QB: No starter until late August

Spring practice begins tomorrow and so does the quarterback competition. And according to the coaches, it'll last until a starter is named in late August. Read on to see what's going on at the position heading into spring ball.

Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman went into spring practice last year as co-favorites to win the starting job. Neither one seemed to have the inside track and a starter wasn't named until late August. According to head coach Randy Shannon, the team plans on waiting that long before naming this year's starter as well.

"We won't do it until after spring camp and (after) we come back in the fall," Shannon said. "(The reason is because) someone may not be doing the right things learning over summer. We'll (announce the starter) after fall camp like we did last year."

Most believe redshirt freshman Robert Marve has the inside track since he's already been here for a full season. Shannon says that's not the case.

"I don't know if it's an advantage because he was on the scout team last year," he said. "What they've learned since recruiting was over is tremendous. There will be times to reiterate everything they've learned and do it on the field. It's wide open between those three. The guy that does the best job will win the job."

Marve's competition in the spring will come from the team's only other scholarship quarterbacks -- incoming freshmen Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith. Shannon believes they're all doing well so far.

"Coach Nix is gonna do a good job," he said. "The NCAA only allows us (certain times to for the coaches to be with the players). They're getting rhythem down, doing 7-on-7 stuff, doing voluntary stuff. It's great seeing them move around and communicate. They're all football junkies -- always watching film, always playing catch with the receivers, playing catch with each other. Those three guys are great competitors -- they do footwork drills together, go over signals together. If someone screws up, they're doing pushups. It's been great."

Shannon said the coaches were seeing a good relationship being built between Marve and Harris even before Jacory signed with Miami.

"Marve used to go to Jacory's games last year," he said. "They would always communicate on Sundays. Jacory would come on Sunday and they'd talk football."

Harris and Smith have already benefitted from enrolling early.

"Jacory's put on seven pounds already," he said. "All of the early kids have gained seven, eight pounds. They're eating three meals a day now when in high school they'd have one, maybe two, and a snack. That's the great thing about coming in early -- they get treated like a regular student now."

Many people will be concerned about Miami's lack of experience at quarterback -- none of the three scholarship quarterbacks in the spring have ever taken a college snap. Shannon said he's not concerned about that because of what the team asks of the quarterback in this offense.

"I've seen quarterbacks that are young and I've seen quarterbacks that are old," he said. "We're not looking for the quarterback to put the load on his shoulders. When you watch film of them in high school, they made decisions in the short passing game. Marve won the state title and against Booker T, he threw here and there and then someone made someone miss (and the end result was scoring touchdowns). Jacory, with the two-minute drill against Deerfield (in the state semi-final game as a senior), the first play is a bubble screen out of the endzone. (Then) he had a chance to throw deep and he threw deep. There are a lot of good football players around them."

When Taylor Cook arrives in the fall, the quarterback competition will become out of four. Don't rule out the possibility of seeing two quarterbacks being involved.

"It's possible that it could happen," Shannon said. "You never know when a two quarterback situation can bring diversity to what you're doing."

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