LEAVING: The Hurricanes will lose a pair of backups who played small roles on the field this past season. Ryan Williams and Jake Heaps may not have seen the field much while playing behind Brad Kaaya this past season but the two seniors played a big role in the development of Miami's young quarterback. Kaaya and the coaches often talked about how influential they were in helping bring him along. Even when he was hurt early in the season, Williams still traveled so he could help mentor Kaaya through the early stages of the season. Those things are tremendously important in the development of a young quarterback and they won't be around any more.
COMING BACK: Kaaya turned in a solid freshman season. He was much better at times than others. He didn't truly take on a major leadership role until after the Virginia Tech game. He made a lot of costly mistakes early in the season that really hurt Miami's chances of beating Louisville, Nebraska, and Georgia Tech. He was, however, one of the most successful freshman quarterbacks in all of college football. He had one of the better seasons of any Hurricane QB in recent memory. He'll have a full offseason with James Coley -- something he didn't get to experience last year. He should be, by all accounts, a better quarterback in 2015. Will the production be the same though? That remains a question mark, especially since the Canes are losing their All-American running back, franchise left tackle, All-American tight end, and their most explosive wide receiver. Those guys won't be easy to replace and helped Kaaya have the type of season he did. Malik Rosier is set to return as the primary backup. He was very lightly recruited and didn't play this past season so it's hard to get terribly excited about him right now.
RECRUITING: The Canes had a commitment for several months from one of the state's top prospects in Dwayne Lawson. He backed out recently, though, and is no longer considering the Canes. Kaaya's freshman season and the fact that he's seen as the future here at QB spooked Lawson, who wanted a fair chance to start from day one. The Canes have reached out to a handful of low-end FBS prospects and will likely sign one but it'll simply be for depth purposes. One player the Canes are expected to pursue if he becomes available is Ohio State's Braxton Miller. He likely won't consider the Canes too much but don't be surprised if Miami makes a run at him. He's someone who could help Miami win right away, something the current staff will have lots of pressure to do in 2015.