We just have to stay focused on the team. I'll do whatever I can to win games and help get Miami back to where they were. Of course you wanna be the starter but my focus isn't on starting. It's how we can get better, how we can become ACC champions.
What are your strengths as a QB?
I think we all bring different characteristics to the field. Some of my strengths are getting the job done, running it or passing it. That's my goal.
How does it feel be be back healthy and competing again?
It feels really good. Having to sit out all last season was tough. I got the opportunity to play at the University of Miami and that's a great honor for me and my family. I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I'll do the best I can. I'm very excited to be back on the field. I feel like myself again for the first time in a long time. Even in the spring, I wasn't at full strength and didn't feel like myself. You go from high school playing all the time to not playing at all. Now I'm just trying to feel comfortable in the offense.
You had a head start on the rest of the competition.
Those guys weren't here but the whole situation at quarterback is much different this year. It's exciting that we all like each other. We have a good time working together. We make each other stronger on the field. It helps when you can talk to another player, ask him what happens on the backside of this play, watch out for this kind of blitz, things like that.
At 5-7 last season, when did you hit rock bottom?
Rock bottom for me was the car accident for me. That was kinda frustrating. But last year was last year. You can't think about that at all. It's just exciting to be playing football. I wake up thinking about football, I go to class thinking about football, go to sleep thinking about football. Now I'm getting ready to play.
Talk about what Cannon Smith brings to the table.
I think Cannon's a great quarterback. He has a lot of features people haven't seen. He's a great pocket passer but he has some mobility, too. He makes good decisions for the most part and he's a great thrower. And obviously, as we saw in the spring, he makes plays.
Do you feel like you have an advantage over the others being a little older?
No. I promise you I don't. I don't see it that way at all. The way I'll be satisfied is if I work as hard as I can, try to play the best Robert Marve can play. I can't worry about what others are doing. I gotta be the best quarterback I can be to help this team win.
What helped you the most last season?
It helped me more off the field than on it. Guys are guys now. Everyone's cool. I'm not trying to memorize anyone's names and stuff like that. I'm not worrying about who I'm sitting with at meals, things that freshmen go through. I feel comfortable now where I can play to the best of my ability. I also learned how Division 1 football is run, how much different it is than high school -- how you game plan, how to look at different defenses, and things like that. It polished me up.
How much are you weighing?
I'm 210 now. Last season I weighed 190 before the car accident and I dropped down to 183 after it.
You seem pretty comfortable with the other players now.
It's a great thing. That's so big for a team. I can call all those guys to show up. We go bowling, can joke around in the locker room. I don't wanna talk about last year. This year we're going as far as the team can take us. I have the same feeling now that I had on my state title team in high school.
Do a lot of the new players have you even more motivated?
You look at this team now, we have a lot of young guys who are very good. You can say it's potential or whatever but look at the young receivers we have now. Guys like Travis Benjamin, those guys are amazing. They're very, very good. When you can throw a five-yard out and they make a move, reverse field 30 yards and get a first down out of bounds in a two-minute drill, that's huge. Jermaine's a guy who can run various routes and make plays. Aldarius is a big, tall receiver who you can trust getting the ball to. All those guys can play. Those are the kind of guys who make you look better. My job is to get those guys the ball.
How's the wrist?
I'm 100 percent. It's as good as it's going to be. I'm gonna wear my glove for protection but I feel comfortable taking it off. I don't know if I'll need it or not. The biggest thing with my hand is that it threw me out of whack. I wasn't playing so when I threw my arm got sore, my footwork wasn't right. Everything was out of whack. Now I feel great again and I understand what Coach Nix is looking for. I feel real comfortable in the offense now.
People will be concerned about having a freshman under center.
I can see how anyone could say that but football is football. You gotta go out and make plays and be smart with the ball. You do want the experience but the reality is we're all freshmen but we can all get the job done. We just have to be smart with the football.
You won a state title at Dolphins Stadium two years ago.
I'm really looking forward to going back to Dolphins Stadium. My dreams came true there in high school and hopefully my dreams come true there with the University of Miami. It's the best ffield I've ever played on.
Talk about having a good set of running backs behind you.
It's always nice to hand the ball off to those guys and watch them do magic. Baby J and Coop are great. They're hard workers and they're working together. Coop's the type you don't know what's gonna come out. I think he's a little more shifty. Baby J can run you over and at the same time run by you. He's gotten a lot faster and I think he has the power and guys end up missing. With those guys catching out of the backfield, 3rd and 2 can become 15 yard gains instead of going to 4th and 2. If the passing game isn't working, you can check down to those guys and they'll do the work for you.
How hungry are you guys to start the season?
Everyone wants to win. That's all it is. People are getting tired of the (losing). I think we're definitely a young, strong group who has Miami going in the right direction.