Most assume senior quarterback Jacory Harris will be named the starter this month for a Miami Hurricanes football program thirsting for rejuvenation.
Not so fast my friend.
According to the Twitter account of the Miami Herald‘s Susan Miller-Degman on Sunday, her source claims sophomore Stephen Morris is leading the intense quarterback battle.
Does that mean Morris is the set-in-stone starter? Absolutely not, but as I’ve been saying for a while now, he is the best option. It’s a no-contest.
Their statistics from afar were equally lacklaster last season, as both threw more interceptions than touchdowns. We have to set aside the numbers and dig deeper.
A big plus is Morris’ youth. Jacory is what he is. It’s very difficult to undo three years of poor habits and mechanics in one offseason. Place some of that blame on Randy Shannon’s regime for not properly developing him.
Morris has the physical and mental foundation to be molded into the quarterback Al Golden needs to kick off his program. While possessing the superior arm, he also has the quicker feet.
In just four starts towards the end of his true freshman season, he showed the necessary intangibles of a potential star at the game’s most complex position. In the first significant action of his career, a near comeback win at Virginia, his poise was flamboyant. He showed he had “it,” the essential quarterback gene. The unmeasurable quality allowing a player to perform at his best in the most difficult, abrasive situations.
With what should be a lethal rushing attack, the quarterback of this team doesn’t have to be a Cam Newton. His main responsibility this year will be to protect the ball and move the chains. No hero-ball needed here, just smart decision making and calculated risks.
Anyone who’s ever seen Harris play knows those qualities are not his forte. He's had 39 interceptions over the last three years. While Morris struggled in his own right with taking care of the ball, he has a pass. It was his a true freshman season, a year he was supposed to be redshirted. He went from third string to starter in a blink and showed great promise in a difficult situation.
Jacory may still be named the starter and many think it will be because of seniority, but one thing is certain. The starting quarterback will be on a short leash. Golden wants to win now. He has the talent to win now.
Expectations are unusually high for a coach in his first year and those expectations will relay down from coach to player. So who will be the guy?
Golden is keeping the battle close to his chest.
“It’s going to be a long, competitive and drawn-out competition,” Golden said Sunday. “They’re going to be neck and neck.”
Harris or Morris, this quarterback battle will define Golden’s initial tenure at Miami. A team can only go as far as their leader allows and the quarterback is always the de facto leader.
Now it’s a matter of who wants it more.