No team in college football was more disappointing in 2018 than Miami football. The Hurricanes opened the season in the top 10, only to go finish with a mediocre 7-6 record. Former head coach Mark Richt retired at the end of the season, making former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz the new head coach.
The start of Diaz’s tenure looks to be a success as numerous players are buying in to the new regime. The Hurricanes have a lot of talent on the roster, but a giant question mark still remains. Who will be the starting quarterback for Miami when the season starts?
Redshirt sophomore N’Kosi Perry has the most experience of all the quarterbacks on the roster, but he struggled with consistency. Perry led the in passing yards and touchdowns with 1,091 and 13, but those numbers do not wow anyone. He battled Malik Rosier for the job all last season and was unable to fully win the job in 2018.
Jarren Williams has the most accurate arm on the roster, but he only threw three passes during his redshirt year. The Georgia native almost transferred out of the program before deciding to return to the Hurricanes. He was never given an opportunity to win the starting job when Richt was coach, but Diaz is open to anyone who is willing to give Miami the best opportunity to win in 2019.
Diaz hired an entire new offensive staff, including former Alabama quarterbacks coach Dan Enos to be the offensive coordinator. The former Saban assistant developed Tua Tagovailoa into a Heisman Trophy candidate as the Crimson Tide had one of the best offenses in the nation last season. The new offense should allow Miami’s offensive playmakers to thrive as the Hurricanes have a game breaking receiver in junior Jeff Thomas.
Perry and Williams will not be the only two quarterbacks competing for the starting quarterback job as Ohio State transfer Tate Martell gained immediate eligibility from the NCAA. He has familiarity with tight end Brevin Jordan and safety Bubba Bolden as they all attended Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Martell saw limited reps in 2018 because of the success of quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr and transferred out of Ohio State when former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields committed to Ohio State.
His athleticism is his best asset as Martell has the ability to extend the play with his legs. Perry and Williams are mobile quarterbacks, but they do not have the play-extending ability that Martell possesses. His accuracy and arm strength are good enough to compete at the college level, but he has struggled with both in spring practices.
The Hurricanes need consistent quarterback play in 2019 as they have the talent defensively to win the ACC Coastal. Diaz’s defense was amongst the nation’s elite in 2018, but was on the field too much due to poor play on the offensive side of the ball. The Hurricanes need someone to emerge from the quarterback battle as a season-long controversy could doom them.
Perry, Williams and Martell all give new coordinator Enos an option to makes the Hurricanes dynamic, but Williams might have the edge due to his accuracy.