2011 Evaluation: Jacory Harris’ career comes to a close. It was a roller coaster. In all honesty, due to the increasing popularity of the internet, social media, and platforms such as Twitter, there has probably not been a more talked about player, while at the University of Miami, than Jacory Harris. As the de facto leader of the Miami Northwestern 2008 recruiting haul, everyone will agree that in terms of on field performance, the career did not meet expectations. However, save the final game of his career, Jacory Harris had a very good senior season. In what will be a common theme with these evaluations, you hate to think about what one more year would have done for Jacory Harris, especially considering how unlikely it is to get results out of a true freshman quarterback. Regardless, we must move forward. It should be noted that Jacory was more highly sought after than either of the quarterbacks currently on the roster.
Who Returns: Stephen Morris and Ryan Williams. As you can see from the chart above, these are two players that were not highly sought after. We’ve seen both play as true freshmen- Morris at Miami and Williams at Memphis. It’s unfair to judge a player being thrown into quarterbacking at this level as a true freshman, so I won’t spend time breaking down their play. Morris looked much better in his debut against Maryland compared to last year. Williams has supposedly been playing well, but as the Scout team QB, he’s not running our offense.
On The Way: Depth, but is there a superstar in this class? ESPN seems to love Preston Dewey, while the rest of the services are somewhat reserved comparatively. He broke his hand, missing most of his senior year. Gray Crow is criticized for not having gaudy stats, but is relatively well thought of considering his stats. David Thompson is an elite baseball talent, and if he comes to Miami, you’d expect without really lighting it up, for him to be a depth QB based on his commitment to baseball. Regardless, by having Stephen Morris and Ryan Williams in the program, we should be able to give these QBs time to learn the system and develop rather than being thrown to the wolves. Taking three quarterbacks, I expect there will be additional recruits.
2012 Outlook: You know who really wanted Miami to go to a bowl game? Stephen Morris. He would have received a substantial amount of practice reps with the offense, while Williams continued to man the scout team. Now, the gloves come off and the battle begins. Morris gets a head start having been in the offense this entire season. He hears the playcalls during the game, having the opportunity to see situations in game time, hear the coaching by Jedd Fisch, and see the game from the player perspective, all of which unfortunately Williams did not get an opportunity to do. I saw enough from Fisch this year to expect Miami to succeed with either quarterback, even if it might be frustrating at times. Ideally, with this job being up for grabs, you’ll see both kids push each other into becoming better quarterbacks, while also giving time for the recruits to redshirt and learn the offense. It should be kept in mind that we’re relying on two kids barely recruited by big time programs to be good enough quarterbacks for us to return to dominance. I hate to say it, but it might be a process.