Williams Injury -- What it Means for Miami

Ryan Williams has suffered an ACL injury that, if torn, will likely end his senior season. Kevin Olsen would be set to take over. What does that mean for Miami? Read on for an analysis by CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

Ryan Williams was set to be Miami's starting quarterback in 2014. He entered spring as the leading candidate to win the job and, by all accounts, was having a very strong spring.

Williams seemed like exactly the quarterback the Hurricanes needed this season. He's smart, experienced, knows James Coley's offense really well, completes a high percentage of his throws, and does a very nice job of spreading the football around.

Miami's offense will be loaded with playmakers so having someone who can get the ball into their hands was probably more important than having a gunslinger back there.

Those are just some of the reasons why Williams was holding off a challenge from redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen.

Now, it's Olsen time.

Olsen lacks the experience that Williams brought to the table. He arrived at Miami several months after Coley, which means he hasn't spent as much time as Williams learning this offense.

Olsen has never even played in a college game before. In fact, he was suspended for his most recent one (Louisville). Williams has starting experience at the college level.

Williams seemed to have complete control of this offense this spring. His coaches have talked numerous times about his ability to command the huddle, to get the team into better plays at the line of scrimmage, and to understand what everyone's role is around him.

With Olsen, and any freshman, those things remain to be seen.

Having said all that, Olsen is a considerably more talented player. At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Olsen was recruited to be the future here.

Olsen, the younger brother of former UM tight end Greg Olsen, was recruited by everyone coming out of New Jersey. A coach's son, Olsen (like Williams) won a state championship in high school. He won two, actually. He has the arm talent to make all the throws on the field, something Williams does not have. He has the athleticism to make plays happen with his feet, something Williams does not possess.

A deep threat like Phillip Dorsett becomes more of a downfield weapon with Olsen throwing him the football.

Olsen will likely make more mistakes, especially early in the season, than Williams would have considering their difference in experience. However, Olsen has a better chance of becoming an elite level quarterback by the end of the season.

Olsen has all the physical tools to be a tremendous college quarterback one day. How soon that happens, if ever, will depend on the intangibles -- the things that allow Williams to have a chance of being a very successful quarterback here.

Can Olsen command the huddle and become a leader? Can Olsen get the Canes into better plays at the line of scrimmage? Can Olsen put in the time to the point where he understands the offense well enough to be successful? Can Olsen spread the ball around to his backs and tight ends -- something Stephen Morris did poorly last season?

While Olsen has all the physical talent you need at the position, those are the things that will determine how quickly Olsen can take his game to another level.

Approximately 15 years ago Kenny Kelly suffered an injury (during the season) and it gave a young freshman named Ken Dorsey a chance. He was the future, and what a tremendous future it became.

Although a bit different since this happened during the spring, it's a similar situation in terms of the big picture.

Olsen was recruited to be the next great quarterback at the University of Miami. Few quarterbacks across college football have his skill set. Few quarterbacks across college football have this much talent around them.

Kevin Olsen, you're up, and I truly believe he'll be able to do special things here and it will start in 2014.


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