Spring Football Analysis: QB

Spring football is over. We learned a lot about the team during their last 15 practices. CanesTime's Mike Bakas breaks it down, focusing on the quarterbacks in this piece.

Ryan Williams entered spring football as the expected starter here. He got off to an excellent start this spring and played very well in Miami's first scrimmage. The fifth year senior seemed to have good command of the huddle, a real good understanding of what James Coley is trying to do with this offense, and he was spreading the ball around with a lot of high percentage passes.
Williams was having the type of spring everyone hoped he'd have leading into the summer. Then the most unfortunate incident of the entire spring took place in Miami's second to last scrimmage -- Williams suffered an ACL injury. The details of the exact diagnoses and how long he's expected to be out are still unclear but, as with any ACL injury, Williams is expected to miss a lot of time and it's certainly possible that his 2014 season is over.
Williams has a strong work ethic so his recovery time, in the words of Al Golden, will be on the minimum end. He'll still be able to work closely with the other young quarterbacks this summer as well. Still, even if he can return at some point during the 2014 season, not having the chance to get the timing down with his receivers over the summer will hurt some.

Kevin Olsen was providing most of the competition for Williams. A former prep All-American, Olsen has all the physical tools you want in a major college quarterback. He's 6-foot-4, athletic, and has the arm talent to make all the throws on the field.
Olsen looked much improved from 2013 during the first part of spring. He was taking on more of a leadership role and getting a better overall understanding of Coley's offense. He was slowly starting to position himself to make a run at Williams' starting job over summer.
Then, he became the starter all of a sudden. As with any freshman quarterback, it'll take time. Olsen struggled to make the right reads during the spring game, completed just 7-of-21 passes, and threw an interception. He doesn't have the experience or the ability to get the team in the best call possible at the line of scrimmage like Williams. However, the tools are there and it'll take time. This summer will be huge in terms of his overall development. He says he plans to spend a lot of time organizing workouts with his receivers. We should learn a lot from Olsen and his progress once the team returns for fall camp.

Gray Crow was a distant third after the first couple practices. He then turned it on a bit toward the end, and Golden said he had a couple of his best practices of the spring after he became the number two guy. He's not quite ready to challenge Olsen as the starter, which is something Kevin and this team could really use, but he's making progress. He simply wasn't ready in limited opportunities during the 2013 season and signs this spring indicated that perhaps starting to change.

Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier are expected to enroll for summer school and will be counted upon to compete for the job -- especially since they're now chasing a freshman instead of a senior.


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