position all summer was Buck Ortega.

The Gulliver Prep standout was quite an unknown due to the fact that he played for a small private school in Miami and wasn't being heavily recruited. On top of that, he rarely threw more than 10 times a game that unabled him to pad his statistics.

However, the 6-5 and 215 pound Ortega has all the tools you like in a quarterback. Coached by his father, who played in the NFL, Buck has one of the strongest arms of any incoming freshman quarterback at Miami in several years.

His situation sort of reminds me of Vinny Testaverde several years ago. Both were prototype kids at 6-5. Both had very strong arms, and both were somewhat unknown coming out of highschool due to the fact that both played in option-style offenses that did not able them to showcase their ability by throwing the football 40 times a game like a lot of Prep All American quarterbacks do.

What Ortega also has is a strong passion to come in and learn. "I definitely want to redshirt and learn as much as I can my first year," Ortega told me after signing with Miami. He's like a sponge coming in here, he's ready to soak up everything he possibly can.

Ortega will throw more in his first month at UM than he did his entire career at Gulliver. In addition, he'll have something that Testaverde also had when he arrived at UM - a quarterbacks coach that will be able to correct all the little mistakes and allow Ortega to become a quality passer early in his career.

So while a redshirt is definitely in store and a lot of people aren't quite sure how good Ortega is, only time will tell. But Testaverde faced a similar situation when he got to Miami and the end result was enjoyed by most UM observers. Perhaps Ortega can jumpstart a similar career at Miami.

Canes Time Top Stories