Breaking Down the 2017 QB Competition

Brad Kaaya announced Monday that he will be entering the NFL Draft this year. That means the Hurricanes will need to replace one of the school's most successful quarterbacks of all time. There are several candidates, and Mike Bakas breaks it all down.

Malik Rosier -- RS Junior

Why he could win it: He won the backup quarterback job going into the season, beating out the other three young quarterbacks who were also on the roster. That means the coaches evaluated all of spring, all of summer, and all of fall camp leading up to the start of the season and decided that Rosier was the best option to back up Kaaya in 2016. He's also the only quarterback on the returning roster with any game experience. Despite throwing just four passes in 2016, he did start a game against Duke last year (and played relatively well in a game Miami won). He's a dual threat quarterback who is considered the best athlete of the returning quarterbacks.

Why he may not win it: If you take away the time in which Kaaya got hurt last season, Rosier has thrown just nine passes in three years here. That doesn't exactly scream someone that the coaches were trying to prepare as the future starting quarterback. He was very lightly recruited out of high school. At 6-feet, he lacks ideal size for a major college quarterback. He played well against Duke but played poorly against Clemson last year when inserted into the game (7-for-22 for 42 yards). 

Bottom line: Rosier was known more for his running skills coming out of high school. No one in the SEC recruited him to play quarterback for them and he hasn't done anything to lead you to believe that he is the future at the position. Sure he won the backup job before the season but he essentially beat out a walkon and another very lightly recruited freshman. 

Vincent Testaverde -- RS Junior

Why he could win it: He has more game experience than all but Rosier, even though it was just one game against Texas in the 2014 season while playing for Texas Tech. He has good bloodlines too, as his father is one of Miami's all-time greats. 

Why he may not win it: He didn't receive any Division 1 scholarship offers out of high school. despite playing for a good prep program in Tampa. He lacks experience. He is a walk-on and it's highly unlikely that a walk-on will beat out five other scholarship guys for the job.

Bottom line: The least likely of the group to eventually win the job, Testaverde is a real longshot. 

Evan Shirreffs -- RS Sophomore

Why he could win it: At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, he has prototypical size for a major college quarterback. Of all the returning quarterbacks on the current roster, he was the most productive as a senior in high school when he threw 39 touchdowns and just four interceptions. 

Why he may not win it: Another lightly recruited player, no one in the SEC asked Shirreffs to come play quarterback for them. And in two years he hasn't done anything to make you believe that everyone made a mistake by not recruiting him. 

Bottom line: There has been some chatter that he's been impressive during practice but at this point there's no reason to believe that he will eventually win the job. 

Jack Allison -- RS Freshman

Why he could win it: He was the most heavily recruited player among the returning quarterbacks and was an early entry into school last year which means he's now been in school for a year now. He has as much time in Mark Richt's offense as any other quarterback on the roster. At 6-foot-4, he's considered a potential gunslinger. 

Why he may not win it: Despite having ideal size, a strong arm, and the goods that caused a lot of schools to actively recruit him, he had a sub-par senior season at Palmetto High in 2015. He threw for just 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns and his team didn't have a great season. It seems like he is the most gifted of the returning players but will it translate -- especially being just a freshman?

Bottom line: He seems like the most popular pick among the returning players to win the job. A lot of it will depend on how well he's picked up Richt's offense.

N'Kosi Perry -- Freshman

Why he could win it: He was one of the first players the new coaching staff made a big priority early in 2016. Richt and his staff went after him hard as their first primary quarterback target, which leads you to believe they really like his upside. At 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, he will be the most athletic quarterback on the roster in 2017.  His production numbers at Vanguard High in Ocala were excellent. He threw for 1,778 yards, 24 touchdowns, and just four picks as a senior. He was recruited as heavily as Allison, if not more. If Richt wants more of a dual-threat quarterback, Perry will have even more of an advantage. 

Why he may not win it: He will be a true freshman. 

Bottom line: A lot will depend on what type of quarterback Richt wants running the offense next year. It's become a lot more clear in recent months.  Kaaya was an immobile pro style guy but Richt's play-calling at times led you to believe he wanted to run a lot of run-pass option plays. Now, they're bringing in a pair of dual threat quarterbacks in the 2017 class. There's a good chance, if Perry is as good as they think he'll be, that Richt will want to go with his guy (instead of Allison) as the future of the program. 

Cade Weldon -- Freshman

Why he could win it: Casey Weldon was Mark Richt's first quarterback at Florida State, and he was very successful. Cade is Casey's son, so there is a built-in connection and probably a certain level of trust in terms of what UM is getting. A lot of people view Weldon as a pro style guy but, despite not having the same athleticism as Rosier or Perry, he's a dual threat guy who ran for almost 400 yards and 11 touchdowns at Tampa's Jefferson High in 2016. 

Why he may not win it: He doesn't offer the same level of athleticism as Perry or Rosier and will be just a true freshman. 

Bottom line: The true freshman that learns Richt's offense the quickest will likely be a major threat to win the job early in 2017, and Weldon may have an early advantage because of the fact that his father played in this same offense under Richt at Florida State. 


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