2014 Player Analysis: Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams was expected to take over for Stephen Morris as the team's starting quarterback in 2014. He was having a solid spring before suffering a torn ACL. He's expected to return to action at some point this season but what can be expected of him? Read on.

As a recruit: Ryan Williams began his prep career at American Heritage High before transferring to Miramar as a senior. He went on to throw for 2,455 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior, leading the Patriots to a 14-1 record and a Class 6A state championships. His five touchdown passes in the state title game tied Tim Tebow's state record. Williams landed some non-BCS offers and ended up signing with Memphis. He was not recruited by Miami's staff under Randy Shannon coming out of high school.

As a Hurricane: Williams transferred to Miami soon after Al Golden got the job here. He started 10 games as a freshman at Memphis, throwing for just over 2,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. He sat out the 2011 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He played in five games behind Stephen Morris as a sophomore in 2012, throwing for 87 yards and one touchdown. He played in four games as a junior, taking over for an injured Morris on a few occasions, and finished the season with 369 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He went into the spring of 2014 as the expected starter and was enjoying a solid spring before suffering a torn ACL that was surgically repaired on April 9.

What to expect: Like with all ACL injuries, the timetable for Williams' return is unknown at this point. The team hasn't provided any updates on his status but Williams has remained confident that playing in the season opener against Louisville remains a possibility. Sources close to the team have indicated that Williams is expected to return early in the season. Until it actually happens, however, it will remain a mystery. The next question after he returns will be how effective and confident will he be? Will he be the same player right away? Williams has been in James Coley's system for awhile now, seems to have the trust of his teammates, and does a very nice job of spreading the ball around and limiting mistakes. He doesn't have the arm strength to throw the ball all over the field like Morris did but he seems to take better care of it and utilize his backs and tight ends a bit more. A realistic scenario is that Williams returns by mid-season after Jake Heaps leads the team against a tough September schedule. The Canes will then have a tough choice to make, one that will likely depend largely on how Heaps (or Kevin Olsen) does over those first few games.


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